N. T. Rama Rao
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (28 May 1923 – 18 January 1996), popularly known by his initials NTR, was an Indian film actor, director, producer, and politician who also served as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for three terms.
NTR made his debut as an actor in a Telugu social film Mana Desam, directed by L. V. Prasad in 1949. He gained popularity in the 1950's when he became well known for his portrayals of Hindu deities, especially Krishna and Rama, roles which have made him a "messiah of the masses" in Andhra Pradesh. He later became known for portraying antagonistic characters and Robin Hood-esque hero characters in films. In total he starred in over 320 Telugu films and has become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Telugu cinema. Besides Telugu, he has also acted in a few Tamil and Kannada films. Widely recognised for his mythological characters, of the time, NTR is considered even today as one of the leading mythological and method actors of Indian cinema, He was referred to in the media as Viswa Vikhyatha Nata Sarvabhouma. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1968, recognizing his contribution to Telugu cinema.
After his career in films, NTR entered politics. He founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982 and served three tumultuous terms as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1995. He was known as an advocate of Andhra Pradesh's distinct cultural identity, distinguishing it from the erstwhile Madras State with which it was often associated. He was instrumental in the formation of the National Front, a coalition of non-Congress parties which ruled India from 1989 till 1991.
In Andhra Pradesh, he is considered to be one of the greatest political leaders and actors of the state. He is idolised by his followers as Annagaru (lit. Respected Brother).