Veteran Telugu film producer V Doraswami Raju (VDR) passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Monday due to cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife and son. Doraswami Raju established the production house VMC Creations, launched by legendary actor-politician Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR), in 1978. Raju, however, turned producer in 1987 with Akkineni Nagarjuna-starrer Kirai Dada. Besides film production, he was also popular as a successful film distributor and exhibitor and released about 900 films in Rayalaseema (Ceeded) region.
Joining hands with legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR), Doraswami Raju bankrolled Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu, a runaway hit in 1991. There was no looking back as his subsequent films President Gari Pellam, Madhavayya Gari Manavadu (1992), Annamayya (1997) and Simhadri (2003) went on to become blockbusters.
Annamayya, a biopic on 15th century Hindu saint and music composer Tallapaka Annamayya won the Nandi award for the best feature film and brought him critical acclaim at the global level. The film’s director K Raghavendra Rao, lead actor Nagarjuna, music director MM Keeravani, playback singer and dubbing artist SP Balasubrahmanyam walked away with national and Nandi awards. Raju’s next film Simhadri that brought together Jr NTR and SS Rajamouli was the all-time biggest grosser of those times and was also remade in several languages. Overall, he produced 10 films which turned out to be popular.
Born in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh into a family of farmers, Doraswami Raju also represented the Nagari constituency in Assembly during 1994 – 1999 getting elected on the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ticket.
Director Raghavendra Rao wrote, “We have lost Telugu Cinema’s one of the passionate distributors & producers, VMC Doraswami Raju garu. My condolences to his family.”
Producers C Ashwini Dutt, Murali Mohan and several other Telugu film dignitaries mourned the death of Doraswami Raju.