Chiranjeevi, the megastar who beat Big B as India’s highest paid actor
Megastar Chiranjeevi is getting back to acting after almost eight years with the Telugu remake of Tamil superhit Kaththi. What is also significant is the fact that this is his 150th film. On Friday, the actor will give his mahurat shot for a film bankrolled by his son, actor Ram Charan.
Here’s a look at the career of an actor who has spent more than three decades in the film industry.
1. Born on Aug 22, 1955 in Mogalturu, a small village in coastal district of West Godavari of Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi’s real name is Konidela Siva Shankara Varaprasad.
2. Son of an employee in the excise department, he started acting in late 1970s.
3. Punadhiralu was his first film as an actor but it was his film Pranam Kareedhu which got released first in 1978.
4. He had a small role in Tayaramma Bangarayya (1979) but went on to play a number of negative roles in films like I Love You (1979) and Idi Katha Kaadu (1979), the latter starring Kamal Haasan in the lead.
5. He also played a villain in Mosagadu (1980), Rani Kasula Rangamma (1981), 47 Rojulu (1981), Nyayam Kavali (1981) and Ranuva Veeran (1981). Ranuva Veeran starred Rajinikanth in the lead.
6. Films like Intlo Ramayya Veedilo Krishnayya (1982) and Subhalekha (1982) were his early hit movies. For the latter, he won his first Filmfare award in the best actor category.
7. Chiranjeevi started doing action movies from 1983 onwards. It was with Kaidi that he tasted stardom as the film became his first blockbuster. In 1985, he got his second second Filmfare award for Vijetha in the best actor category.
8. He bagged first Nandi award in the best actor category for Swayamkrushi (1987), where he played a cobbler. Rudraveena (1988) won three national film awards including best film on national integration.
9. In 1990, came another big hit called Kondaveeti Donga. His film Gang Leader (1991) set new record at the box office. It was later re-made in Hindi as Aaj ka Goonda Raj where his co-star was Meenakshi Sheshadri.
10. Chiranjeevi’s Hindi film Pratibandh (1990) and The Gentleman (1993) also won him accolades.
11. Gharana Mogadu (1992) was the first Telugu movie to gross over Rs 10 crore at the box office.
12. He was paid Rs 1.25 crore for Aapad Bandhavudu in 1992, making him the highest paid actor, overtaking Amitabh Bachchan who then used to get Rs 1 crore for a movie.
13. After a few flops in the mid 1990s, Chiranjeevi bounced back with Hitler (1997). In 1998, came another film Choodalani, an action thriller which did a business of Rs 16 crore, a big number then.
14. Annayya (2000) was another of his big hits, which earned Rs 6 crore in the first two weeks. Indra (2002) broke all previous box office records and became first Telugu movie to gross Rs 30 crore.
15. His film Tagore which released in 2003, proved to be another blockbuster and one of the major hits of megastar. It was followed by other big hits like Shankar Dada MBBS, a remake of Hindi blockbuster Munna Bhai MBBS and Shankar Dada Zindabad, a remake of Lage Raho Munnabhai.
16. He played villain in some more movies. His early films were mostly family dramas. Action movies too would become his most-favoured genre. He is known for playing a variety of roles ranging from cobbler, painter, goon, cowboy, rebel to a cop and leader.
17. The following are some top leading ladies with whom he has been paired: Jayasudha, Jayaprada, Sridevi, Radhika, Madhvai, Sumalata, Bhanupriya, Vijayashanti, Roja, Rambha, Soundarya, Aarti Agarwal, Shriya Saran