Chitrapu Narayana Rao was an acclaimed film director of south Indian cinema, associated with Tamil and Telugu films. Two of his movies in the 1950s have won national award for best regional film in Tamil. Edhir Paradhathu in 1954 and Annaiyin Aanai in 1958 are those two movies. 1967 Telugu film Bhakta Prahlada earned him Nandi Award for Second Best Feature Film.
He was born at Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh in 1913. His younger brother Chitrapu Narasimha Rao was noted film maker. He started his career in movies as an assistant director to his brother. Seetha Kalyanam, Sati Tulasi, Mohini Rukhmangadha and Krishna Jarasandha are among those movies which he assisted his brother. As an independent film director, his first film was Bhakta Markandeya in 1938. It was a time when mythological films dominated the film scene, apart from socially relevant movies which took front seat later. His debut movie starred Vemuri Gaggayya and Sriranjani in lead roles and helped him to earn the name of a successful director.
He later made several bilingual films in Telugu and Tamil languages. Some of his early movies are Myravana, Bhakta Prahlada, Daksha Yagnam, Bheeshma etc. Very soon he rose to prominence and won two National awards in the 1950s. In 1961, he ventured into film production with the movie - Krishna Kuchela, which was a box office failure. The following year he lost his son. To regain his financial status, he directed his first Eastman color film - Bhakta Prahlada, which he had made earlier. The movie earned him Nandi Award for Second Best Feature Film in Telugu and was a box office success. After that he took retirement from the industry. He died in 1985.
Updated: January 17, 2016