He is the first person to cause the shift of Telugu film industry to Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh from Chennai, Tamilnadu in an attempt to bring the native language to the heart of the Telugu community. Soon after moving to Hyderabad, Nageswara Rao founded his own production house, Annapoorna Studios located in Banjara Hills
He is noted for his class roles in the mid 1960's. His younger son Nagarjuna is also an actor in Telugu.Even at the age of 83, Dr Akkineni Nageswara Rao still acts. He is specifically remembered in Andhra Pradesh for his biographical roles like Dr.Chakravarthy, Devadasu, Vipranarayana, Chakradhari, Tukaram, Kalidasu, Jayadeva, Tenali Ramakrishna, and Kshethrayya. Moreover he is popular as hero of many popular fiction novels which were made into films such as Doctor Chakravarthi, Prema Nagar, Secretary etc.
The major contributory factor for the everlasting image of this evergreen hero is that none in India or even in foreign land has such long screen innings as a hero, like ANR does. It is a record for any artiste to stay hero for more than six decades on screen.ANR has always been an outspoken person. His observations on his life and career are so realistic that one feels he has studied the world well. His comment on social, political and cultural scenario is well studied. He is the most attractive speaker in all the functions he participates these days. He is a potential conversationalist. Life in the tinsel world provided him basic education. He says that institutions like Pratibha, Bharani, Sarada, Annapoorna, Jagapati and individuals like DL Narayana, Raghavayya, Bhanumathi, Dukkipati and many famous writers and poets constituted his university of learning. These learned men are comparable only to learned professors in any University. Playing a poet, a singer, a lover, an adventurer or a folklore hero means a lot of experience. As an actor, ANR transported himself into the role first and then into one who is capable of looking at life from all angles, analytically. He learned a lot and digested quite a bit of it
ANR braved many challenges. He is a critic's critic and is gifted with analytical mind. "One has to first understand and assess his own strong and weak points before accepting a role. I love a journalist who mirrors the true faults in performances of artistes. I keep a man away who always praises me," he says.
He goes a bit philosophic and introspective. "What would have happened to me if Ghantasala Balaramiah did not notice me on the railway platform and looked other side while I was walking on the platform", he recalls. "It was a tryst with destiny or say was a matter of chance that I came into his view and that moment changed my destiny", he observes.
ANR is an engineer and architect within himself and a designer too, when it came to the construction of his studios. Annapoorna Studios is one of the best in Asia, with all the facilities, the lack of which in other studios, ANR worked in, put him to inconvenience. He is a man with great sense of discipline and perspicacity. A legend in his own lifetime.