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C. Krishna Rao Gundu Rao picture, image, poster
C. Krishna Rao Gundu Rao

Date of birth : 1933-09-27
Date of death : 2009-01-31
Birthplace : Dharapuram, Tirupur
Nationality : Indian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-06

C. Krishna Rao Gundu Rao, better known by his screen name Nagesh, was a Tamil film actor, mostly remembered for his roles as a comedian during the 1960s. He is regarded as one of the most prolific comedians in Tamil cinema.

Nagesh was born in a poor Kannada family from Dharapuram, Tirupur. He was educated in Madras and worked as a clerk in the Indian Railways before carving a place for himself in the Tamil film industry. He acted in over 1,000 Indian movies from 1958 to 2008 performing in a variety of roles as comedian, hero, supporting actor and villain. He died on January 31, 2009. In a stark contrast to the comic roles he performed, Nagesh's personal life was wrought with suffering. After losing his father at an early age, Nagesh had to endure a weak financial situation and family ostracism which plagued him throughout his life. The film Server Sundaram, a rags-to-riches story in which Nagesh plays the main role is believed to be roughly based on the real life story of the actor. Despite being primarily a comedian, Nagesh was rated highly as a character actor by his peers. Nagesh's style of comedy was largely inspired by Hollywood icon Jerry Lewis. Similarities between Nagesh and Jerry Lewis earned Nagesh the sobriquet "Jerry Lewis of India".

Nagesh was a chain smoker and a heavy drinker in his early days. However, he gradually gave up his smoking and drinking habit when he was dangerously ill during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, his health began to decline in late 2008 due to progressive heart ailments.

He died on 31 January 2009 at the age of 75 due to diabetes and a heart ailment while he was admitted in Balaji Hospital.

His final rituals was attended by all film actors including, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalitha, actor Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Manorama, Venkataramani, V.S. Raghavan and Y. G. Mahendran

Filmography:

2006 : Saravana ; Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi
2007 : Pori
2008 : Dasavathaaram


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