Chiranjeevi's debut film director Gudapati Rajkumar passed away
The director is known for his films like Samajam Nakoddu, Manavoori Gandhi and Maa Sirimalle
Gudapati Rajkumar, director of actor Chiranjeevi's debut film Punadhirallu passed away today in Hyderabad after a prolonged illness. He was 75 and is survived by a son. Born in Uyyuru in Krishna District, Rajkumar entered the film industry as a co-director before being introduced as a director with the Chiranjeevi-starrer in 1979. The film, which also had Narasimha Raju, Savitri, Kavitha, Rojaramani, Gokina Rama Rao and Prasad Babu in crucial roles, had won five Nandi Awards and has become a cult on its own. He also directed seven other films including Samajam Nakoddu, Manavoori Gandhi and Maa Sirimalle.
The veteran director had been facing major financial issues for the last few years and was living alone in a rented house. Recently, Chiranjeevi took care of his medical bills and filmmakers Puri Jagannadh, Meher Ramesh and Kasi Viswanath also aided him financially.
Chiranjeevi and several other celebrities from the film industry have condoled the death of the veteran director. In a statement, Chiru recalled how Rajkumar had laid the foundation for him as an actor and said that his death created a vacuum in the Telugu film industry.