Nerella Venu Madhav
|Nerella Venu Madhav|
28 December 1932|
Warangal, Hyderabad state
19 June 2018 (aged 85)|
Warangal, Telangana, India
Nerella Venu Madhav (28 December 1932 – 19 June 2018) was an Indian impressionist and ventriloquist. He rose to popularity imitating celebrities, politicians, local dialects, Nizams and was the first to perform at the United Nations headquarters. He started a diploma course at Telugu University, a first in the world. He is often regarded as father of Indian Mimicry. He is also hailed as the pioneer and maestro of mimicry in India.
Nerella Venu Madhav was born in Mattewada, Warangal, Hyderabad state to an industrialist, Hari and Srilakshmi. His father had a great admiration for literature. He completed his matriculation in 1950, and joined Warangal Arts and Science College for bachelors degree in 1952. The principal of the college, B. V. Ram Narasu was very impressed by his talent, and even presented him ₹60 as scholarship for good conduct, despite opposition from some lecturers. He encouraged him to take up mimicry. As a young boy, he used to play pranks by imitating people in his village to perfection. He used to mimic the people who visited his house and friends.
Venu Madhav started his career in 1947 at the age of 16. He rose to popularity, coming from a village, imitating celebrities, politicians, local Telangana dialect. He worked as a school teacher in Mattewad Middle School in Hanamkonda in 1953. He also started and worked as a Mimicry faculty in Telugu University. He loved Telugu, Urdu and English literature, and greatly admired Indian classical music.
He started his mimicry career with the voice of Telugu actor, Chittor Nagaiah. He use to perform in Telugu, English, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil and also musical instruments. He has toured all over the world was popular for imitating world leaders, Hollywood celerbrities and background score. His mimicry of a scene in the popular Hollywood movie, Mckenna's Gold was legendary. His imitation of Pritviraj Kapur in Mughal-e-Azam; imitation of Karunanidhi's voice using only one English word 'gibberish' was also very popular. He use to imitate tall personalities, without offending them. He received their validation for his perfection.
He was nominated as a Member of Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh by the then Chief Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao in 1972 to 78. His birthday, 28 December, is celebrated as World Mimicry Day by some of his students.
He wrote a book on art of mimicry in Telugu language called as Mimicry Kala.
An auditorium in Warangal is named in his Honour as Dr. Nerella Venu Madhav Kalaa Pranganam. The venue hosted a mimicry festival on his 80th birthday, 28 December by Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation at Hanamkonda Public Gardens and was named it 2011
Venu Madhav died on June 19, 2018 at 10:30 AM in Warangal, after a brief illness. He lived all his life in Warangal.
He married Shobhavati in 1975 and has two sons; Srinath and Radhakrishna; and two daughters, Vasanthi and Lakshmi Tulasi, a mimicry artiste and studied under her father.
Awards and honours
- Padma Shri for performing arts from the Government of India in 2001
- Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation award in 1981
- Kala Prapoorna title from Andhra University (Vishakhapatnam) in 1978
- Honorary Doctorates by Andhra University, IGNOU and Kakatiya University
- Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Telugu Book of Records & Telangana Recordula Pustakam (The Book of Telangana Records) on his 83rd birthday, on 28 December 2015 at Hanumakonda.
- Gajarohanam by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
- Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) has named a street in Warangal city after him
- Government of Telangana felicitation on Telangana Formation Day in 2018
- India Post honored by releasing a postal cover in December 2017
- "Archive News - The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
- Srihari, Gudipoodi. "Maestro of mimicry". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
- "Mimicry artist Nerella's 84th b'day celebrated". The Hans India. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
- Chalapathi Rao, I. V: "Mimicry and World Renowned Venumadhav", page 55. Vamsi Krishna Publications, 1999
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.