Rumor of U.S. stamp excites Indian movie fans

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The news appearing on Indian websites over the Labor Day weekend surely must have excited many of Tollywood’s fans, although the rumor turned out to be false.

According to the website, the United States Postal Service was to issue a stamp honoring the late Indian film star Akkineni Nageswarara Rao by issuing a postage stamp on his birthday.

“It is the first time that an Indian actor has been given this honour,” said Outlook India.com on Aug. 31.

A first-day ceremony was planned for Sept. 20 in Dallas, said an announcement from the Akkineni Foundation of America.

“I am deeply touched and so are other members of the Akkineni family by the issuance of this postage stamp, and I am deeply grateful to USPS for conferring one of America’s highest honours to my father Akkineni Nageswara Rao,” the legendary actor’s son Nagarjuna Akkineni said in a statement.

Unfortunately for the son and Indian movie fans, Mark Saunders, a Postal Service spokesman, told Linn’s that USPS has no plans for any such stamp.

Worse still, Saunders said he was having difficulty trying to contact the American foundation that apparently triggered the news with a press release.

The actor, who died Jan. 22, has acted in more than 255 films.