A multi-faceted actor

Ranganath had been active in theatre and films for over four decades.

Ranganath had been active in theatre and films for over four decades.

In an interview given to a Telugu movie portal a few years ago, Ranganath said, “I am born to act.” These words, at that point of time, reflected his content self, having started off as a lead actor, juggled between well-etched supporting roles and villain characters and later a brief stint in television, all spanning close to four decades. So, when the news started trickling in that 66-year-old Tirumala Sundara Sri Ranganath was found hanging at his home, it was more than a shock for many in Telugu film fraternity and his fans.

Born in 1949 in Chennai, what then was known as Madras, Ranganath grew up studying in Renigunta, Gooty and Tirupati. Encouraged by his mother and singer Janaki Devi, Ranganath took up theatre but not before landing a job in the Railways. From 1966 to late mid-1970s, he worked as a ticket collector and also started a theatre group called ‘Veerapani’. It was during this period that he came in contact with Telugu film industry.

He was first seen on celluloid in a blink-and-miss role in Bapu-directed Budhhimanthudu in 1969. He made his debut in a lead role in Chandana which hit the screens in 1974. He gradually shifted to establishing himself as a character artist. He worked extensively with the newer generation heroes and was mostly seen alongside Chiranjeevi in movies like Kodama Simham , Kondaveeti Donga, Chiranjeevi and Trinethrudu .

In the recent times, he was best remembered for playing a reserved father to actress Sonali Bendre in the Nagarjuna-starrer Manmathudu . A poet by passion, Ranganath also tried his hand at direction with the movie Moguds Pellams in 2005. He was also seen in a couple of serials in last few years. The actor was reportedly living alone ever since his wife passed away six years ago. He is survived by two daughters and a son.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 12:11:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/a-multifaceted-actor/article8010012.ece