Kasturi Siva Rao (Telugu: కస్తురి సివరావు) (6th March 1913 – 24 February 1966) was a noted Actor, Play back singer, Producer and Director of Telugu Cinema. He is regarded as the first comedian to attain a *Star status in Telugu Cinema industry.
Kasturi Siva Rao started his career in film industry as movie narrator for the silent films produced at that time. Besides providing commentary, he was also a projector operator and had a unique humor to his fame. Theaters advertisers “commentary by Siva Rao” to public which had attention in the masses.
he became an actor with the film “Vara Vikrayam” in 1939 and shot into the limelight with “Chudamani” in 1941. But B N Reddy’s “Swarga Seema” in 1945 and “Bala Raju” in 1948 catapulted him to stardom. There were numerous fans for Siva Rao and it is said that he was mobbed whenever he appeared in public. He was revered more than a hero.
He became a hero with the film “Guna Sundari Katha” in 1949 in which he played the role of a cursed Prince. The movie became a huge hit and the mannerisms and dialogues of his were so popular that people started conversing in the same tone of his. He used to own a “Buick” car which was of rare possession and whenever people saw the car on roads they used to swarm the car and run along with it.
Kasturi Siva Rao later on turned a Producer and Director with the film “Paramanandaiah Sishyulu” in the year 1950. The movie though tickled the audience did not achieve box-office success. During the same year he was criticized for using explicit words in a film called “ Sri Lakshmamma Katha” and some critics say this trend later on got popular which was an unhealthy trend in the movies.
Kasturi Siva Rao’s charm started to wane on the masses and also there was stiff competition from other comedians like Rajubabu, Relangi who became more popular. He returned to performing Stage acting but could not recover financially. He had sell off his car and had to pedal around Pondy Bazaar in Madras in a bicycle.
Siva Rao subsequently remained as Stage Artist and one day while performing skit in Tenali, Andhra Pradesh, he died on the stage. His body was brought to Madras (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu) in the Car Trunk and remained in there for 3 days. This brought tears to many who stood testimony to his stardom. Its rumured the two people who attended his funeral were Peketi Sivaram and Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Kasturi Siva Rao always used to say “Any comedian will have Star Value only for some time, during this period he will be treated as a King. In the same way as heroines will be glamorous when they are young, comedians also will have little glamour. This applies to all languages of Films”. Whatever might be the fate but Kasturi Siva Rao and his brand of comedy still lives on and continues to please the generations.
|Telugu Cinema(తెలుగు సినిమా)||Released Date / Year (విడుదల తేది / సంవత్సరం)||Role (పాత్ర)|
|Balaraju (బాలరాజు)||28th Feb 1948||Supporting Actor & playback singer|
|Laila Majnu (లైలా మజ్ను)||01st Oct 1949||Supporting Actor|
|Raksharekha (రక్షరేఖ)||1949||Supporting Actor|
|Gunasundari Katha (గుణసుందరి కథ)||01st Oct 1949||Hero and playback singer|
|Paramanandayya Sishyula Katha (పరమానందయ్య శిష్యుల కథ)||1950||Supporting Actor, Producer, Director|
|Swapna Sundari (స్వప్న సుందరి)||1950||Supporting Actor|
|Sri Lakshmamma Katha (శ్రీ లక్ష్మమ్మ కథ)||1950||Supporting Actor & playback singer|
|Stree Sahasam (స్త్రీ సాహసం)||1951||Supporting Actor|
|Prema (ప్రేమ)||1952||Supporting Actor|
|Panduranga Mahathyam (పాండురంగ మహత్యం)||28th Nov 1957||Supporting Actor|
|Appu Chesi Pappu koodu (అప్పు చేసి పప్పు కూడు)||14th Jan 1959||Supporting Actor ( Takku )|
|Rajamakutam (రాజమకుటం)||24th Feb 1960||Supporting Actor|
|Seetharama Kalyanam (సీతారామ కళ్యాణం)||06th Jan 1961||Supporting Actor|