Sthanam Narasimha Rao was a celebrated Telugu female impersonator. He was considered to have portrayed his roles more artistically than women themselves. Sthanam Narasimha Rao was born in Bapatla in Guntur district
. He entered theatre in 1920 and, rigorously trained by Veeraraghava Swamy, played for the Rama Vilasa Sabha of nearby Tenali. For nearly four decades i.e. during 1924-60, he excelled in female characterization.
His depiction of the erotic "sringara rasa", as Satyabhama, in Sri Krishna Tulabharam i.e. "The Weighing of Sri Krishna" kept audiences spellbound, and equally invigorating performances, if not more, in "Roshanara" i.e. Roshanara-Shivaji or "Roshanara and Shivaji", signified dejected love. Deva Devi in Vipmnarayana, who in her victory in love found spiritual salvation and the eponymous Chintamani made his place in Telugu theatre
permanent. His most memorable acting, however, was as Madhuravani in Appa Rao`s comedy Kanyasulkam or "Bride Price". In this role he enchanted three generations.
Sthanam had over 1500 performances to his credit. His productions of classics such as Kanyasulkam and Ganapati on All India Radio
, where he served as a producer, remain important documents.
Sthanam Narasimha Rao died in 1974.
* He was recipient of Padma Shri
from Government of India
in 1956. He was the first person and artist from Andhra Pradesh
to receive this award.
* He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
for Acting in 1961.
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