Uday Kiran's death robbed the film industry of a good actor and human being
Talented Telugu actor Uday Kiran decided to end his life at 33. Radhika Rajamani, who had interviewed the actor several times in the past, recounts what he was like in person and what made him a talent worth rooting for.
Uday Kiran had a meteoric rise in films after he was discovered by director Teja.
The boy from a middle-class background soared to great heights with several superhits.
Then his career plummeted.
His death has robbed the film industry of a good actor and human being.
I got a chance to interview him a few times at his house.
I noticed that he was not just courteous, extending the usual pleasantries to a journalist, but also a warm person.
Perhaps Uday never forgot his roots and it was this that made him so grounded, a quality that stood out. His smile and dimples are something I will never forget.
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Image: Uday Kiran
A star is born
Uday burst onto the scene at the age of 20 with Teja’s Chitram in 2000.
The film was a huge hit.
He followed it up with two other smash hits, Nuvvu Nenu and Manasantha Nuvve.
Awards soon followed.
He was one of the youngest actors to win the Filmfare Best Actor Award in Telugu for Nuvvu Nenu, where he portrayed a hot-headed youngster.
Subsequently, he acted in Kalusukovalani (where he danced well) and Sreeram, an action film.
Holi and Nee Sneham followed and Uday was on a roll.
Image: Uday Kiran
Uday Kiran never tasted the same success again
On the personal front, there was a bit of a disturbance in 2003 when his engagement to Sushmita (daughter of actor Chiranjeevi), was called off for reasons known only to them.
After this episode in his life, Uday had releases such as Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu, Love Today and Avunna Kadanna.
In 2006, he acted in K Balachander’s Poi, in Tamil (Abaddam in Telugu).
After that, he never tasted the same success again or matched the euphoric beginnings of his early career.
Image: Uday Kiran with Shriya Saran in Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu
Even during the sad phase in his career, his spirits were high
His other Tamil films, Vambu Sandai (dubbed as Lakshmi Putrudu in Telugu) and Penn Singam (dubbed as Alladista in Telugu) followed.
Viyyalavari Kayyalu and Gunde Jhallamandi did average business.
A string of other films -- Ekaloveyudu, Nuvvekkadunte Nenakkadunta and Jai Sriram (where he played a muscled cop) -- did nothing to resurrect his career.
Even during this sad phase in his career, his spirits were high.
He let bygones be bygones and was enthusiastic and cheerful about the days ahead.
It’s a pity that the films he chose towards the end of his short life fared badly at the box office.
Image: Uday Kiran with Sudha in Ekaloveyudu
Uday Kiran's name meant 'morning sunrise'
Uday had married Vishita in October 2012.
His name meant ‘morning sunrise’, and there was much time yet for the sunset of his life to arrive.
But he chose otherwise.
He was 33 when he took the extreme step of ending his own life.
Image: Uday Kiran with wife Visitha on their wedding day