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Jaggayya passes away

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, MARCH 5. The booming voice of Telugu cinema has fallen silent. Kalavachaspati Kongara Jaggayya is no more. Padma Bhushan Jaggayya breathed his last in Chennai on Friday. He was 76.

A journalist, actor, movie-maker, broadcaster, artiste and poet, he was the first Telugu film hero to get elected to the Lok Sabha.

Jaggayya was born on December 31, 1928, in Morampudi village of Tenali in Guntur district.

His debut on the stage was as a child artiste in the role of `Lava kumara' when he was 11.

Though he began his career as a journalist working for Desabhimaani, he electrified Telugu homes with his sonorous voice during his stint as a broadcaster with AIR earning him a huge fan following.

For three decades, 1950s through 1970s, there was not a film which did not feature him in roles ranging from hero to villain to comedian.

The reverberating voice filled theatres paling the dialogue rendition of others into insignificance.

The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, expressed shock over the death of the veteran actor. In a condolence message he praised Jaggayya's yeoman service to society as an actor for three decades, Member of Parliament and literary figure. He lauded Jaggayya's work as MP from Ongole for achieving social justice and translating Rabindranath Tagore's work, `Geetanjali', into Telugu.

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