Early life and Film career:
SV Ranga Rao was born on 3rd July, 1918, to Koteswara Rao and Lakshmi at Nuzvidu town in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh. His mother, Lakshmi Narassayamma, was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateshwara, and named the boy after him. His father sent him to Madras presidency for schooling where he completed his schooling at Hindu college. He had an immense interest in stage acting since very young age. He completed B.Sc. and got a job Fire Service in the cadre of an officer. His mind was preoccupied with the thoughts of stage-plays and film acting. He was ambitious to do M.Sc. and to take part in dramas and films.
During that time, he got an invitation from one of his relatives, B. V. Ramanandam, to enact the role of the protagonist. He immediately abandoned his job and left for Salem to start his acting career. The film, Varudhini (1946), had Dasari Tilakam (mother of popular actress, Girija) as female lead. SV Ranga Rao was accustomed to male company and essayed female roles in dramas, so the on-screen intimacy left him in discomfort. He almost gave up his acting career but Ramanandam insisted him to stay. The result of Varudhini was disappointing and the film tanked at box-office. The producers showed no interest in casting him in their films. SV Ranga Rao was disillusioned with the colorful world of cinema. He left Madras presidency for a job of Budget assistant with the Tata company in Jamshedpur. He married Leelavathi on 27 December, 1947.
Success and Recognition:
Fame and Stardom:
He was popular for his natural acting style and the dialogue delivery. He enacted the role of Ghatotkacha in Maya Bazar (1957) which is regarded as the greatest Indian film of all time by CNN-India poll. Maya Bazar had an ensemble cast of N. T. Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Savitri etc. but SV Ranga Rao dominates them all with his amazing performance. The 1957 International Film Festival of India and the Indonesian Film Festival screened Maya Bazar. He used to live in his role in the sets and at his home, and talk, behave and walk exactly like the character.
SV Ranga Rao was a soft-spoken person with a very good sense of humor which used to attract people and he was often called as a people magnet. He even rejected several protagonist roles thinking that they would restrict him as an actor. SV Ranga Rao enacted several historical and mythological roles including Bhishma, Duryodhana, Akbar, Yama, Ravana, Tandra Paparayudu, Bhoja, Daksha, Harischandra, Hiranyakashipu, Kamsa, Keechaka, Mayasura and Narakasura.