The Telugu film industry, which is known as Tollywood, has lost over 10 notable celebs including Kodi Ramakrishna, Vijay Nirmala and Gollapudi Maruti Rao, who died of various reasons in the year 2019.
1) Vijaya Bapineedu: 22 September 1936 - 11 February 2019
Guttha Bapineedu Chowdhary, better known as Vijaya Bapineedu, passed away at the age of 82 in Hyderabad on February 11 due to age-related ailments. He started his career as a magazine writer and authored a couple of novels. He turned director with Dabbu Dabbu Dabbu in 1981 and directed many hit movies like Maga Maharaju, Khaidi No 786, Magadheerudu and Gang Leader. He also produced some movies Rambha Urvasi Menaka, Bommarillu, BottuKaatuka, Prema Poojari, Vijaya, Rudra Thandavam.
2) Deevi Srinivasa Deekshithulu: 1956 – 18 February 2019
Actor Deevi Srinivasa Deekshithulu, popularly known as Murari Deekshithulu, died of a cardiac arrest on the sets of the TV soap Sirisirimuvva at Ramakrishna Cine Studios, Nacharam in Hyderabad on February 18. Starting off as a lecturer in a government college, the 62-year-old actor went on to his par excellence in radio, theatre, cinema and TV. He received the prestigious Nandi award for eminent director Manjula Naidu's popular TV soap Aagamanam. Shot to fame with Murari, he has several popular films for his credit.
3) Kodi Ramakrishna: 23 July 1949 - 22 February 2019
After he complained of breathing problems, senior director Kodi Ramakrishna was rushed to AIG Hospital in Gachibowli, Hyderabad, where he breathed his last on February 22. He made his directorial debut with Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya in 1982. He had several notable blockbusters like Mangamma Gari Manavadu, Muddula Menalludu, Ankusham, Sathruvu, Ammoru and Arundhati to his credit. Kannada drama Nagarahavu (2016) was his last directorial venture. He won ten Nandi Awards and two Filmfare Awards South.
4) Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao: 15 August 1945 - 17 May 2019
Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao passed away at the age of 74 due to lung ailments. He started off his career in 1960 as a theatre artist and made his debut in films with Stree in 1974. He acted in about 850 films in a variety of roles, including that of a lead actor. He received five state Nandi Awards.
5) Vijaya Nirmala: 20 February 1946 - 27 June 2019
Vijaya Nirmala died of a heart attack at the age of 73 in Hyderabad at Continental hospital, Gachibowli on 27 June 2019. She entered cinema at the age of seven as a child artist with a Tamil movie Machcha Rekhai (1950) and she rose to stardom with the Malayalam Bhargavi Nilayam. She has acted in over 200 films with 25 each in Malayalam and Tamil, and the remaining in Telugu. She met her second husband Krishna on the sets of Saakshi (1967) and they starred together in 47 films. She made her directorial debut in Telugu with Meena and directed 40 films in Telugu and one film each in Malayalam and Tamil.
6) Indraganti Srikanth Sharma: 25 July 2019
Telugu lyricist Indraganti Srikanth Sharma died of age-related illness in Hyderabad on July 25. The 75-year-old began his career as a journalist in Andhra Jyothi. He wrote short stories, plays and poems. He wrote lyrics for several Telugu movies including Krishnavatharam, Nelavanka, Rendu Jella Seetha, Puthadibomma, Sammohanam, Anthaka Mundu Aa Tarvatha and Nelavanka. Manasainadedo.
7) Devadas Kanakala: 30 July 1945 - 2 August 2019
Character artiste Devadas Kanakala passed away at a city hospital on August 2. The 74-year-old actor began his career as a theatre director. Later, he Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Raghuvaran, Bhanuchander and Rajendra Prasad in acting. He began his acting career with a small role in 1975 in O Sita Katha. In the 90s, he essayed roles in TV serials as well as in movies. He was last seen in Mahesh Babu's Bharat Ane Nenu.
8) Venu Madhav: 30 December 1979 - 25 September 2019
Comedian Venu Madhav died due to liver and kidney-related illnesses on September 25. He started his acting career with a small role in Sampradayam in 1996. He went on to star in over 400 movies. He worked with all the leading directors and actors, including Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Ram Charan, Junior NTR and Allu Arjun. He also hosted some programs in various TV channels.
9) Geetanjali Ramakrishna: 1947 - 31 October 2019
Geetanjali passed away due cardiac arrest on October 30. Late NT Rama Rao introduced Geetanjali as an actress in his directorial Seetharama Kalyanam in 1961. She starred in over 50 movies in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi languages in her career spanning nearly six decades. Some of her works include Seetharama Kalyanam, Deivathin Deivam, Swapnangal, Parasmani, Gudachari 116 and Bobbili Yuddham.
10) Gollapudi Maruthi Rao: 14 April 1939 - 12 December 2019
Gollapudi Maruthi Rao died of age-related ailments at Lifeline Hospital in T Nagar in Chennai. He began his career as a theatre artiste and entered the Telugu film industry with Chiranjeevi's 1982 film Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya. Later, he acted in over 250 films. He also contributed a lot to the literature world as he wrote several books, novels and plays. He was honoured with several awards, including state awards for his literary works.