Jaggayya (actor)

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Kongara Jaggayya
Born (1926-12-31)31 December 1926
Tenali, Guntur district,
Madras Presidency, British India
Died 5 March 2004(2004-03-05) (aged 77)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names Kalavachaspati
Kanchu Kantham
Super star
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.[1] Regarded as one of the finest method actors of Indian cinema,[2] 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.[2]

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.[3][4]

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.[5]

Early life[edit]

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.[6]

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.[7]

Early career[edit]

He made his cinematic debut in 1952 drama film Priyuralu directed by Tripuraneni Gopichand.[8] 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.[9]

Political career[edit]

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.[10]

Literary achievements[edit]

He translated Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's Geetanjali into Telugu under the name Ravindra Geetha. He also translated Tagore's play "Sacrifice" into Telugu under the name Balidaanam.


Civilian honours
Nandi Awards
State Awards
Other honours

Selected filmography[edit]

S No Movie Name Year of release Notes / Character
1 Priyuralu 1952
2 Adarsam 1952
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
6 Muddu Bidda 1956
7 Edi Nijam 1956 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
8 Veera Kankanam 1957
9 Varudu Kavali 1957
10 Thodi Kodallu 1957 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu / Vaikuntam
11 MLA 1957
12 Bhale Bava 1957
13 Aalu Magalu 1957
14 Mundadugu 1958
15 Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu 1958
16 Bhagya Devata 1959
17 Pelli Kanuka 1960
18 Velugu Needalu 1961
19 Pellikani Pillalu 1961
20 Kalasi unte Kaladu Sukham 1961
21 Intiki Deepam Illalu 1961
22 Chitti Tammudu 1962
23 Aradhana 1962
24 Padandi Munduku 1962 Producer
25 Constable Koothuru 1963
26 Anubandhalu 1963
27 Eedu Jodu 1963
28 Manchi rojulu vasthayi 1963
29 Pooja Phalam 1964
30 Manchi Manishi 1964
31 Dr. Chakravarthi 1964 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
32 Aathma Balam 1964
33 Uyyala Jampala 1965
34 Sumangali 1965
33 Preminchi Choodu 1965
34 Manasulu Mamatalu 1965
35 Gudi Gantalu 1965
36 Antastulu 1965 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
37 Navarathri 1966
38 Manase Mandiram 1966
39 Aame Evaru? 1966
40 Aastiparulu 1966
41 Prana Mithrulu 1967
42 Bandipotu Dongalu 1968
43 Adrustavanthulu 1969
44 Ardha Rathri 1969
45 Thalli Thandrulu 1970
46 Srimanthudu 1971
47 Ramalayam 1971
48 Naa Thammudu 1971
49 Chinnanati Snehitulu 1971
50 Badi Panthulu 1972
51 Devudu Chesina Manushulu 1973
52 Bhoomi Kosam 1974
53 Deeksha 1974
54 Alluri Sita Rama Raju 1974
55 Sri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club 1976
56 Paadipantalu 1976
57 Ramarajyamlo Rakthapasam 1976
58 Adavi Ramudu 1977 Forest Officer
59 Chanakya Chandragupta 1977
60 Manassakshi 1977
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
63 Nyayam Kavali 1981
64 Seethakoka Chilaka 1981 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
65 Bobbili Puli 1982
66 Yamakinkarudu 1982
67 Meghasandesam 1983 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
68 Disco King 1984
69 Anubandham 1984
70 Swathi 1985
71 Adavi Donga 1985
72 Agni Parvatam 1985
73 Vijetha 1985
74 Kiraathakudu 1986
75 Veta 1986
76 Chantabbai 1986
77 Ramu 1987
78 President Gari Abbayi 1987
79 Aradhana 1987
80 Pasivadi Pranam 1987
81 Viswanatha Nayakudu 1987
82 Jeevana Ganga 1988
83 Alludugaru 1990
84 Assembly Rowdy 1991
85 Dharma Kshetram 1992
86 Joker 1993
87 Detective Narada 1993


He underwent a Hip Replacement surgery and complications after the surgery resulted in his death.[2]


  1. ^ krshychait (12 December 2011). ""Kalaa Vachaspati", "Kanchu Kantham": Kongara Jaggayya".
  2. ^ a b c "The Hindu : Jaggayya passes away". www.thehindu.com.
  3. ^ "Tollywood's Glorious Journey at Chitramala". Archived from the original on 30 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Profile of Gummadi - Telugu film actor".
  5. ^ Correspondent, By Our Special (3 May 2004). "Jaggayya passes away". p. 06 – via The Hindu (old).
  6. ^ http://www.filmchamber.com/tmpl.asp?it=prfbjagaya
  7. ^ telugucinema.com/c/stars/KJaggayya.shtml
  8. ^ "Rutherford of Telugu cinema".
  9. ^ earlytollywood.blogspot.in/2008/02/kongara-jaggaiah.html
  10. ^ tollywood.info/actor/k/kongara_jaggayya.htm

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