Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao

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Born Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao
(1931-08-20)20 August 1931
Simhadripuram, Kadapa District, India
Died 20 February 2010(2010-02-20) (aged 78)
Occupation Actor
Awards Nandi Awards

Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao (20 August 1931 – 20 February 2010), popularly known as Padmanabham, was an Indian film, character actor, comedian, director and producer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema.[1][2] Padmanabham is regarded as one of the finest comic actors of India, noted particularly for his comic expressions, and dialogues during the golden age of Telugu cinema.[3][4][5] Padmanabham was essentially a theatre artist, although he also found success in cinema, and has acted in over 400 feature films. He made his film debut in 1945 with Mayalokam. He co-founded a Theatre group with his friend Vallam Narasimha Rao, Rekha and Murali Arts with S. P. Kodandapani as their music director.[6]

The veteran finds it hard to mention any particular comic role as his most memorable one, but makes a special mention of the role of a rickshaw puller that he played in Desoddhaarakudu (1975). "It had ample measure of 'karuna rasa' in it and I could display the other shade of my talent," he says.[1][2] The role became famous for the song 'Aakalayyi Annamadigithe Pichchodannaru Naayaallu'. Padmanabham, who directed eightfilms in all, introduced S.P. Balasubrahmanyam to the film industry through Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. Kathanayika Molla, which he directed in 1969 fetched him the Nandi Award.[6]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born to Santham and Basavaraju Venkata Seshaiah in Simhadripuram, Pulivendula, Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh[1] on August 20, 1931.

Padmanabham started acting at the age of 12 when the legendary director Gudavalli Ramabrahmam gave him a break in "Maayaokam(1943)". He worked with almost 80 directors and acted in more than 400 movies in his long career. Padmanabham cherishes most his association with Gudavalli Ramabrahmam, Ghantasala Balaramayya, L. V. Prasad and K. V. Reddy.[1][2]


Padmanabham died at his residence at Rangarajapuram, Kodambakkam, in Chennai at 8 a.m. on 20 February 2010 from a heart attack. He was 78 and is survived by wife, five daughters and a son. The veteran actor had been a regular yoga practitioner and enjoyed good health till his death.

Selected Filmography[edit]


  1. Kathanayika Molla (1970)
  2. Shri Rama Katha (1969)
  3. Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna (1967)
  4. Potti Pleader (1966)
  5. Devatha (1964)


  1. Pellikaani thandri (1974)
  2. Kathanayika Molla (1970)
  3. Shri Rama Katha (1969)


  1. ^ a b c d "Going great guns". The Hindu. 
  2. ^ a b c "Actor Padmanabham no more". The Hindu. 
  3. ^ "Popular comedian Padmanabham is dead". The New Indian Express. 
  4. ^ "Padmanabham Movie Actor Passes Away - Hyderabad News on". 
  5. ^ Lakshmi Nivasam Songs - Soda Soda Andhra - Padmanabham. 16 March 2013 – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ a b "Padmanabham dead". 20 February 2010. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.