Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan says that late movie icon Akkineni Nageswara Rao was his spiritual guru, who left a lasting effect on him.
Nageswara Rao, also known as ANR, died Wednesday due to intestinal cancer. He eas 89.
"ANR was my spiritual guru. He was my guru not just in acting, but as a rationalist. When I was 16 and working as an assistant, he spoke to me once. The effect of that has kept me intact as a rational person for this long," Kamal said in his condolence video message.
"As a star, he has seen three generations. Till the moment he left us, in my eyes, he was a star. We've now lost a star. The sky will be bereft of the brightest star I have known who spoke Telugu, Hindi and Tamil," he added.
Rao's last rites will be performed Thursday at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad.
Born on Sep 20, 1924, Rao's 70-year career boasts a filmography of over 250 films. He made his cinematic debut in the 1941 Telugu film "Dharmapatni" in a brief role. In 1944, he essayed the lead role in Telugu drama "Sitarama Jananam".
He had worked predominantly in Telugu and a few Tamil films.
Some of his best films include "Batasari", "Devadasu" and "Prem Nagar". Beofore his illness, he was shooting for Telugu family drama "Manam" with son Akkineni Nagarjuna and grandson Akkineni Naga Chaitanya.