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    I am indebted to Vamsi — Kondavalasa

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007
    Those who watched ''Avunu… Valliddaru Ishtapaddaru…'' could easily remember the character ''Potti Raju'' whose dialogue ''Nenoppukonu… Ayithe Okay'' is quite popular among the comedy lovers. It was Kondavalasa Lakshmana Rao, who made his debut into the films through this character, and earned a fixed place in the hearts of Telugu audiences by throwing his hat inside the Telugu Film Industry as a comedian. had a tête- à-tête with this comedian. The interview went on like this…

    Good morning Kondavalasa!

    Very good morning. Welcome. How do you do?

    Fine. We would like to provide more details about you to our Indiaglitz browsers. We need your interview.

    What is there in it? Sure. Are you ready?

    Tell us about your parents, your childhood.

    I hail from Srikakulam. My mother is Rajeswari and my father is Chalapati Rao. My father used to work with Railways. I was born in 1946, when my father was working in Kharagpur. From there, my father was transferred to Orissa. I was brought up in Orissa for some time.

    How you got fascination towards acting? Who inspired you?

    When my father was working as Railway Guard in Orissa, there used to be cultural programmes for Vinayaka Chaturthi. One popular artiste called 'Kummari Mastaru' used to give fantastic programmes. After watching him, I too got inspired and tried to mimic him. In fact, it was Kummari Mastaru, who was the inspiration behind me.

    What about your education?

    In Orissa, there are no Telugu schools. So, I stayed with my paternal uncle (Pedananna) at Gara in Srikakulam district for some time. Later, I stayed with my maternal uncle in Srikakulam to continue my studies. In 1959, I reached Vizag, where I completed my B.Com graduation. Like this my degree was completed in 1966 in Vizag.

    What about your employment?

    I got a job as account in Visakha Port Trust on March 21, 1967.

    We believe you are a good stage artiste before joining the film industry, Tell us about your stage experience?

    When I am studying in a school, I played a role in 'Savati Talli', a stage play penned by MSN Reddy, in 1961. That was my first ever stage appearance. MSN Reddy was also the first mayor of Visakhapatnam.

    What about the awards and rewards you won as a stage artsite?

    As a stage artiste, I won 378 prizes. Almost all the Parishads in Andhra Pradesh had recognised my talent and awarded me. Especially I won awards from 35 parishads in Guntur district and 75 parishads across the State. Of them, there are two Nandi awards given by the State government.

    What are the plays that earned you Nandi awards?

    'Navaragam' scripted by S Kasi Viswanath and 'Keli Vilasam' earned me the Nandi awards.

    How you turned from a stage artiste to a film actor?

    Draksharamam Saroja took me for a stage-play called 'Allade Maa Vooru'. Incidentally, noted director Vamsi watched that play. He told me to meet him in Hyderabad. Later, I took voluntary retirement, got my daughter married and reached Hyderabad on Vijayadasami Day, that is on October 25, 2001. Peddi Rama Rao, son-in-law of Devadas Kanakala, took me to Vamsi and he gave me an opportunity to play the role of Potti Raju in 'Avunu… Valliddaru Ishtapaddaru…'. Fortunately, that character earned good recognition among the audiences. It is Vamsi who was responsible for my present stature. He is like a Godfather to me. I am indebted to him.

    What were your other successful movies?

    Kabaddi… Kabaddi, Nizam, Dongaramudu and Party, Sriramachandrulu, Pellamtho Panenti, Yevadigola Vaadidi, Pandu, Aadivaram Aadavallaku Selavu, Bhukailas and so on. I am getting opportunities regularly and the audiences are also welcoming me. I thank the audiences for promoting me.

    Thank you sir. We, on behalf of Indiaglitz, wish you to play in many more roles and earn a distinct place in the hearts of Telugu audiences as a great artiste.

    I too thank the management of Indiaglitz for giving me a chance to explain about me with the browsers of Indiaglitz.

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