Yesteryears' Telugu hero Kantha Rao (85), who died on Sunday night, was cremated at the Panjagutta crematorium on Monday afternoon. Kantha Rao was suffering from liver cancer for the last few years and breathed his last at Yashoda hospital on Sunday at around 11 p.m.
Kantha Rao's body was kept at the Jubilee Hills Film Chambers between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the general public to pay their respects. The veteran actor's son Pratap lit the pyre at 1.30 p.m. Prominent film personalities Chiranjeevi, Krishna, Balakrishna, Murali Mohan and others attended the funeral. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, TD president N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandra Sekhar Rao paid their tributes to the departed actor.
After paying tributes to Kantha Rao at Film Chambers on Tuesday, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu said that the TDP would install Kantha Rao's statue in Kodad in Nalaganda district. Naidu said that Kantha Rao"s death was an irreparable loss to Tollywood.
Rao, whose original name is Thadepalli Lakshmi Kantha Rao, was born on 16 November, 1923 in Nalgonda district. Debuting with Nirdhoshi in 1951, Rao acted in more than 400 Telugu mythological, social and folklore movies. Kanta Rao was very famous for portraying the role of Narada in mythological movies. His last film was Balakrishna starrer Pandurangadu (2008).
In a career spanning nearly 60 years, he won numerous awards that include the Rastrapati Award for Lava Kusha, the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for his acting achievements and the Nandi Award for his book 'Anaganaga Oka Raakumaarudu'.