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Hyderabad: Well known Telugu film producer Edida Nageswara Rao, popularly known as Sankar-abharanam Nageswara Rao, died on Sunday evening in Hyderabad. He was 81. The veteran producer had been ailing since a week.Hailing from Kakinada, Nageswara Rao was passionate about acting. He acted in many plays before going to Chennai. He acted in nearly 50 films after that. Some of his notable films are Neramu Siksha, Sangeeta Lakshmi, Mattilo Manikyam and Devude Digivaste. Since he wasn’t getting prominent roles, he decided to become a producer and started a production house, Poornodaya Movie Creations, in 1979.His first film as producer was Sirisiri-muvva with K. Viswanath as the director. The film was a success and Nageshwara Rao followed it up with films like Tayaramma Bangarayya, Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangama, Seethakoka Chiluka, Swathi Mut-yam, Sithara, Sw-ayamkrushi and Apad-hbandhavudu.Most of his films were directed by K. Viswanath. Sankarabharanam won an international award and it took Telugu cinema to new heights. The Telugu film industry is often spoken about in terms of “before and after Sankarabharanam”. Even a month back, popular speaker Chaganti Koteswara Rao gave a three-day discourse on Sankara-bharanam as a trendsetter. Many of Rao’s other films too became classics and won many awards. One of his sons, Edida Sriram, is an actor while another son, Mr Edida Raja, looks after the production house.Rao was nominated for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2012. He had also served as secretary to the Telugu Film Producers Council, chairman to the Nandi Awards Committee and was also a member at the National Film Awards. His last public appearance was at Chiranjeevi’s 60th birthday celebrations. Rao produced Swa-yamkrushi with Chir-anjeevi in the lead. The actor had also played a small role in another of Rao’s films, Tayara-mma Bangarayya.