Noted Telugu actor Devadas Kanakala passed away on Friday while undergoing treatment at the KIMS Hospital in Hyderabad. Born in Kanakalapeta in Puducherry's Yanam district in July 1945, Devadas was 74 years old and was reported to be suffering from some health issues.
Coming from a theatre background, he acted in several movies and serials and trained actors by setting up an acting school in Hyderabad. Devadas' wife, Lakshmi Kanakala, and his son, Rajeev Kanakala, are also actors, while his daughter-in-law, Suma Kanakala, is a popular Telugu anchor.
Media reports suggest that Devadas trained actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Raghuvaran during his stint in Chennai, while Telugu actors like Chiranjeevi, Rajendra Prasad and Subhalekha Sudhakar are also said to have trained under him.
Besides movies like Chali Cheemalu and Nagamalli, which he had directed, O Seeta Katha, Gang Leader, Manchu Pallaki, Gorintaku, Manasantha Nuvve, Josh and Nee Sneham are the movies where he was acclaimed for his acting. One of Devadas' last movie was Bharat Ane Nenu where he starred with Mahesh Babu. A decade ago, 'Amrutham', a Telugu comedy daily serial in which he acted, was a huge hit.
Devadas was a graduate of Vishakapatanam's AVN College. He was one of the few Telugu artistes who had studied in Film and Television Institute at Pune. He also worked as faculty in Adayar Film Institute and Madhu Film Institute, besides as head of the theatre arts department in Telugu University, Hyderabad.
Personalities from the Telugu film industry have expressed their condolences over his death.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also expressed his condolences over the death.
The Chief Minister, in a message, said that the death of Devadas, who trained several actors through his film institute, would leave a great void in the Telugu film industry.
Andhra Pradesh Leader of Opposition Nara Chandrababu Naidu also expressed grief over the demise of the actor and said that Devadas had contributed many actors to the industry by training them, besides being a successful actor himself. His loss is irreplaceable in the film and art industry, Naidu said.