About

Welcome to Gummadi.com, an online tribute to the Legendary Character Actor "Gummadi" of Telugu Film Industry! With a career spanning six decades, Sri Gummadi Venkateswara Rao has acted in more than 500 Movies.

Regular updates regarding Gummadi garu's life and his career will be posted on the site.  Please visit to see updates including photos, movie clippings, videos and much more.  We all have much to learn from the way he lived and never compromised on his values.

Thank you for taking time to read about Gummadi garu's rich and wholesome life experiences. 

 

About Sri Gummadi Venkateshwara Rao

Gummadi Venkateswara Rao (b. July 9, 1927) is a popular Telugu film actor from Ravikampadu, Vemuru mandal near by Tenali of Andhra Pradesh, India. His acting career extends from 1950 onwards for almost six decades and he worked with three generations of people in the film industry. Though young, he used to play the dignified roles of relatively elderly people at the beginning. He is a versatile character actor in sociopolitical and mythological movies.

Sri Gummadi Venkateswarrao - An unforgettable film personality who lived cinema for 52 years of his 76 years. With his unique style of dialogue delivery and expressions, he served Telugu cinema for more than 500 films acting in various genres.
Recognizing him as one of the talented actors in Telugu film industry, Potti Sriramula University awarded him "Kalaprapoorna" and Andhra Pradesh state Government rewarded him with "Raghupathi Venkayya award".
Sri Gummadi spent more than an hour talking to us about his background, how he entered the films, the relation he shared with Late Sri N.T.Ramarao and what he thinks of the present situation of Telugu films.

As you complemented about my dialogue delivery, I will start with that. That credit goes to my telugu teacher at school. The fluency, pronunciation and the command I have on the language is purely his grace. This is during my 4th standard. He used to make me read lessons in the class. He also encouraged me for essay competitions, stage shows etc. I used to have a friend, Mohammed, who studied with me from 4th to Xth standard. We used to compete in every aspect of school. He was first in all the competitions except for the speeches. It is very sad that he died in an accident at a very young age. The reason why I am quoting these are because the ups and downs, the atmosphere and environment during your childhood forms the roots of your personality.

I come from Ravikampadu, a village 10-15 Kms from Tenali. I finished Xth in 1944 and went to college. 8 of us from our village attended SSC. It was only me who passed the exam. My parents wanted me to stop my education and work on farms and agriculture. One of the reasons is that at that time I was slowly getting inclined towards the communist party. As I was the only one who passed this exam, I somehow convinced them that I have to go for higher education.

College principal was Sri Gujjaraju Ramachandra Rao. He was a freedom fighter. My parents accompanied me to the college for admissions. They didnot want me to get the seat. So they complained to Sri Ramachandra Rao that I am more interested in politics than in studies. He suggested that he wants students with interest in politics and he would make them get interested in studies. Thats how I entered the college.

M.Mallikarjuna Rao (who later on became a director) was my classmate at that time. We never talked to each other because I belonged to the communist student organization and he worked with the Congress. Mallikarjuna Rao did not attend college for more than a week. When I enquired I came to know that he went to act in movies. As I was very interested in movies too, I approached him and we used to talk about dramas and movies. Our friendship started at that point. This became the main stream of my life after that. In those days, I saw Gemini Films Bala Nagamma more than 18 times.

After college I went back to my native place. I used to visit the library regularly and read books. I noticed a play Veerabhimanyu written by Pochempalli Ramayya. It had no poems. I, along with my other friends, gathered some money and we conducted that play. I did the Dhuryodhana role.

Sri Madhavaphedhi Venkatramayya , Lakshmi Rajyam garu and others are very famous for the same play. Also Veerabhimanyu happens to be one of the favorites of Sri Venkatramayya. Someone told him about the play we did in our village. Once I was walking along the main road and I saw him in the car. He stopped by me and asked if i belong to Ravikampadu and enquired about the drama and the artists. Madhavapedhi garu is known as Apara Dhuryodhanudu. On knowing that I did the dhuryodhana role he took me to his rehearsal room at Kolluru. When we reached there he asked me to do the central scene of the play. That’s a vital scene between Karnudu and Dhuryodhanudu. He said that my dialogue delivery was good but there is no expression. He advised me that audience would realize the shades of the character and context of the dialogue by looking at your expressions. He said he could guide me with that if I am interested. So he gave me his contact information to inform him if we enacted that play again. In the next village function of Gudavalli, they invited us to perform the play. So we approached Madhavapedhi garu and he trained us for two days. The play went on very well. After the play he hugged me and complemented me. He had to tell me something else, which came out slowly. He said that I was very good but my style and enacting would fit cinema better than stage. The reason is that stage plays needs "Visalamayina Aangikaabhinayam" which is lacking in me. But my dialogue and facial expressions are excellent so I would fit in for movies. So he is the one who sowed the seed.

Kosarla Ramakoteswara Rao, my friend, heard this and was firm on making me get into the movies. So to get in touch with the film and drama artists we opened a store in Tenali "Radios and Electricals". Forget about profits but we started incuring losses as we never concentrated on the store. Business was just a front end for our passion. We opened the shop in 1948. In 1949 Sri Balaramayya and Sri Gopichand produced movies Lakshmamma and Sri Lakshmamma respectively. So both of them came to Tenali to approach Seshamamba garu. Seshamamba garu is a very famous character artist even before Suryakantam garu. She is very well known for her mother-in-law characters. Her husband spoke to the production managers who came there and told them about me. He also brought them to my store. The production manager said he is in a hurry and he got my pictures and said he will contact me. Later I came to know that another actor,Prabhakar Rao, filled that role. So they sent me a sorry letter.

This production manager used to go to Lab every day. The owner of the TNT (Tamilnadu Talkies) Lab asked him if he knows any new faces as he was planning to produce a movie in Telugu and he wants all new faces. Production manager had my pictures in his pocket. So he immediately gave my information and also gave me a telegram. I immediately went to madras and met him. Next day we went for screening. Addala Narayanarao is acting as assistant director. They gave me few dialogues for the screen test. After which they awarded me 1,116 and confirmed me for the cast. They said they would call me when the shooting starts. That movie is Adrushta Deepam.

National Silver Medal for Mahamantri Timmarusu
Raghupati Venkaiah award from Govt. of AP
Best Supporting Artiste from Madras Film Fans
Special Film Fare award for Jyothy in 1977
Supporting actor for Ekalavya
Supporting actor for Ee Charitra Ye Siratho
Supporting actor for Gaju Bommalu
Supporting actor for Nelavanka
Best Actorfor Maromalupu
 
 
   
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