31 December 1926|
Tenali, Guntur district,
Madras Presidency, British India
5 March 2004 (aged 77)|
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Alma mater||Andhra Christian College|
|Occupation||Actor, dubbing artist, littérateur, journalist, poet, politician|
|Awards||Padma Bhushan 1992|
Kongara Jaggayya (31 December 1926 – 5 August 2004) was an Indian film actor, littérateur, journalist, lyricist, dubbing artist and politician known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema and Telugu theatre. Regarded as one of the finest method actors of Indian cinema, he was known as Kanchu Kantham Jaggayya (Telugu) for his booming voice. In a film career spanning forty years as a matinee idol, he starred in eighty films, as a lead actor, and lead antagonist in a variety of genres.
During his early career he portrayed breakthrough characters in works such as Donga Ramudu (1955), which was archived by the Film and Television Institute of India, He starred in award winning works such as Bangaru Papa (1954), Ardhangi (1955), Edi Nijam (1956), Todi Kodallu (1957), Dr. Chakravarti (1964), Antastulu (1965), the Cannes Film Festival featured Megha sandesam (1982), and Seetakoka Chiluka (1981); all of which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Films in Telugu. In 1962, he co-produced and starred in the political drama film Padandi Munduku based on Salt March, the film was screened at the International Film Festival of India, the Tashkent Film Festival, and got a special mention at the 5th Moscow International Film Festival.
As a character actor he received critical appreciation for his performance in notable works such as Velugu Needalu (1961), Chitti Tammudu (1962), Aaradhana (1962), Aatma Balam (1964), Sumangali (1965), Gudi Gantalu (1965), Nava ratri (1966), Aame Evaru? (1966), Aastiparulu (1966), Jarigina Katha (1969), Bala Mitrula Katha (1972), Badi Pantulu (1972), Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973). He portrayed British official Rutherford in the biographical film Alluri Sita Rama Raju (1974), and essayed Pontius Pilate in the hagiographical film Karunamayudu (1978). He then appeared in works such as Veta (1986), Chantabbai (1986), Pasivadi Pranam (1987), and Dharma Kshetram (1992). He has won the Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Award for Best Character Actor for his works in some of these films. A recipient of the Tamil Nadu state's Kalai mamani, the Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 1992 for his contributions towards Indian cinema.
Jaggayya was born on a well-to-do family in Morampudi village near Tenali in Guntur district. He started acting at the age of 11, with the role of Lava in a Hindi play. As a student, he joined the Congress party in Tenali, which was involved in the Indian Independence Movement at that time. After his school education, he joined a periodical named Desabhimani (meaning "Patriot") as a journalist.
Later he worked as an editor for the weekly Andhra Republic. He joined the Andhra-Christian College in Guntur for his higher studies, where N. T. Rama Rao, (in his later days) also happened to study at the same time. Both of them acted together in several plays. Jaggaiah won the best actor award in three successive years. He got trained in the art of painting under the guidance of Adivi Bapiraju, a noted painter. After working as a teacher for a brief while, he became a news anchor.
He made his cinematic debut in 1952 drama film Priyuralu directed by Tripuraneni Gopichand. He was distinguished for his booming voice and gave contributed as voice artist for more than hundred feature films. He dubbed in Telugu language for veteran Sivaji Ganesan, He was the narrator, and dubbing artist for internationally recognized works such as Maa Bhoomi, and Richard Attenborough's character of John Hammond in the Telugu-dubbed version of the hollywood film Jurassic Park. He was awarded the 'Kala Vachaspathi' for his sonorous voice.
Jaggaiah was active in politics right from his student days and was allied with the socialist group within the Congress party. When the group was disbanded, he joined Jayaprakash Narayan's Praja Socialist Party, but returned to Congress in 1956, heeding the call of Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1967, he was elected as a member of the fourth Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India from the constituency of Ongole on a Congress Party ticket. He was the first Indian film actor to be elected as a member of parliament.
- Civilian honours
- Nandi Awards
- State Awards
- Andhra Pradesh Government cash award for producing Padandi Munduku in 1962
- Title of Kalaimamani from Tamil Nadu government
- Other honours
- Title of Kala Vachaspathi from the Sanskrit Viswa Vidyalaya, Delhi
- Title of Kala Prapoorna from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
- Honorary D. Litt. from the Telugu University, Hyderabad
|S No||Movie Name||Year of release||Notes / Character|
|3||Bangaru Papa||1954||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu / Manohar|
|4||Ardhangi||1955||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu / Chinna Babu|
|5||Donga Ramudu||1955||Archived at the Film and Television Institute of India / Dr. Mohan|
|7||Edi Nijam||1956||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|10||Thodi Kodallu||1957||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu / Vaikuntam|
|15||Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu||1958|
|20||Kalasi unte Kaladu Sukham||1961|
|21||Intiki Deepam Illalu||1961|
|28||Manchi rojulu vasthayi||1963|
|31||Dr. Chakravarthi||1964||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|36||Antastulu||1965||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|51||Devudu Chesina Manushulu||1973|
|54||Alluri Sita Rama Raju||1974|
|55||Sri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club||1976|
|58||Adavi Ramudu||1977||Forest Officer|
|61||Karunamayudu||1978||As Pontius Pilate, then Prefect of the Roman Province of Judaea, known today for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.|
|62||Ram Robert Rahim||1980|
|64||Seethakoka Chilaka||1981||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|67||Meghasandesam||1983||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|78||President Gari Abbayi||1987|
- krshychait (12 December 2011). ""Kalaa Vachaspati", "Kanchu Kantham": Kongara Jaggayya".
- "The Hindu : Jaggayya passes away". www.thehindu.com.
- "Tollywood's Glorious Journey at Chitramala". Archived from the original on 30 January 2010.
- "Profile of Gummadi - Telugu film actor".
- Correspondent, By Our Special (3 May 2004). "Jaggayya passes away". p. 06 – via The Hindu (old).
- "Rutherford of Telugu cinema".