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Popular character artiste and director Peketi Sivaram died on December 30. He is 79 and is survived by his wife, four sons and four daughters. He is suffering from asthma for the past 10 days and was hospitalized in Chennai. He breathed his last on Saturday night. The last rites would be performed on Sunday. Noted art director Peketi Ranga is one of his sons. Tamil artiste Prashant is his grandson.
Sivaram was born in 1918 at Pegeru in East Godavari district. His actual name is Peketi Sivarama Subbarao. Sivaram left for the then Madras at the age of 20 with an interest in films. He joined as a production assistant with Ghantasala Balaramaiah for Rs 30 as salary. Later he became a close friend to the late NT Ramarao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao and became a manager for their own banners. He turned an artiste with Shanti (1952) and later acted in over 80 films. He became popular with his character in Devadasu, where he played the role of Bhagawan, a friend of the hero, who prompts him to take to drinking. He earned good name with films like Anarkali, Suvarna Sundari, Illarikam, Chiranjeevulu, Pellinati Pramanalu and others. He turned a director and producer and made films like Chuttarikalu, Bhale Abbayilu, Kulagowravam and other films. He had also directed seven films in Kannada. He had also received an award of Coordination of Publicity Chief from Indira Gandhi. Though he left an indelible impression among the Telugu audiences, he had a very brief career as artiste and continued in the industry for a brief period only. Though the number of films he acted is a little less, his characters are worth watching in each film.