ANR has been conferred for his outstanding contribution in the field of Arts-Cinema. He is the first actor from Tollywood to honour with the Padma Vibhushan. He was earlier honoured with Padma Shri (1968), Padma Bhushan (1991) and Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1990).
The 87-year-old actor started his acting career with a minor character in Dharmapatni in 1941. It took him another three years to get a full-fledged role. It was Ghantasala Balaramaiah's Seeta Rama Jananam, which made him an overnight star in Tollywood. It is noted that the actor has played the lead role in more than 250 films.
However, singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, who has crooned over 2,200 songs in different languages is also honoured with Padma Bhushan, which is the third highest civilian award in India.