Venkaiah Naidu has unveiled Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s statue at Annapurna StudiosToday marks the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao. As part of the special occasion, a statue of ANR was installed at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad on September 20, 2023.The panchaloha statue (‘Panchaloha’ means an alloy of five metals - Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc and Iron) of ANR, sculpted by Vinesh Vijayan, was unveiled by the former Vice President of India, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, in presence of the Akkineni family members and popular celebrities from the film industry, including Anupam Kher, Ram Charan, Mahesh Babu, Nani, Rajamouli, Mohan Babu, Jayasudha, Brahmanandam, and more.Credits: Annapurna Studios | TwitterAll the prominent personalities who attended the birth centenary celebrations shared anecdotes about the illustrious actor and remembered him for the legacy that he has left behind to learn from, labelling him as a ‘Walking University’.Born on September 20, 1923, into a poor agricultural family in Venkata Raghava Puram (now Ramapuram) village of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, ANR began his journey as an actor in Telugu cinema with Dharmapatni, in which he played a minor role. He was then cast as a lead actor in Seetha Rama Jananam (1944). While stardom only arrived with the overnight success of the blockbuster Balaraju (1948), he etched an eternal place for himself in the history of Telugu cinema with the cult-classic Devadasu (1953).In his subsequent seven-decade career, ANR went on to play many immortal characters mainly in Telugu cinema, across different genres while acting in a few Tamil and Hindi films. Some of the timeless films of ANR include Missamma (1955), Tenali Ramakrishna (1956), Mayabazar (1957), Gundamma Katha (1962), Mooga Manasulu (1964), Doctor Chakravarthy (1964), Prem Nagar (1971), Premabhishekam (1981), Megha Sandesam (1982), Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu (1991), among others.ANR ventured into film production by establishing 'Annapurna Studios'; authored several autobiographical books, such as ‘Nenu Naa Jeevitham’, ‘Nenu Choosina America’ and ‘Akkineni Alochanalu’; undertook a multitude of welfare activities; held respectable positions in film-related organisations and represented India on international platforms; instituted awards and scholarships in schools and colleges to encourage merit students, aspiring actors and filmmakers; founded many cultural centres and educational institutions, including India’s first not-for-profit media school 'Annapurna International School of Film + Media'. ANR received many awards and honours at the state and national level for his phenomenal contribution to cinema, including the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. After making his swansong appearance in the Telugu film Manam (2014), ANR lost his battle to cancer on January 22, 2014, in Hyderabad.