R Narayanamurthy is a popular actor, director, and producer in Telugu Cinema. He is fondly called as “People’s Star” as all his films deal with the issues of the poor and suppressed and reflects the exploitation of the higher caste and landlords. Born in a peasant’s family from Mallampet Village in East Godavari district, Narayanamurthy was keen in studies and was a good student and a leader who developed social awareness and was drawn towards the revolutionary ideas since the school days which still reflect in his movies.
As a child, Narayanamurthy used to listen to the song “Namo Venkatesha” from a nearby touring talkies (Theater in rural areas) and was influenced by the cinema. He was an ardent fan of legendary ANR and used entertain his friends by imitating all the actors. After completing his intermediate, Narayanamurthy flew to Chennai with hopes of becoming an actor. He was so innocent that ANR, NTR, and other actors would lap him up, feed and offer him the roles. He realized the vagaries of the real world but, has gone through many hardships wasn’t willing to give up.
Through the makeup man of ace comedian Raja Babu, he got the chance to meet the director Dasari Narayana Rao who advised him to complete graduation and come back and promised to give a role in his movies. He got to chance to appear in K Vishwanath’s “Neramu Siksha” in a blink and miss role of one among the crowd. Seeing the hardships, felt it’s not his cup of tea and returned to the village to complete education. After some time, the film “Neramu Siksha” came to the same theater in which he used to watch the movies.
The moment the villagers saw him on screen chanted his name and whistled at him. The reveling crowds jubilation made Narayanamurthy reconsider his decision to quit the films and forced him to go back to the tinsel-town. He went to Chennai and met his mentor Dasari Narayana Rao, and as promised the director offered him a meaty role in “Needa”. Narayanamurthy soon became a well-known face in the industry, but his dream of becoming a hero remained unfulfilled.
After much thought, Narayanamurthy decided to produce a film on his own and pooled some money from his friends, formed the “Sneha Chitra Pictures” banner and produced, directed and acted as hero in “Ardharatri Swathantram” which turned out to be a super hit. Narayanamurthy further produced and directed many super hit movies like “Erra Sainyam” under the same banner. Despite being a film star, his feet remains grounded and he is a simple man, a voracious reader who leads the life of a middle-class man who goes on walk, commute by public transport and is never carried the starry airs.