Superstar Krishna, the trailblazer of Tollywood
The films of Krishna have had a big impact on fans and also inspired a generation of actors, who shaped their careers after them
For many, Krishna was a definitive Cow Boy and James Bond. Suave and lion-hearted, his films have a special place among the connoisseurs of Telugu cinema. The news of his passing away on Tuesday morning came as a rude shock to his fans and friends in the film industry. Several actors, who had shared screen space with Krishna fondly recollect the moments they spent with the legend.
Actor Suman, who worked with Krishna in films like Sambhavam, Sravanamasam, and Sri Satyanarayana Swamy, says it is a personal loss for everyone and calls his association with the legendary actor a humbling experience. "There are no two sides to the man and he always encouraged youngsters and respected elders. He was accessible to all and was always hailed as a producer's hero. Everyone in the industry knows that Krishna used to refuse to get a salary from producers who incurred losses through his films. He was a dynamic human, who paved way for the debut of a lot of newcomers. He is an irreplaceable artiste. It's difficult to process his demise."
Actor Saikumar thanked Krishna for several unforgettable memories they used to share in the films they worked on together. "Krishna is a legacy, an inspiration, a sensation, and a treasure trove of records. A charming man, a producer's actor, and the most admired star of our times. Krishna garu may have passed away today, but his legacy, history, and the films he has done are always with us. I shared a great relationship with him from a really young age. I feel like I have lost a dearest family member."
Veteran actor Vanisri said that Krishna's death has created a huge vacuum in Tollywood. "The epithet 'Super Star' is apt for him because he is a trailblazer, who introduced many technologies to the Telugu film industry. He was the first James Bond and Cow Boy of Telugu cinema. The kind of fan following he has among the Telugu people shows the passion he had towards his craft. Despite being the biggest star of his time, Krishna garu has no enemies and is undoubtedly the most loved actor of that era. I have shared screen space with him in over 10 films and all of them were run-away hits at the box office. Of his films, Alluri Sitarama Raju was my favourite. I cannot forget the innumerable conversations I had with him. Except for composing and choreography, he has tried his hand at everything in cinema and was successful. He was a great director, who had a penchant for making clean and wholesome family entertainers. He had a remarkable memory and a charming personality. He made all the characters he played his own by blending his signature attitude and sardonic wit," she says.
Fondly remembering his association with Krishna, ace comedian Ali shares, "Krishna garu watched my last release Andaru Bagundali Andulo Nenundali a fortnight ago. That was my last meeting with him. It feels really sad that a stalwart, who introduced many new things to our audience is no more. I am a great admirer of Krishna garu for the person he is. He was always at the forefront to spot new talent and encourage newcomers. My seventh film Sirimalle Navvindi, where I played Raavi Kondala Rao's son, was directed by Vijaya Nirmala garu. The film featured Krishna garu in the lead role and it was during the shoot that I saw Krishna garu in person for the first time. Producer Yedida Nageswara Rao garu was impressed with my performance in that film and offered me a crucial role in Seethakoka Chiluka (1981). In a way, Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala garu helped me to take my career to next level."
Ali recollects the euphoria Krishna created during his comeback. "I have acted in over 20 films with Krishna garu and all of them ran well. I still remember the craze fans had for him when he made a rousing comeback with Number One. The owner of Devi Theatre (RTC X Roads) once said he has never seen a crowd as massive as the one that gathered to watch Simhaasanam. Such incidents speak volumes about the aura he had among the Telugu audience. He was one of the founders of the Movie Artists Association (MAA) and inspired the Telugu film industry's shift from Chennai to Hyderabad."
As a mark of respect to Krishna, the Telugu film industry suspended all film shootings and production activities in the Telugu States on Wednesday.