Rajanala Kaleswara Rao

Rajanala Kaleswara Rao , popularly known as Rajanala, was an Indian actor known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema, Telugu theatre, and few Tamil, Kannada and Bollywood films. In a film career spanning more than forty years, Rajanala starred in more than fourteen hundred feature films in a variety of characters. Regarded as one of the finest method actors, Rajanala was known for his gruesome portrayals of lead antagonist roles during the Golden age of Telugu cinema. The government of Andhra Pradesh and the film industry felicitated award for his achievement's and contribution to Indian Film Industry. He won several Film fare awards South and Nandi Award.[1][2] well known as numerous comedy roles such as in Jagadeka Veeruni Katha.

Rajanala Kaleswara Rao Naidu
Raja .jpg
Rajanala in Hello Brother (1994)
Rajanala Kaleswara Rao Naidu

3 January 1925
Died21 May 1998 (aged 73)
Other namesRajanala
King of Villains
Alma materUniversity of Lucknow
Andhra University
Years active1950-1996
Known forTenali Ramakrishna
Gundamma Katha
Chitti Tammudu
Gulebakavali Katha
Shri Krishna Pandaviyam
Palnati Yudham
Spouse(s)R. B. Devi
AwardsAndhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards

Early life and characteristicsEdit

Rajanala was born on January 3, 1925, in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. While working as a revenue inspector in Nellore from 1944 to 1951 he made his entry into theatre. A post graduate in philosophy from University of Lucknow and a voracious reader of English literature. Before coming to Cinema, he won several awards and accolades for his acting in Theatre. He was a noted villain against N.T.Rama Rao, a versatile actor of Telugu filmdom at that time. Rajanala had well proportioned body, he also won MR. Madras for his Physique. Rajanala iconic acting was mostly through the movement of his eyes, he evince the cruelty by widening his eyes to various levels and his maniacal laughter was very famous. Rajanala potraited many villainous roles, in real life he was an intellectual and spiritual man. Rajanala Kaleswara Rao, the first actor to star alongside three chief ministers, i.e. NT Rama Rao, M. G. Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, he also had good friends in other film industry Kollywood and Bollywood.[3][4]


Being a diabetic, his right leg could not withstand the rigors of outdoor shooting in Araku valley in 1995 when he was playing a full-fledged role in Telugu Veera Levara. His leg which was injured during the shooting had to be amputated at Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences. Later Rajanala shifted to Chennai taken cared by his daughter and son in law who was a Businessman . Rajanala had severe cardiac arrest, was admitted in Vijaya Hospital in Chennai. He died on 21 May 1998 in Chennai, aged 73.[1][5]




  1. ^ a b "The original swashbuckler". The Hindu. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  2. ^ M.L. Narasimham (11 February 2016). "Rajamakutam (1960)". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  3. ^ M.L. Narasimham (9 July 2015). "Manchi manasuku manchi rojulu (1958)". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  4. ^ M.L. Narasimham (14 August 2014). "Jayasimha (1955)". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Rajanala Kaleswara Rao Jayanthi Special - Video Dailymotion". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  6. ^ Kanaka Durga Pooja Mahima (1960) - IMDb
  7. ^ Vijaya Simha (1965) - IMDb