Ahuti Prasad, originally known as Adusumilli Janardhan Vara Prasad, was a prominent figure in the Telugu film industry. His career spanned nearly three decades, during which he showcased his versatility by portraying a wide range of characters, from fatherly figures to comedians and antagonists. With over 150 films to his credit, Ahuti Prasad left an indelible mark on Tollywood. This article delves into the life and career of this celebrated actor.
Early Life and Family
Born on 2nd January 1958 to A. Ranga Rao and Hymavathi, Ahuti Prasad’s roots trace back to Koduru in the Krishna District, near Mudinepally. However, his family moved to Raichur in Karnataka when he was still a child. It was during his college days that Ahuti developed a keen interest in acting. Despite his passion, his parents initially opposed his choice of a career in acting. To honor their wishes, he completed his bachelor’s degree before seeking their permission to enroll in a film institute.
Upon completing his education, Ahuti Prasad moved to Hyderabad and joined the Film Institute under the mentorship of veteran director V. Madhusudhana Rao. During this time, Devadas Kanakala served as the principal of the institute, and he had notable classmates such as Ramjagan and the late Achyuth.
Ahuti Prasad tied the knot with Vijaya Nirmala, and together they had two sons, Karthik and Bharani.
Ahuti Prasad’s journey in the film industry commenced with the movie “Vikram,” directed by V. Madhusudhana Rao, which also marked Nagarjuna’s debut. He later worked as an assistant director for V. Madhusudana Rao in the film “Malle Moggalu.”
The turning point in his career came when producer Shyam Prasad spotted him on the sets of “Ee Prasnaku Baduledi?” and offered him a significant role as the antagonist in the film “Ahuti.” It was this role that earned him the moniker “Ahuti Prasad.” He credited Krishna Vamsi’s “Ninne Pelladata” as a pivotal moment that propelled his career as a character artist, leading to a flood of offers.
Throughout his career, Ahuti Prasad received accolades for his exceptional portrayal of characters, particularly those hailing from the East and West Godavari districts, thanks to his mastery of the regional accent. Initially known for antagonist roles, he later transitioned into portraying fatherly figures in films such as “Malliswari,” “Bendu Apparao RMP,” “Kotha Bangaru Lokam,” and “Seethamma Vaakitlo Sirimalle Chettu.”
Ahuti Prasad believed in the richness of character roles, noting that character artistes had the opportunity to tackle experimental and challenging characters that brought uniqueness to their performances. Colleague Allari Naresh praised Ahuti Prasad’s dedication, emphasizing his meticulous research into the backgrounds of his characters and his unwavering concern for the welfare of his fellow actors.
In addition to his acting career, Ahuti Prasad served as the general secretary of the Movie Artistes Association (MAA). His tenure in this role was marked by a deep commitment to the welfare of small artists in the Telugu film industry, as recognized by Murali Mohan, then President of MAA.
Tragically, Ahuti Prasad’s life was cut short when he succumbed to colon cancer on 4th January 2015 while undergoing treatment at KIMS Hospital. His battle with the disease remained largely unknown until his final days. Murali Mohan lamented that Ahuti Prasad chose to stay away from visitors during his last days, as cancer had taken a severe toll on his health.
Ahuti Prasad’s mortal remains were taken to his residence in Film Nagar, where numerous film personalities paid their respects. His final rites were conducted at the Erragadda cremation ground. Sadly, Ahuti Prasad passed away before witnessing the release of his last three films, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable performances and a profound impact on Telugu cinema.