Thousands of people bid adieu to this ‘Real’ Star and they included the rich and famous in the film industry and leaders of different political parties too.
What was striking though was the way women, children and men from the outskirts of the State capital and nearby districts thronged his residence to have a last glimpse of their hero.
It was near chaos at the residence of Srihari on Road No. 45, Jubilee Hills and the entire stretch was choked as people tried to gain entry.
A large posse of police was on duty and traffic was made one-way with people joining long queues to pay respects to the star who came up the hard way in a highly-competitive industry.
The goodwill that ‘Sher Khan’ of Magadheera fame had earned with just about 100 films was evident from the way people turned up all through the day. The mortal remains were laid to rest at the family farmhouse in Bachupally on the outskirts of Hyderabad, next to the place where Srihari and Shanthi’s only daughter, four month-old Akshara, lay.
What most people regretted was how an actor, who was a fitness freak, a martial arts enthusiast and gymnast, succumbed to a disease. A very few people actually knew that he was undergoing treatment for liver cancer for a while now. For about five years till 1984, this Hyderabadi from Balanagar worked out for six to eight hours a day and reached the final camp for the Asiad.
On Wednesday, he complained of giddiness while shooting in Mumbai for a Hindi film Rambo Rajkumar. The end came at Leelavati Hospital. He is survived by two sons and wife Shanthi, his co-star, between whom there was a six-year-long courtship before tying the knot.
As for his career, it began with Thirugubaata in 1986 and it was in 1999, after essaying several roles of villain, that he became a hero with Police and went on to showcase his diverse talent as hero, character artiste and in special roles. Interestingly, he was ‘Sher Khan’ even in Ramcharan Tej’s latest movie Toofan in Hindi.
Srihari had the privilege of working in hits like Mutha Mestri and Bavagaaru Baagunnara with Chiranjeevi and delivering hits like Magadheera with the megastar’s son. Other films that showcased his diversity as an actor include Nuvvostaanante Nenoddantaana, Kubusam, Dhee and Sri Jagadguru Adisankaracharya.