31 December 1926|
Tenali, Guntur district,
Madras Presidency, British India
|Died||5 March 2004
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Kalavachaspati, Kanchu Kantam, Super star|
|Occupation||Actor, dubbing artist, littérateur, journalist, poet|
|Awards||Padma Bhushan 1992|
Kongara Jaggayya (31 December 1926 – 5 August 2004) was an Indian film actor known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema and theatre. He was popularly known as Kanchu Kantam Jaggaiah (Telugu) for his booming voice. He was starred in eighty films, as a lead actor doing versatile characters in lead and supporting roles. In 1962, he produced Padandi Munduku, the first Telugu film to be screened in Soviet Russia at the Moscow International Film Festival. The recipient of Kalaimamani, In 1992, the Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan for his contributions towards Indian cinema.
Jaggayya was born on a well-to-do Telugu speaking Kamma 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 famous painter. After working as a teacher for a brief while, he became a news anchor.
He debuted in movies with the role of lead actor in Tripuraneni Gopichand's Priyuralu. He came back into reckoning when two of his successive movies, Ardhangi and Bangaru Paapa did very well. He was very active in Telugu films from 1950s to 1970s and later, acted occasionally till his death. He played several roles such as hero, second lead, comedian and villain in several movies.
The voice of Jaggaiah filled theatres paleing the dialogue rendition of others into insignificance. He was distinguished for his voice and gave voice-over (dubbed) in almost 100 films. He gave his voice to Sivaji Ganesan in many Telugu movies that the latter acted in, apart from being the voice for his movies dubbed from Tamil. The narrator's voice in Maa Bhoomi (Gautam Ghose,1979) is his. He also dubbed for Richard Attenborough's character of Hammond in the Telugu-dubbed version of the film Jurassic Park. He was given the title 'Kala Vachaspathi' (Vachaspathi= Lord of Speech) 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|
|21||Kalasi unte Kaladu Sukham||1961|
|21||Intiki Deepam Illalu||1961|
|29||Dr. Chakravarthi||1964||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|36||Antastulu||1965||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|50||Devudu Chesina Manushulu||1973|
|53||Alluri Sita Rama Raju||1974|
|54||Sri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club||1976|
|57||Adavi Ramudu||1977||Forest Officer|
|61||Ram Robert Rahim||1980|
|63||Seethakoka Chilaka||1981||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|66||Meghasandesam||1983||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu|
|77||President Gari Abbayi||1987|
- "Kala Vachaspathi", "Kanchu Kantam": Kongara Jaggaiah | 26lettersto24frames
- Tollywood's Glorious Journey at Chitramala.
- "Profile of Gummadi - Telugu film actor".
- The Hindu : Jaggayya passes away