Death
Bapineedu directed ‘Gang Leader’, starring Chiranjeevi, which went on to become one of the cult classics in Telugu.
Mohan Janamanchi/Twitter

Ace Telugu director, producer and script writer, Guttha Bapineedu Chowdhary, better known as Vijaya Bapineedu, passed away on Tuesday morning due to age related ailments in Hyderabad. Bapineedu was 82 years old.

Born in 1936 in Eluru in Andhra Pradesh, Bapineedu began his career as a magazine writer with Bommarilu and Vijaya. Bapineedu also authored a couple of novels and got his big break when Phalguna Arts decided to turn one of his novels into the movie Jagath Jateelu.

He turned director with Dabbu Dabbu Dabbu in 1981 and went on to direct many hit Telugu movies like Maga Maharaju, Khaidi No 786, Magadheerudu and the most famous one being Gang Leader, released in 1991, starring Chiranjeevi. The film was not only one of the biggest hits of Chiranjeevi’s career but was also dubbed as an ‘industry hit’ and a ‘cult classic’. The film was also later remade in Hindi as Aaj Ka Goonda Raj.

Bapineedu also turned producer for the 1976 movie Yavanam Katesindi and produced some more films like Rambha Urvasi Menaka, Bommarillu, BottuKaatuka, Prema Poojari, Vijaya, Rudra Thandavam. His last directorial was Kodukulu in 1998.

Bapineedu is the only producer till date to produce six films, Maga Mahaaraaju, Patnam Vacchina Pathivrathalu, Mahanagaramloo Mayagaadu, Magadheerudu, Khaidhi No 786, and Gang Leader with Chiranjeevi in the lead. Their combination failed at the box-office with the release of Big Boss and Bapineedu never produced a film again. Kodukulu was produced jointly by Bapineedu’s daughters.

Several fans expressed their condolences on Twitter after news of the director’s death broke on Tuesday morning.