Hyderabad, Dec 24 (IANS) Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi's father K. Venkata Rao, who had acted in a couple of Telugu films, died here Monday after prolonged illness. He was 76.
He is survived by wife Anjana Devi, three sons and two daughters. Rao retired as a government employee.
Chiranjeevi and his two brothers, Nagababu and Pavan Kalyan, are associated with the Telugu film industry.
A pall of gloom descended on the house of Chiranjeevi in the upmarket Jubliee Hills neighbourhood. Top leaders of all political parties and eminent film personalities made a beeline to pay their last respects to Venkata Rao.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who is away in his native Kadpa district to celebrate Christmas, called up Chiranjeevi and conveyed his condolences.
Leader of opposition and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu, leaders of ruling Congress party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties also visited Chiranjeevi's house to pay their last respects.
Former MP and actor Mohan Babu, eminent film producer D. Ramanaidu, actors Balakrishna, Junior NTR, Venkatesh, media baron Ch. Ramoji Rao, revolutionary balladeer Gaddar and several others from different walks of life met Chiranjeevi and his two brothers to offer their condolences.
Venkata Rao, a native of West Godavari district in coastal Andhra, had keen interest in acting and played character roles in a couple of films. His eldest son Chiranjeevi, who began his film career about three decades ago, is the number one actor of the Telugu film industry and is one of the highest paid actors in the country.
The tragedy struck the family at a time when Chiranjeevi has reportedly decided to take a plunge into politics. Responding to the pressure from his multitude of fans, the actor recently issued a statement advising them to have patience. He said he was yet to take a decision on entering politics but did not rule out launching his own political party.
Chiranjeevi was also in the news recently when his daughter eloped with her boyfriend and married him at a temple. The couple later approached the court and sought protection on the ground that they feared threat from the actor.