Akkineni Nageswara Rao with Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya (Twitter/Nagarjuna Akkineni)
Akkineni Nageswara Rao with Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya (Twitter/Nagarjuna Akkineni)Twitter/Nagarjuna Akkineni

Veteran Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) passed away on Wednesday early morning at a hospital in Hyderabad. He was 90. 

According to reports, the legendary actor, who was suffering from cancer, was rushed to Care Hospital in Banjara Hills after his condition deteriorated in the wee hours of Wednesday. Doctors attended to ANR, but he breathed his last around 2.45 a.m. His body will be placed at Annapoorna Studios for the public to pay homage.

In October 2013, ANR revealed that he has been diagnosed with cancer. He had said he was going public about his health because he did not want anyone to speculate about his health condition.

Born on 20 September 1923, ANR began his acting career in 1941 in Telugu film "Dharmapatni." In a career spanning 73 years, ANR has starred in more than 250 films in various languages including Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. The legendary actor has won prestigious awards including Dada Saheb Phalke, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibushan.

His last film will be "Manam", which will see the presence of three generations of the Akkineni family members including his son Nagarjuna and his grandson Naga Chaitanya. "Manam", directed by Vikram Kumar, will be released this year.

The death of ANR has come as a real shock for many. Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh posted a message on his official Facebook page saying, "Saddened to hear the news of legendary actor Shri A. Nageshwar Rao's demise. ANR was the 'Tragedy King' of Telugu cinema who became famous for portraying many historical characters like Mahakavi Kalidas on silver screen."

"Nageshwar Rao's contribution to Indian cinema always be cherished by cine goers. Heartfelt tributes to ANR and condolences to his bereaved family," he said.

Several film celebrities have condoled the actor's death [Also Read: Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu and Other Film Personalities Pay Homage to Nageswara Rao]

Rajamouli: "Saddened by the news of the legendary Nageswararao garu. He stood as a towering father figure for the telugu film industry.Irreparable loss"

Devi Sri Prasad: "OMG.!! Shockd n saddend by d news of Legendary ANR garu.. Always considered him Immortal.!! Cannot believe this news.!! May his soul RIP..."

Sreenu Vaitla: "'Mahabhi nishkramanam' the great ANR garu will miss you sir!"

Samantha Ruth Prabhu: "RIP ANR Garu.what a great loss.love and strength to the family on this sad day.greatest honour for me to have been in the same frame as him."

Rahul Ravindran: "Legends will live on forever thru their body of work.This immortality is perhaps an artiste's grtest gift & ANR Garu is 1 of d most gifted."

Priya Mani: "A very encouraging person he was!!!a great loss for the industry!!!!u will b missed ANR garu!!!!!"

Varun Sandesh: "R.I.P to d legend ANR garu!! All I can say is it was great to have walked in your footsteps:-("

Khushbusundar: "WTH!!! #ANR the legendary actor no more??sad,really sad..known 2 be a thorough gentleman..may his family find d strength 2 cope wid d loss."

Vennela Kishore: "Shocked to see news abt ANR garu..who has been a parent node for TFI network.cinema would never be the same if he hadn't come along..RIP sir"

Radikaa Sarathkumar: "Deeply saddened by the demise of ANR, worked with him& shared a warm friendship. Learnt so much of professional discipline frm him."