Farewell, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Telugu Cinema’s Real-Life Police Hero

Pop Culture

Farewell, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Telugu Cinema’s Real-Life Police Hero

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Tollywood, the Telugu film industry, lost one of its most recognisable faces today. Jaya Prakash Reddy, the veteran actor, passed away at his residence in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 74 years of age. After a long career in Telugu cinema, Reddy’s passing was condoled by many leading figures from the industry. They paid tribute to Reddy’s talent for playing both comedic and villainous roles with equal prowess.

Reddy did not make his foray into acting in his youth. In fact, his debut film found him already in his 40s, when he appeared in the 1988 film, Brahma Puthrudu. At the time, Reddy was working as a sub-inspector of police in Andhra Pradesh. Despite the late start, Reddy went on to appear in close to 100 films. He acted not just in Telugu films, but Tamil films as well. Some of his best-known roles came in films like Samarasimha Reddy, Ready, Kick, Kabaddi Kabbadi, Evadi Gola Vadidi and Kithakithalu. Reddy’s final turn before the camera came this year, in the film Sarileru Neekevvaru, which also starred Mahesh Babu.

Allu Arjun, star of Telugu films, expressed his condolences to Reddy’s surviving family, his wife and two sons.

Venkatesh Daggubati, a frequent co-star of Reddy’s, including in his first film Brahma Puthrudu, reminisced about their on-screen chemistry while paying his respects.

Nagarjuna, one of South Indian cinema’s biggest stars, who acted opposite Reddy in several projects, called the late actor “a fine gentleman”.

The director SS Rajamouli paid tribute to Reddy by remembering his versatility and the ease with which he could switch between comedy and villainy.

The tributes continue to pour in, proving that Reddy’s presence in Tollywood will be sorely missed.