Renowned Telugu actor and writer Gollapudi Maruti Rao, who enthralled people with his writings and acting for several decades, passed away on Thursday.

He was 80.

Rao, who acted in around 250 films in about four decades, passed away in Chennai following a cardiac arrest, his family members told reporters.

Rao, a multi-faceted personality, had been a journalist, playwright, writer, actor and television personality, all rolled into one.

He had also worked in All India Radio.

Maruti Rao had won the prestigious Nandi Award of the government in undivided Andhra Pradesh way back in the 1960s as a writer, among many others.

The Nandi awards are given to films in various categories.

Some of his memorable films as an actor include ‘Intlo Ramayya, Veedhilo Krishnayya’, ‘Challenge’, ‘Samsaram oka Chadarangam’, ‘Aditya 369’ and ‘Leader’.

With the advent of television in the 1990s, Maruti Rao hosted TV shows and made a mark for himself on the small screen as well.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao condoled the death of Maruti Rao and hailed his contributions to the fields of Telugu literature, drama and cinema.

The plays and research articles written by Maruti Rao have enriched the Telugu language and its literature, the Chief Minister said.