Puvvula Suri Babu

22 Feb 1915
12 Feb 1968
Film Industry
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P. Suri Babu, or Puvvula Suri Babu (Telugu: పువ్వుల సూరిబాబు) (February 22, 1915 – February 12, 1968), was an Indian actor and singer on stage and cinema. He had a peculiar bold voice and was called Kanchu Kantham Suri Babu.

Suribabu was born on February 22, 1915 in Bommaluru village of Gudivada taluq, Andhra Pradesh. He learned music from his uncle Hanumanlu. With enthusiasm in drama, he ran away from home and reached Gadwal and played few characters in Samsthanam drama company.

He returned to Guntur and joined the Balamithra Sabha owned by Dantu Venkata Krishnaiah. During those days Kopparapu Subbarao was training children in music and acting. He played many roles and soon became one of the finest actors.

He established his own drama troupe named Balakrishna Nataka Samajam in 1931 in Gudivada. They played Bhakta Vijayam, Maya Madhusudhana with huge sets. However they met with heavy losses. He subsequently shifted to Tenali and joined Satyanarayana Natya Mandali in 1936.

He married Rajeswari in 1944 and established on her name Raja Rajeswari Natya Mndali.Rajeswari was also a singer and drama artist of repute and many grampphone companies like HMV, Columbia released her records. He got Tara Sasankam drama written by Kopparapu Subbarao and played more than 1500 times under his own direction.Suribabu’s wife Rajeswari played the role of Tara in Tarasasankam and won many accolades.They toured not only Andhra Pradesh but also cities like Bombay, Calcutta etc. They played Bhukailas, Kurukshetram, Vipranarayana, Tulabaram like puranic plays and earn reputation.

He played variety of roles like Narada, Dharmaraju,Ashwadhama,Vipranarayana, Bilwamangal, Subudhi, Ramadasu, Dharmarayudu and many more. His voice is metallic and used to be heard long distances clearly. His singing poems used to be simplified and used to be understood by the lay persons and draw huge crowds. Many shows used to last the entire night. He acted in some Telugu films and used to sing his own songs.Many movie music directors used to take his help while tuning for padyalu (poems).The famous “manikyaveena” slokam sung by Ghantasala in the movie Mahakavi Kalidasu was composed by Suribabu

He played before Mysore Maharajah Durbar in 1946 and got facilitated. He was ceremoniously honoured with titles “Kala Visharada”, “Gana Gandharva” in Tenali in 1957.

He died on February 12, 1968.

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