Yesteryear Telugu film actor and producer Madala Ranga Rao, popular as "Red Star", passed away while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the early hours of Sunday. He was 71.
Rao had been suffering from health ailments for some time. On May 19, he was admitted to a private hospital following a heart attack.
Rao was born in Mynampadu of Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh on May 25, 1958. He launched his own banner named Navataram Pictures and produced and acted in movies - mostly on revolutionary themes - like Yuvatharam Kadilindi (1980), Erra Mallelu (1981), Mahaprasthanam (1982), Praja Sakthi (1983), Veera Bhadrudu (1984), Swarajyam, Maro Kurukshetram and Erra Suryudu. He won the Golden Nandi for Yuvatharam Kadilindi.
Rao dedicated his cine life to the Leftist ideals that he believed in (he was a member of the CPI), though he claimed that he did not support the Naxal movement. Madala is said to be an inspiration to the actor, producer and director R Narayana Murthy, who also produced movies in tune with the Left ideology.
Top Telugu actor Chiranjeevi paid tributes to Madala Ranga Rao's body. He said that he had close relationship with Rao, T Krishna and Pokuri Babu Rao when he was in Ongole, and that Ranga Rao was one of the persons who had encouraged him in the film industry.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao too expressed his grief on the demise of Rao, and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.