Veteran Tollywood actor Krishna passed away during treatment following a cardiac arrest at a Hyderabad hospital in the early hours of Tuesday. He was 79 years old.
Superstar Krishna, one of the last stalwarts of the Telugu film industry, breathed his last at Continental Hospital, where he was admitted late on Sunday night following a cardiac arrest.
According to doctors, Krishna was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state but regained consciousness after 20 minutes of CPR. He was put on ventilator and his condition was critical.
Krishna’s son and popular actor Mahesh Babu and other family members were present at the hospital.
Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy or Krishna, as he was popularly known, acted in over 350 films in a career spanning five decades. He also produced and directed a few films.
Born on May 31, 1942 in Buripalem in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, Krishna entered the film industry in the early 1960s with small roles. He made his debut as a lead actor with the 1965 film Ae Thane Manasulu, which was a hit.
‘Goodachari 116’ (1966), a detective film, proved to be a superhit, making Krishna one of the most sought-after actors. With this success, he got offers for 20 films. He later acted in at least six films as James Bond.
Sakshi (1967) received critical acclaim at the Tashkent Film Festival. His 1972 film Pandanti Kapooram won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu for that year.
Krishna is known for several landmark films like ‘Alluri Sitarama Raju’ (19767), which was Tollywood’s first CinemaScope film,’eenadu‘ (1982), the first Eastman color film and ‘Simhasanam’ (1986), the first 70 mm film.
The superstar established Padmalaya Studios in 1970 and went on to produce some highly successful films.
Krishna married Indira Devi in 1965. They had two sons and three daughters including Mahesh Babu. In 1969, he married actor Vijaya Nirmala and had a son. He died in 2019.
The superstar was said to be depressed after the death of his wife Indira Devi in September. He lost his elder son Ramesh Babu earlier this year.
Krishna was considered close to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He joined the Congress party in 1984 and was critical of legendary actor NT Rama Rao and his Telugu Desam Party. Krishna had made a few films criticizing NTR and his government.
Krishna was elected to the Lok Sabha from Eluru in 1989, but lost the election in 1991 from the same constituency. Krishna distanced himself from politics after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination
He received several awards including the NTR National Award in 2003. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Indian cinema.