Kota Srinivasa Rao is a renowned Indian film actor, who predominantly works in Telugu cinema and theater. He was born on July 10, 1947, in Kankipadu in British India. He started his career as a stage actor and performed in many drama plays. Before he entered the film industry, he worked as an employee at the State Bank of India and continued his passion for stage acting. Kota got married to Rukmini and had three children. His son, Kota Venkata Anjaneya Prasad, died in a road accident in Hyderabad in 2010. Rao is also a former politician, who served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Andhra Pradesh, India from the year 1999 to 2004.
He starred in over 650 feature films and earned a total of eight Nandi Awards for Best Villain, Best Character Actor, and Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant performances in many of his films. He was debuted in K. Vasu’s Telugu film,
Pranam Khareedu (1978). His acting career started by doing brief character and comic roles and went on to become one of the best villains and supporting actor in Tollywood. Aside from acting in the Telugu filmdom, he also starred in few Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi films. In 2012, he earned the South Indian International Movie Award for his performance as Subrahmanyam in the Telugu action drama film, Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum.
He also received the prestigious highest civilian honor, Padma Shri, for his brilliant contribution to the Indian cinema. Rao earned critical acclaim for his performances in several hit films such as Repati Pourulu (1986), Pratighatana (1986), Aha Naa Pellanta (1987), Shiva (1989), Money (1993), Gaayam (1993),
Hello Brother (1994), Anaganaga Oka Roju (1997), Ganesh (1998), Idiot (2002), Tagore (2003), Athadu (2005), Pournami (2006), Sarkar (2006), Ready (2008), Dookudu (2011), and many more.
In 2003, he made his debut in Kollywood through Hari’s Tamil action film, Saamy. Rao played as Perumal Pichai, an underworld don in the film. He also starred as a villain in the Tamil action masala film, Thirupaachi (2005). In 2011, he was debuted in the Malayalam film industry through Jayaraj’ thriller film,
The Train. One of Rao’s trademarks is the way he laughed; it has the sound of “kikikiki”. At one point, Rao and Babu Mohan’s comedy amalgamation brought fortune to many producers. However, among his films, he considered the 1987 Telugu film, Mandaladeesudu, the most memorable one in his entire career.