Gollapudi Maruti Rao Biography

Gollapudi Maruti Rao, a multi-talented Indian journalist, scriptwriter, author, playwright, actor, filmmaker, and film editor, made significant contributions to the Telugu film industry. With a background in physics and a career that began in journalism, Maruti Rao’s talent and passion led him to write scripts for popular movies and plays. He also showcased his acting skills in various films. His literary works, including books like Amma Kadupu Challaga and Sayankalamayindi, gained widespread recognition. Throughout his career, Maruti Rao received numerous awards for his exceptional work. In memory of his late son, he established the Gollapudi National Award through the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation. Sadly, Maruti Rao passed away in December 2019, leaving behind a remarkable legacy.

Quick Facts

  • Indian Celebrities Born In April
  • Also Known As: G. Maruti Rao
  • Died At Age: 80
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Sivakama Sundari (m. 1961)
    • Children: Gollapudi Srinivas
  • Born Country: India
  • Actors
  • Directors
  • Height: 1.75 m
  • Died on: December 12, 2019
  • Place of death: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Cause of Death: Cardiac Arrest
  • More Facts
  • Education: Andhra University College of Engineering, Osmania University
  • Awards: Nandi Awards

Childhood & Early Life

Gollapudi Maruti Rao was born on April 14, 1939, into a Telugu family, in Nandabalaga, a village in the Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Back then, Vizianagaram was part of the Madras Presidency of British India. In 1959, Maruti graduated with a degree in mathematical physics from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Career

Following his college graduation, Gollapudi Maruti Rao joined a Telugu newspaper as an assistant editor. Later, he took up a job with the All India Radio (AIR) in Vijayawada. His work took him to places such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Sambalpur, and Kadapa. He eventually retired from the radio station as an assistant station director. He started writing dialogues for films with the 1964 Telugu movie Doctor Chakravarthy, which starred Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Savitri. Some of the other notable films for which he had written scripts were Samsaram Chadharangam and Tharangini.

Gollapudi Maruti Rao’s play Kallu (1975) was made into a Telugu film of the same name in 1988. The film earned four Nandi Awards, including the awards for the “Best Feature Film (bronze)” and “Best Story.” Kallu later became part of the MA (Telugu literature) curriculum of Osmania University. This play was later translated into every Indian language by the National Book Trust, as part of the Aadaan Pradaan program. Another play written by him, Oka Chettu – Rende Puvvulu, was bought by the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for popular exhibition. Gollapudi Maruti Rao was part of the Script Scrutiny Committee of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). He was also a jury member for the “Indian Panorama” segment at the International Film Festival of India in 1996. In 1982, he stepped into mainstream acting with the movie Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya, directed by legendary director Adurthi Subbarao. By then, however, he had already appeared on screen with the 1960 film Abdulla. Some of his other noteworthy movies are Abhilasha, Challenge, Maro Charitra, Alaya Sikharam, and Swathi Muthyam. In 1997, he formed the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation, which established the Gollapudi National Award, in memory of his youngest son, Srinivas, who had died young. The award is given to the best debut film of a director across all Indian languages. Throughout his career, apart from acting in over 250 movies, Gollapudi Maruti Rao had written nine plays, 18 playlets, 12 novels, four volumes of stories, two essays, and three children’s stories.

Personal Life

In November 1961, Gollapudi Maruti Rao tied the knot with Sivakama Sundari of Warangal. Sivakama was the daughter of district education officer Sripada Ramkishan Rao. She had studied at the Arts & Science College. Maruti Rao and Sivakama had three sons, Subba Rao, Rama Krishna, and Srinivas. His youngest son, Srinivas, died on August 12, 1992, while he was directing the film Prema Pusthakam. Maruti lived in Visakhapatnam for a long time but had moved to Chennai a few years before his death. He stayed there with his two sons. On December 12, 2019, Maruti Rao breathed his last in Chennai. His death was mourned by several noted writers and the entire Telugu film industry. Following his death, his sons manage the international travel agency that he had established.

Awards & Recognitions

Maruti earned multiple Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards throughout his career, namely those for the “Best Story” for Atma Gowravam (1965), for the “Best Comedian” for Tarangini (1983), for the “Best Character Actor” for Ramayanamlo Bhagavatham (1985), for the “Best Story” for Kallu (1988), for the “Best Dialogue” for Mestri Kapuram (1991), for the “Best Screenplay” for Prema Pusthakam (1994), and for the “Best TV Actor” (1996). In 1959, he received the Best Script award in the Inter-University Radio Play Contest organized by AIR, for his play Anantam. He won the Mahatma Gandhi Award for Creative Literature for Prasna. Apart from this, he had received countless literary awards, such as the Sangam Academy Award for the “Best Play” for Kallu (1975) and the Sarvaraya Dharmanidhi Puraskaram for the “Best Humorous Writing” (1983). In 1985, he was awarded the Gurazada Apparao Memorial Gold Medal by the Vamsee Art Theatre. He also won the Telugu Velugu Award (1987), the Madras Telugu Academy Award for the “Best All-rounder” (1996), the Paidi Lakshmayya Dharmanidhi Puraskaram (2002), the Pulikanti Krishna Reddy Puraskaram (2007), the Sarvaraya Memorial Puraskaram, and the Andhra Nataka Kala Parishad Award. Maruti Rao also received the Sahrudaya Sahitya Puraskar for his novel Sayankalam Ayindi, in 2001. The award was given in memory of the Oddiraju brothers, Seeta Ramachandra Rao and Raghava Ranga Rao, who had established the first Telugu weekly magazine, Tenugu, in 1922. He was also the first recipient of the Narasaraopeta Rangasthali Pratibha Puraskaram in 2018.

Trivia

Gollapudi Maruti Rao had introduced popular Tamil actor Ajith to the film industry, with the Telugu movie Prema Pusthakam, directed by his son, Srinivas. Maruti Rao later expressed his disappointment at the fact that Ajith had not been grateful for the debut and had not given Srinivas any credit for the movie.

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