Chennai: Renowned Telugu filmmaker Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana aka Bapu died here at his residence Sunday, his family said. He was 80.
"He passed away following a cardiac arrest. He was struggling with illness for the last few months," Bapu's brother Sattiraju Shankar Narayana said.
Born Dec 15, 1933, Bapu started his career as a cartoonist for Telugu newspaper Andhra Patrika.
His filmmaking career started with 1960 Telugu film 'Sakshi', whose story and dialogues were by his best friend Mullapudi Venkata Ramana.
Bapu and Ramana worked together in several memorable Telugu films such as 'Mutyala Muggu', 'Mister Pellam', 'Pelli Pusthakam' and 'Seetha Kalyanam'.
An ardent devotee of Lord Ram, Bapu's stories were mostly inspired from the Ramayana.
Some of his best films on Lord Ram include 'Sampoorna Ramayanam', 'Ramanjeneya Yuddham' and 'Seetha Kalyanam'.
Bapu's last directorial was 2011 Telugu mythological drama 'Sri Rama Rajyam'. Ramana passed away a few months after the film's release.
Since Ramana's demise, Bapu was not in his pink of health.
"The death of Ramana came as a shock to my brother. He was shaken from the inside because it was the end of over 60 years of friendship," Bapu's brother said.
Bapu had also directed a few Hindi films such as 'Hum Paanch', 'Seeta Swayamwar', 'Woh Saat Din' and 'Mera Dharam'.
In his over four-decade-long career, Bapu directed 51 films. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2013.
He won the national awards twice and the Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards six times.
Bapu is survived by two sons and a daughter.
His last rites will be performed here Monday.