Gollapudi Maruti Rao (14 April 1939 – 12 December 2019) was an Indian film actor, screenwriter, dramatist, playwright, and dialogue writer known for his works in Telugu cinema, Telugu theatre and Telugu Literature. Rao acted in over 250 Telugu films in a variety of roles.
His noted literary works and plays, like Rendu Rellu Aaru, Patita, Karuninchani Devatalu, Mahanatudu, Kaalam Venakku Tirigindi, Aasayaalaku Sankellu, won numerous State Awards.He was a member of the Script Scrutiny Committee of National Film Development Corporation and served as a Jury Member at International Film Festival of India for Indian Panorama section in 1996. He was known for scripting landmark films like Doctor Chakravarthy, Tharangini, Samsaram Chadharangam, Kallu etc. He garnered six Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards. In 1997, he established the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation, which presents the Gollapudi National Award, for the best first film of a director in Indian cinema.Rao was also known for his works in All India Radio and Journalism, for over two decades. His play was included in the Master of Arts (Telugu literature) curriculum of Osmania University. This work was translated into all Indian languages by the National Book Trust, under the Aadaan Pradaan programme. The work was remade into a Telugu film in 1988 which won the Nandi Award for the Best Story in 1989. His 1975 play Kallu, was also remade into a Telugu film Kallu, which also garnered Nandi Award for Best Feature Film. His play Oka Chettu – Rende Puvvulu was purchased by the Song and Drama Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for popular exhibition.A volume of essays on theatre, Telugu Nataka Rangam, was prescribed as a textbook for the Department of Theatre Arts, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam (1967). He published two research articles appearing in Andhra Vignana Sarvaswam (Telugu Encyclopedia) 11th volume: "History of the development in 'Thought' and 'Technique' of Telugu Play-writing" and "Amateur Theatre – its origin and growth in relation to the World Amateur Theatre movement. His Telugu play Vandemaataram, the first one in Telugu about the Sino-Indian War, was published by Andhra Pradesh State Information & Public Relations Department, (1963).
He died on 12 December 2019 in Chennai. The loss of Gollapudi Maruti Rao is being mourned by several noted writers and members of the Telugu film fraternity.