Late Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao, who wrote an interesting book about his first travel to America in the mid-1960s and made Telugus aware of the country more than any other state in India, was honoured with a postage stamp by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in his memory.
He visited the US first time in mid-1960s and wrote his memoirs into a book titled, "Nenu Choosina America" (The America, I’ve Seen). The book paved the way for mushrooming many Telugus who had settled down in the US. Now, every family in Hyderabad has at least one family member in the US and New Jersey and california are known to be Telugu hubs.
His fan base in the US called the Akkineni Foundation of America (AFA) has said that the stamp will be issued on the birth anniversary of Nageshwara Rao, who died of heart attack in sleep after a cancer surgery in January. A special release ceremony will also be held by the association on September 20 in Dallas, Texas.
The association is also planning to release the stamp in India on December 17 at the first International Akkineni Awards Ceremony being planned at ANR College, Gudivada in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, though it cannot be used in India.
ANR’s association with America, as he fondly called in his book and films, is almost five decades-old. He went to the US in 1964, many times after that and in 1974 for a major cardiac operation. It was often used in common parlance among Telugus that ANR went to America for the heart operation and that he remained an example on how to live healthy ever after. He went on to live for 90 years.
With more than 255 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, ANR is instrumental in shifting the base of Telugu film making to Hyderabad in the 1970s along with NTR, Rama Naidu and Krishna.
His final movie ‘Manam’ saw him act just a month before his demise and saw the three generations of the Akkineni family including himself, his son Nagarjuna and grandsons Naga Chaitanya, Akhil featured in it.