Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, better known by the name N. T. Rama Rao, was the first superstar of the Telugu films, Adored by people of his state in Andhra, he was the only celebrity to become Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for three consecutive terms. His charisma and personality were so great that even if he played the role of Gods in mythological films, people used to touch his feet. He became more famous therefore for his role of Hindu deities that he performed on screen (be it Krishna or Rama); people considered him even as ‘messiah of the masses’. People fondly used to call him by his initials N.T.R in the industry.
He gained fame for his role of mythological characters and this hero always negated himself for the spiritual advancement in these films to prove the experience of pain the Indian Gods like Rama and Krishna had suffered. He cultivated the God image on the screen by playing characters such as Bheeshma, Karna, Arjuna, that were pivotal Mahabharata characters. He also performed commendably in a few light-hearted social dramas in films like Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973(,
(1979), Vetagadu (1979) Kondaveeti Simham (1981), Justice Chowdhary (1982) and Bobbili Puli (1982). He acted will all leading actress of three generation. One of his best-known roles was in ‘Maya Bazar’, ‘Lava Kusa’, ‘Sri Venkateswara Mahatya ' and ‘ Dakshayagnam’. He is the only actor, who has done all roles, comedy, sentimental, historical, mythological. Whatever NTR would say, people did. He was living god for all Andhraites. NTR had debuted as an actor with Mana Desam in 1949 and acted in 274 Telugu movies, 15 Tamil movies & 3 Hindi movies.
Even after these many years, the actor was named as the greatest Indian actor of all time by CNN –IBN poll. He is undoubtedly the giant of Telugu cinema who switched from playing mythological characters to the common man fighting the system. The actor had a modest beginning. Born in a farmer's family of Andhra Pradesh to Nandamuri Lakshmaih Chowdary and Venkata Ramamma, on 28 May 1923, at the age of 20, he married Basava Tarakam. The couple later had eight sons and four daughters. As a film actor, he took an interest in writing scripts, screenplays and even produced many films. He even owned a production house National Art Theater Private Limited in Madras. He died of a heart attack at the age of 72 on 18 January 1996.