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Happy birthday Chiranjeevi: A look at his five career-defining films

As Chiranjeevi turns 62, we take a look at his five roles that proved his versatility as an actor.

regional movies Updated: Aug 22, 2017 08:52 IST
Karthik Kumar
Karthik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Chiranjeevi,Khaidi,Sylvester Stallone
Actor Chiranjeevi turns 62 on Tuesday.

Actor Chiranjeevi turns a year older on Tuesday but his stardom remains unshakable. It is impossible to not like Chiranjeevi - the man who boasts of a larger-than-life onscreen image and is a man of humility - the star is a testimonial to the rags-to-riches story.

On his 62nd birthday, we take a look at five roles that proved his versatility as an actor.


This 1983 film is Tollywood’s take on Sylvester Stallone’s First Blood, and it featured Chiranjeevi in a ferocious avatar, set out to take revenge when failed by the system. Although it’s an out-and-out commercial movie, the film is largely remembered for Chiranjeevi’s terrific performance. He displayed versatility in his performance while transforming from a hapless brother pinned for the death of his own sister to the one who locks horns with the system. The film was the beginning of the Khaidi franchise for Chiranjeevi, who made Khaidi No 786 as his 100th film and Khaidi No 150 as his 150th film.

47 Rojulu
In his maiden collaboration with ace filmmaker K Balachander, Chiranjeevi didn’t hesitate to play a grey-shaded character. 47 Rojulu was based on a novel by celebrated writer Shivashankari, and the film marked Chiranjeevi’s Tamil debut as it was simultaneously shot in the language as 47 Natkal. Even though the film didn’t set the cash registers ringing, it’s still remembered for addressing a sensitive topic such as bigamy in mainstream cinema and it earned Chiranjeevi a new set of fans for his portrayal of the torture-inducing, conniving husband.


It takes guts for a popular hero to play a waiter, but Chiranjeevi was one of the rare stars to accept roles that pushed him out of his comfort zone. One such role was in this 1982 family drama, which marked his first-time collaboration with filmmaker K Vishwanath. The film was based on playwright Gurazada Apparao’s Kanyasulkam, and it showed the audience the social malady of dowry system. In several of his interviews, Chiranjeevi had said he will treasure his collaboration with Vishwanath. With his tongue-in-cheek humour, Chiranjeevi not only impressed the audiences but also earned his first Filmfare award as best actor.

In yet another author-backed role, Chiranjeevi made audiences realise the true meaning of dignity of labour. Playing a cobbler, in his second collaboration with Vishwanath, he turned in a memorable performance that will be remembered for a very long time.


Rudraveena was a moving story of a young man who wishes for a better society and in the process locks horns with his own father over contrast ideologies. The film questioned several society-related stigmas, especially one related to caste and creed. This three National Award-winning 1988 film by K Balachander also reminded every individual about his responsibility towards the society. It was lauded as an important film on national integration and was later remade in Tamil as Unnal Mudiyum Thambi with Kamal Haasan.

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First Published: Aug 22, 2017 08:50 IST