Hyderabad : Telugu filmmaker Daggubati Ramanaidu (fondly called the Movie Moghul) breathed his last at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The legendary filmaker, 78, had been battling prostate cancer for a while.
He is survived by sons Suresh Babu – also a Telugu Film Producer and Actor Venkatesh, and daughter Lakhsmi. Bollywood Actor Rana Daggubati is his Grandson.
Born into an agricultural family of Karamchedu village in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in 1936, Ramanaidu forayed into the filmdom with ‘Anuragam’ in 1963 under the Anuroopa banner. After his maiden movie failed commercially at the box office, he produced ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’ in 1964 under his Suresh Productions banner.
After ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’ turned out to be a tremendous hit, Ramanaidu continued to produce films. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most films produced by an individual, having to his credit over 155 films in 15 languages, including 17 in Hindi (Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini-starrer Prem Nagar in 1974 to Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein starring Fardeen Khan and Richa Palod in 2002).
Ramanaidu founded Ramanaidu Studios with a ‘walk in with script and walk out with print’ concept in Hyderabad in 1989, Ramanaidu Colour Lab in 1990, and Cine Village for outdoor shootings at Nanakramguda in Hyderabad in 1994. His banner, Suresh Productions, makes close to six movies a year, with a success rate of 80%.
Ramanaidu was conferred with the third Indian civilian award, Padma Bhushan in 2013. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, in recognition to his contribution to the Indian cinema, in 2009. He was the 41st recipient of this award, and only the 10th producer to have received this award.