Veteran Balaiah selected for Raghupati Venkaiah Award

Veteran actor, producer and director M Balaiah (82) has been selected for the year 2010  Raghupati Venkaiah Award.

The Raghupathi Venkaiah Award is Andhra Pradesh state’s highest award in cinema, an annual award introduced to recognize people for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the Telugu film industry.

The award was incorporated in 1981 in the honor of Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, a pioneer of Indian film industry. The winner will be  felicitated and presented a Golden Nandi, a Gold medal, citation and cash prize of Rs 50,000 at the state government’s Nandi Awards function later.

Born at Chavupadu, Amaravathi mandalam, Guntur district to Mannava Guravaiah Chowdary and Annapurnamma, Balaiah studied Engineering(mechanical) in Guindy Engineering College, Chennai.

He made his debut as an actor with ‘Ethuku Pai Ethu’- a social film directed by Thapi Chanakya and made by Sarathi Studios. Films such as ‘Parvati Kalyanam’, ‘Bhagyadevata’, ‘Kumkuma Rekha’ established him as an actor. Bhookailaas was a special film for Balaiah,who assayed Lord Shiva’s role while NTR donned the role of Ravana.

Balaiah acted in nearly three hundred films and established Amrutha films in 1970.

A play penned by him Nalupu Telupu (Black-white) was later made into Chelleli Kapuram and received Gold Nandi award from Andhra Pradesh Government. Other critically acclaimed films like Neramu Siksha, Annadammula Katha were also written by him.

Later in his career, Balaiah played character roles in several films.

Veteran South Indian actress Sarada received NTR National Film Award, while AVM Saravanan Balasubramanian was selected for Nagireddy-Chakrapani Award. Well-known film maker Edida Nageswara Rao was given Special Jury Award and B Narsingrao of Maa Bhoomi-fame was picked for B N Reddy award.