Hyderabad: The Telugu film industry is in shock over the sudden demise of Nandamuri Harikrishna in a road accident. Though the eldest son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao acted in only a few films, he managed to leave his mark with his trademark style. Interestingly, Harikrishna showed a preference for production overacting, and helped manage the studio which his father built while looking after the production aspects of many films. Around same time, his younger brother Balakrishna also entered the industry, so Harikrishna concentrated on being a producer.
Harikrishna made his film debut as a child artiste when he played a young Lord Krishna in the film Srikrishnavatharam (1964) starring his father NT Rama Rao as Lord Krishna. He subsequently acted in Talla Pellama (1970), Tatamma Kala (1974) and Ram Raheem (1974). After his father built Ramakrishna Cine Studios in Hyderabad, he made the mythological film Daana Veera Soora Karna, in which he played the role of Arjuna while NTR played three roles — Lord Krishna, Duryodhana and Karna. NTR gave his son the title of production controller in the film’s end credits. After this film, Harikrishna gave up acting, only to return 20 years later with the film Sri Ramulayya where he played a cameo.
The film, based on Paritala Ravi, was directed by N. Shankar and featured Mohan Babu as the lead actor. Apparently, Paritala Ravi himself requested Harikrishna to act in the film, paving the way for his comeback.
Director Y.V.S. Chaudhary also made a few films with Harikrishna, one of which was Seetharamaraju, a multi-starrer where Nagarjuna played the other lead. The director and actor subsequently teamed up for other successful films like Laahiri Laahiri Laahirilo and Seethayya. It is interesting that Harikrishna made his comeback as a lead actor at the age of 48. His last film was Sravanamasam that was released in 2005.
After his father NTR started producing films on his Ramakrishna Cine Studios banner, Harikrishna turned producer. His name first appeared as producer for the hit film Driver Ramudu in which his father played the lead. He then went on to produce films like Anuraga Devatha, Pattabhishekam, Anasuyammagari Alludu and Srimadhvirata Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra. Although Harikrishna acted in only a few films, most of them were super successful, just like his career in production turned out to be.
From Nimmakuru to Hyderabad
Harikrishna’s younger days were spent at his native village Nimmakuru. He grew up at his grandfather’s house and later studied at nearby Pamarru. He married his distant relative Lakshmi in 1972 and came to Hyderabad after his father NT Rama Rao built his own studio. Soon he began to look after the production of his films. Following the huge success of Driver Ramudu, Harikrishna and his father built the house at Masab Tank, where he stayed till his untimely end.
Gift to Harikrishna
At the audio release function of Jai Lava Kusa starring Jr NTR and produced by his brother Kalyanram, Jr NTR had declared that his film was a gift to his parents. On seeing both his sons share the same stage Harikrishna got emotional.