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… close friends that he would have been a gymnast had he not made it to movies.

In a statement, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said Srihari was a popular actor and his untimely death was a loss to the Telugu film industry. He conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.

Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu said Srihari was a self-made man who earned a permanent place as an artiste in the hearts of his audience. Srihari’s death was all the more painful because he was not only an artiste, but a social servant. Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi said there were several films that reflected the outstanding talent of Srihari; ‘Toofan’ being the latest one. He was an asset to the Telugu film industry because he had a bright future. Chiranjeevi recalled the films ‘Mutha Mestri’ and ‘Bavagaru Bagunnara’ in which he co-starred with Srihari.

TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao also expressed his condolences and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family. BJP vice-president Bandaru Dattatreya said Srihari started off his film career in a small way but went on to bag lead roles. The AP Working Journalists Federation said Srihari had to struggle to come up in the industry.

IANS reports: “Srihari was one of the best character artists this industry ever had. He was sincere, extremely hardworking and very supportive.

“I’m extremely upset that he is no more, but I also take the credit for introducing him to the industry through my film,” producer Mahendar said.

He was one of the fittest actors in the industry. “Since he started his career as a stunt master, he was extremely fit. However, he lost weight in the last few months due to some health issues. He never told me what it was,” Mahendar added.