Jagapathi Rajendra Prasad passes away

  • Leaves behind Jagapathi Babu, two other sons
  • A director of a number of hit movies
  • Most of his films had Akkineni as hero
  • Dasara Bullodu was the most famous among them

(K.Kaushik)

Hyderabad, January 13: Veeramachineni Babu Rajendra Prasad, a veteran tollywood film producer and director, 82, passed away in the late evening on Monday at a private hospital. Popularly known as Jagapathi Rajendra Prasad, the founder of Jagapathi Art Productions, VB had produced several box office hits like Dasara Bullodu, Bangaru Babu, Bangaru Bullodu, Aradhana, Antastulu and Annapurna. Film hero Jagapati Babu is his son. VB is survived by Jagapathy Babu and two other sons.

VB was the founder of Filmnagar society and he was also instrumental in building the cluster of temples called ‘Daiva Sannidhanam’ near Filmnagar Club at Jubilee Hills.

Rajendra Prasad was born in Dokiparru village of Krishna district on November 4, 1932. He started his journey with the film industry with a view to settling down as an actor. He acted in a female role to start with on the stage. He used to like stage dramas and he was touring with Raghava Kala Samiti. He was a colleague of Edida Gopal Rao and Haranath on the stage. He tried his best to become a film hero. In the process, he failed to get a hero role but got in touch with Akkineni Nageswara Rao which friendship bloomed into a rewarding relationship for both of them. Rajendra Prasad became a producer instead, launching his first film Annapurna, incidentally the name of Akkineni’s wife.  He settle for the role of a producer  to film making a number of good pictures, most with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the lead, between 1960s and 1990s. In his illustrious career, VB produced about 30 feature  films, 14 of which he directed.  He was fond of family stories and narratives ending in harmony. He received prestigious Raghupathi Venkaiah Award. Antastulu, in which famous artist Bhanumathi played an important role, also brought him a national award.

VB became famous as a director with the run away hit ‘Dasara Bullodu’. First he wanted to produce the movie with Adurti Subba Rao as director. Adurti could not make it. Then he asked the hero Akkineni himself to direct it. Akkineni suggested that VB can do the job better. Akkineni, Vanishri were in the lead roles and the village milieu that was focused in the movies and the excellent songs made the film a super hit. VB then proceeded to produce and direct another movies with the same hit pair, Akkineni and Vanishree. The movie ‘ Bangaru Babu’ also was received well by the audience. There was no looking back for the director in VB.  He introduced his son Jagapathi Babu in ‘Simhaswapnam’. VB also produced Hindi movies  like Raastaa pyar ke, Be Kharaar. He directed Tamil movies such as Engal Tangaraja, Uttaman and Pattakatti Bhairavan.

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