Born: Simhadripuram, Andhra Pradesh, India
Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao (20 August 1931 – 20 February 2010), popularly known as Padmanabham, was an Indian film, character actor, comedian, director and producer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. Padmanabham is regarded as one of the finest comic actors of India, noted particularly for his comic expressions, and dialogues during the golden age of Telugu cinema. Padmanabham was essentially a theatre artist, although he also found success in cinema, and has acted in over 400 feature films. He made his film debut in 1945 with Mayalokam. He co-founded a Theatre group with his friend Vallam Narasimha Rao, Rekha and Murali Arts with S. P. Kodandapani as their music director.The veteran finds it hard to mention any particular comic role as his most memorable one, but makes a special mention of the role of a rickshaw puller that he played in Desoddhaarakudu (1975). It had ample measure of karuna rasa in it and I could display the other shade of my talent, he says. The role became famous for the song Aakalayyi Annamadigithe Pichchodannaru Naayaallu. Padmanabham, who directed eightfilms in all, introduced S.P. Balasubrahmanyam to the film industry through Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. Kathanayika Molla, which he directed in 1969 fetched him the Nandi Award.
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