Veteran Telugu actor Kaikala Satyanarayana passed away at his Jubilee Hills residence in the early hours of Friday (December 23) after a brief illness. He was hospitalised in November 2021 following a fall at his home and had recovered. He was 87 and is survived by his wife Nageshwaramma, two sons and two daughters..
In a career spanning over six decades, Satyanarayana acted in more than 750 films. Apart from Telugu, he acted in a few Tamil, Kannada and Hindi films.
Born on July 25, 1935, in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, Satyanarayana completed his graduation in Gudivada and landed in Madras (Chennai) to pursue an acting career. He was fortunate enough to bag the lead role in Sipayi Kuthuru in 1959 but was not lucky enough to experience success with his debut film. However, he was noticed by N T Rama Rao who suggested his name to the makers of the folklore Sahasra Sirachcheda Apoorva Chinthamani’ in 1960. The negative character he portrayed was convincing and Satyanarayana never looked back after that. In a series of films that NTR starred in, Satyanarayana was his dupe and later, the ubiquitous villain.
Director-producer B Vittalacharya helped hone Satyanarayana’s range of emotions required for negative characters by casting him in most of his films. The most famous ‘villainous laughter’ of Satyanarayana accompanied by a glint in his eyes was perfected in Vittalacharya’s films.
Naled Yama’s character
The 1977 NTR-starrer Yamagola was a turning point in Satyanarayana’s career. With his unique style of uttering his name ‘Yamunda!!’ in Yamagola’ Satyanarayana nailed the character that endeared him to the audience. He went on to play Yama Dharmaraja in Chiranjeevi-starrer Yamudiki Mogudu, Ali’s main lead-debut film Yama Leela and a few more.
Satyanarayana’s repertoire went beyond the characters with negative shades. He played a few heart-warming roles in films like Taatha Manavudu,Samsaram Sagaram, Ramaiah Tandri, Devude Digivaste and Sirisiri Muvva.
The light-hearted and comical role in the 1979 film Tayaramma Bangarayya that he co-starred with Sowkar Janaki is a testimony to his versatility. His role as Sridevi’s father in Subash Ghai’s Karma was another significant role in his career.
Satyanarayana was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in 2011 by the Andhra Pradesh government and the lifetime achievement in Telugu cinema in 2017.
In a brief stint in politics, Satyanarayana was elected to Parliament from Machilipatnam in 1996.