Kalyanam Raghuramaiah, popularly known as Eelapata Raghuramaiah, (1901-1975) was a Telugu drama and film actor and recipient of the Padmasri award.

He was born in Suddapalli village of Guntur district and named as Venkata Subbaiah. He was popular during childhood days in playing Raghurama, hence named as Raghuramaiah by Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao.

He was famous for the roles of Krishna or Dushyantha, Bhavanisankar, Narada etc. He performed those roles for about 60 years. He indulged in elaborate raga alapana, based on different ragas while rendering padyams.

He had the extraordinary ability to sing padyams and songs through whistle, by putting his finger in mouth and producing the whistle or flute sound (meaning Eela in Telugu). He has acted in various dramas and gave more than 20,000 stage performances. People such as Nehru, Tagore and Sarvepalli Radhakrisnhan are known to have appreciated Raghuramaiah. He was called the "Nightingale of the Stage" by Rabindranath Tagore

He entered Telugu cinema in 1933 in the film "Prudhvi Putra". It is the 5th movie in Telugu cinema industry. This is the 1st Telugu movie produced by Telugu person viz. Pothina Srinivasa Rao. He acted as Krishna in many films including Sri Krishna Rayabaram and in the film Chintamani.

He toured Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore with a drama troupe in 1972.

He died of a heart attack in 1975 at the age of 75 years.

A bronze statue of him has recently been installed in Suddapalli village where he was born.

Filmography

  1. Prithvi Putra (1933)
  2. Bhakta Kuchela (1935)
  3. Lanka Dahanam (1936)
  4. Rukmini Kalyanam (1937)
  5. Pasupathastram (1939)
  6. Apavadu (1941)
  7. Talliprema (1941)
  8. Madalasa (1948)
  9. Maya Rambha (1950)
  10. Mayapilla (1951)
  11. Prapancham (1953)
  12. Sati Sakkubai (1954) .... Lord Krishna
  13. Shri Krishna Tulabharam (1955/I) .... Sri Krishna
  14. Chintamani (1956)
  15. Shri Krishna Maya (1958)
  16. Sri Krishna Rayabaram (1960)
  17. Nagarjuna (1961/I)
  18. Usha Parinayam (1961) ... Lord Krishna
  19. Dakshayagnam (1962/I) .... Narada
  20. Valmiki (1963/I)
  21. Mohini Bhasmasura (1966)
  22. Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna (1967)

Awards

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1973
  • He was awarded ‘Padmashri’ by Government of India in 1975.
  1. ^ 20th Century Telugu Luminaries, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, 2005
  2. ^ Article in Eenadu http://beta.eenadu.net/Cinema/Cinemainner.aspx?qry=gnapaka