The Telugu film industry plunged into gloom Wednesday following the death of legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Industry members and eminent personalities from various walks of life made a beeline to pay their last respects to the thespian at Annapurna Studio, which he had founded in the 1960s to pave way for shifting of the Telugu film industry from Chennai.
Shooting and other filmmaking activities were suspended as a mark of respect to the icon.
Leading actors, filmmakers and other artists, leaders from various political parties and hundreds of fans poured in to pay their tributes. Some broke down while recalling their association with 'Natasamrat' as Nageswara Rao was known in film circles.
Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi, veteran actors Krishna, Jamuna, Murali Mohan and Krishnam Raju, famous filmmakers Dasari Narayana Rao, D. Ramanaidu, actors Mohan Babu, Harikrishna, Rajasekhar, Jeevitha, Jayasudha, Junior NTR, Pawan Kalyan, Venkatesh, Meka Srikanth, Mahesh Babu, his wife Namrata Shirodkar, Rana, Prakash Raj, Anushka and others paid tributes to the late actor.
They were seen consoling his actor son Nagarjuna and other family members standing besides the casket.
The thespian, who was battling intestinal cancer for the last few months, breathed his last at a private hospital in the early hours of Wednesday. He was 89.
Union minister D. Purandeswari, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, cricketer Pragyan Ojha, media baron Ramoji Rao, balladeer Gaddar, poet C. Narayana Reddy, several state ministers, MPs and state legislators also paid their tributes.
Actress-turned-politician Jayasudha broke down while recalling her association with the late actor.
In a career spanning over seven decades, Nageswara Rao acted in about 255 films and was the last of the first-generation actors of Telugu film industry, which produces the second largest number of films after Bollywood.