ANR was the first lover boy for Tollywood. His pairing with S.Varalakshmi (Palnaati Yuddham, Balaraju) was termed as the most glamorous pair and gained high popularity. ANR can emote just with eyes and has a sensitive body language showing romantic expressions with so much ease. He is the first ever romantic hero of Tollywood!
Acting in female roles during stage plays seemed to have done so much good for ANR. He was able to express sensitive emotions and his on screen chemistry with many heroines made him adept in doing romantic roles. Even heroines were very comfortable acting with ANR. It is also said that ANR used to make debut heroines at ease during filming. Savitri was terrified when she was cast opposite ANR for her debut film Samsaram. The director L.V.Prasad got furious as the shooting schedule was getting delayed and gave her a guest role instead of a heroine. ANR did not want this to be repeated in his future projects and used to aid his heroines in every stage and support them well.
Here is the list of top heroines who acted with ANR and the films they appeared together:
Anjali Devi: She acted in highest number of films with ANR (50)! She was his heroine in Sri Lakshmamma Kadha, Swapna Sundari, Maayalamari, Sthree Saahasam, Paradesi, Anarkali, Ilavelpu, Suvarna Sundari, Chenchu Lakshmi, Jayabheri, Runanubandham, and Bhakta Tukaram. Apart from these she acted as mother, sister in law, sister and aunt in movies like Charanadasi, Dasara Bullodu, Suputrudu, Manasu Mangalyam, Kanna Koduku, Rahasyam, Adarsha Kutumbam, Raithu Kutumbam, Vichitra Bandham, Manchi Rojulu vastayi, Bangaru Bommalu, Ramakrishnulu and so on.
Bhanumathi: Although a senior artist in films, she acted along with ANR in Laila Majnu, Prema, Vipranarayana, Chakrapani, Baatasari and Gruhalakshmi. She acted as his sister in Antasthulu and played a pivotal role in Tenali Ramakrishna.
Savitri: ANR- Savitri combination is termed as golden by everyone in Telugu Cinema. Their combination is given highest marks by the audience. Bratuku teruvu, Devadasu, Ardhangi, Donga Ramudu, Thodi Kodallu, Mayabazar, Mangalya Balam, Nammina Bantu, Velugu Needalu, Aradhana, Manchi Manasulu, Puja Phalam, Mooga Manasulu, Sumangali, Navaratri, Manase Mandiram and Maro Prapancham featured them as lead pair in films. They were in different roles in films like Parivatrana, Gundamma Kadha and Dr.Chakravarthy.
Jamuna: Jamuna featured opposite ANR in roles which needed funkiness, stubbornness, and determination. She was first paired opposite ANR in ‘Nirupedalu’. She acted as his sister in ‘Donga Ramudu’. They were featured as lead pairs in Ilavelpu, Pellinati Pramanalu, Illarikam, Gundamma Kadha, Mooga Manasulu, Poola Rangadu, Mooga Nomu, Sri Manthudu, Manasu Mangalyam.
Shavukaru Janaki: She paired opposite ANR in roles which demanded mixed emotions like aggression, innocence. Her acting with ANR in films like Rojulu Maarayi, Baatasari, Manchi Kutumbam, Dr.Chakravarthy and so on fared well. Especially their casting as brother-sister worked out very well on screen.
Krishnakumari: ANR combination with Krishnakumari was commercially successful at the Box Office. Pelli Koduku, Bharya Bhartalu, Vagdanam, Kulagotralu, Chaduvukunna Ammailu, Punarjanma, Dr.Chakravarthy, Antasthulu, Jamindar, Bharya Biddalu feature them in lead pair.
B. Saroja Devi: B.Saroja Devi is known for her kiddish dialaogue delivery and sweetness in Telugu Cinema. Her combination with ANR also clicked very well. Pelli Kanuka, Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham, Atma Balam, Amarasilpi Jakkanna and Rahasyam featured them in lead. Except Rahasyam all the above mentioned films became super hits.
Jayalalitha: Jayalalitha made her film debut in Telugu by pairing opposite ANR with ‘Manushulu Mamathalu’. Later they were featured in Bharya Biddalu, Brahmachari, Adarsa Kutumbam, Premalu Pellillu, Nayakudu Vinayakudu.
Kanchana: She was first featured as Jaggaiah’s wife in ANR starrer Preminchi Chudu but later acted in many films with him. Atma Gouravam, Manchi Kutumbam, Dharma Daata, Pavitra Bandham, Manchi Rojulu Vacchayi, Manchi Vadu and so on are the films in this combination.
Vanisri: After ANR - Savitri combination it was ANR - Vanisri pair which was so successful. Atmeeyulu, Bhale Rangadu, Dasara Bullodu, Vichitra Bandham, Pavitra Bandham, Prema Nagar, Bangaru Babu, Secretary, Alu Magalu, Chakradhari, Koduku kodalu, Devadasu Malli Puttadu.
Lakshmi: She featured in peppy roles opposite ANR in Suputrudu, Koduku Kodalu, Palletoori Bava, Bangaru Kalalu and Raga Deepam.
Jayasudha: ANR’s tenure of experimental films began with his pairing with Jayasudha. She featured in negative role as a woman who attracts the hero in Mahakavi Kshetrayya and they later acted in Muddula Koduku, Edantasthula Meda, Megha Sandesam, Premabhishekam, Oorantha Bhale Dampathulu, Bangaru Kutumbam and Daddy Daddy.
Jayaprada: She first featured as Second Herione in Chakradhari along with ANR and then acted in Devadasu Malli Puttadu, Ramakrishnulu, Bucchi Babu, Prema Mandiram, Sreevari Mucchatlu, Megha Sandesam, Amara Jeevi and Sangeetha Samrat.
Sridevi: Despite being 36 years younger to ANR, she shined opposite ANR with her energy levels and the glamour doll image. Their pairing films are Muddula Koduku, Premabhishekam, Bangaru Kanuka and Sriranga Neethulu.
Sujatha: She was seen in roles which were earlier adorned by Anjali Devi and Sowcar Janaki opposite ANR. She is seen in Edantasthula Meda, Guru Sishyulu, Bangaru Kanuka, Bahudoorapu Baatasari and Sutradharulu. Their combination fetched good success on screen.
Apart from these aforementioned heroines, ANR also acted alongside Manjula, Jayachitra, Vijayanirmala, Sarada, Zarina Vahal, Waheeda Rahman, Geethanjali, Chandrakala and Bharati.