Renowned mimicry artist Nerella Venumadhav passed away at his house in Hanamkonda on Tuesday morning after a brief illness. The 85-year-old was known for his inimitable style of imitating voices and sounds.
Venu Madhav was born in Warangal on December 28, 1932. He started his mimicry career at the age of 16 in 1947 and has performed a number of shows in Telugu, Hindi, Urdu and Tamil languages.
Venu Madhav, who was interested in movies, was closely associated with C. Nagayya, Gummadi Venkateswara Rao and Akkineni Nageshwara Rao. Prominent producer BN Reddy encouraged him to appear in some films. He has played important roles in about 12 films. Former Indian President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, V V Giri, Jail Singh, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, Neelam Sanjeevireddy and former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had witnessed Venugopavu imitating the famous people and leaders. In 2001, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Shri. In 1978, Andhra University awarded him the ‘Kalapraphana’ title. He received honorary doctorates from AU, KU and IGNOU.