We Miss You Subbarao - "That is Gollapudi Maruthi Rao!"

By Naresh Kota Dec. 12, 2019, 04:56 pm IST
We Miss You Subbarao - "That is Gollapudi Maruthi Rao!"

Mullapudi Venkataramana became a revolution in Telugu Cinema criticism and comic writing. He did not just write some comedy but even showed his prowess in serious drama writing as well. His style and sense of humour gave an inspiration to another young talent, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao.

Even though he is known for his serious drama and thought provoking style of writing, Maruthi Rao slowly added a tinge of satire to his writing style and we have to say he was influenced by the best. Ramana even encouraged his producers and director, Adurthi Subbarao to try him as a writer, when they expressed interest in pursuing Gollapudi as a screenwriter. In his early days, Gollapudi worked in tanden with Ramana and Aadurthi to create some classics as a writer.

Before his film entry, Gollapudi gained name as a Radio presenter and became a Station Incharge as well. He got the job because of his writing style and later, he became a critic of films as well. Always a purist and art lover, his criticism about several films just like Ramana, caught the attention of producers and Dukkipati Madhusudhan Rao, Annapurna pictures founder, asked him to join his production house as a writer.
Maruthi Rao did not jump at the opportunity even though he was a fan of Akkineni Nageswararao and Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao. He wanted to be sure about his screenwriting abilities. Dasaradhi encouraged him and as a screen writer he entered Aadurthi Subbarao's team. But his first script seemed to novelistic and Dukkipati asked him to observe films as a regular worker at their office.

He learnt the art of screenwriting quickly and started as a dialogue writer slowly becoming screenplay and story writer as well. He forged a good friendship and bond with theatre groups in Chennai to become a theater actor, writer. He became a close friend of Kodi Ramakrishna, who was trying to grow as a director in late 70's. They both came together as writer-director duo but Kodi Ramakrishna saw a typical and talented actor in Gollapudi.

He convinced the reluctant Gollapudi to say, "That is Subbarao", in Chiranjeevi's Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya and the movie became a blockbuster. In several centres, it ran for 175 days too. Gollapudi with one film became most wanted actor in Telugu Cinema and grew equal in popularity with already established actors like Rao Gopal Rao in negative roles.

He became a comedian, played lead role in Samsaaram Oka Chadarangam and acted in 31 films in a calendar year. He completed 290 films as an actor, writer and directed ond film too. He always wanted to keep theater alive and started producing dramas more often when they were being forgotten. His youngest son, Srinivas dedicated himself to stage but he died too early.

“Gollapudi Maruti Rao Exclusive Interview only on Dialogue With Prema.”


On his name, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao started an award and a charitable trust to help theater artists. He was an eloquent speaker and used to articulate his ideas with ease in colloquial language second to Ramana. It is great loss for Telugu Cinema Industry to loss a legend who won multiple Nandi awards as an actor, writer and a big literary lover. His contribution to Telugu literature and Cinema, will find its place in the history books for sure. That is Gollapudi Maruthi Rao!

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