Telugu Cinema Patriarch and Media Moghul Ramoji Rao Passes Away

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Telugu Cinema Patriarch and Media Moghul Ramoji Rao Passes Away

| Updated: June 8, 2024 10:22

Cherukuri Ramoji Rao, the owner of the Eenadu group of companies, which owns the ETV news network, and a prominent Telugu film producer, passed away in Hyderabad in a private hospital. He was 88. Several stars and political personalities paid homage to the departed soul.

Ramoji Rao is best known to the world as the founder of the spectacular Ramoli Fil City, an integrated film studio facility in Hyderabad. Built in 1996, the studio is a popular tourist destination for domestic tourists, attracting around 1.5 million tourists every year. The studio, a dream project of Ramoji Rao, is the largest such complex in the world, with 1,666 acres of area, A producer himself, he wanted to build a facility similar to the famous studios in Hollywood and ended up making an even grander version.

In 1974, Ramoji Rao launched Eenadu, the Telugu newspaper from Vishakhapatnam, and went on to establish a formidable media empire with the ETV news network. With his stronghold in the media, Ramoji Rao had a considerable command over the politics of the Telugu-speaking regions. He had considerable clout among politicians from the state and centre. Ramoji Rao made Eanadu a major force in Telugu and Indian media.

Ramoji Rao’s Eanadu was a trailblazer in vernacular journalism. Ramoji Rao pioneered ways to usher in changes in the way media operated. He standardised the language and upgraded newspaper production to become the newspaper publication with the highest reach.

As a producer, Ramoji Rao’s first film was the 1984 superhit Srivariki Premalekha. His filmography includes iconic films such as Mayuri, Pratighatana, Mouna Poratam, Manasu Mamata, Chitram, and Nuvve Kavali.

Mayuri was remade in Hindi as “Nache Mayuri,” and Pratighat was remade in Hindi with the same name. One of the first films in India with a strong female lead, Pratighat, was an instant success. Sujata Mehta and Vijaya Shanthi, both actresses who played the lead in the Hindi and Telugu versions, achieved cult status for this iconic role.

Ramoji Rao’s vast and successful business ventures include Margadarsi Chit Fund, Ramadevi Public School, Priya Foods, Kalanjali, Ushakiran Movies, Mayuri Film Distributors, and Dolphin Group of Hotels.

Ramoji Rao was honoured with India’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 2016 for his contributions in the fields of journalism, literature, cinema, and education. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid him tributes on social media platform X.

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