Mahesh Babu

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For the Malayalam film actor, see Mahesh (actor).
Mahesh Babu
Mahesh Mywork.jpg
Mahesh Babu at a Univercell store in 2010
Born Mahesh Ghattamaneni
(1975-08-09) 9 August 1975 (age 39)[1]
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Residence Film Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Nationality Indian
Other names Superstar, Prince
Alma mater Loyola College, Chennai
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–1990 (child artist)
1999–present
Height 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m)[2]
Spouse(s)
Children Gautham Krishna Ghattamaneni
Sitara Ghattamaneni
Parents Krishna Ghattamaneni
Indira Devi
Relatives

Mahesh Babu (born Mahesh Ghattamaneni on 9 August 1975) is an Indian film actor known for his work exclusively in Telugu cinema. Born to actor Krishna in the Ghattamaneni family, Mahesh Babu faced the camera at the age of four as a child artist in 1979's Needa. His first leading role was in the film Rajakumarudu, which was released in August 1999.[3]

He played a young Kabaddi player in the 2003 blockbuster film Okkadu, one of the biggest Telugu grossers of the time. The film was subsequently remade into various Indian languages. He received international recognition with the 2005 film Athadu, another high grosser in Telugu cinema. The film was dubbed into Polish for a release in Poland as Poszukiwany, becoming the first Telugu film released in Poland, and became a boxoffice hit.[4][5] In 2006 he starred in Pokiri, premiered at the 7th IIFA Awards held in Dubai.[6][7] The blockbuster film was subsequently remade into Tamil, Hindi and Kannada.

In 2011, he starred in Dookudu, which had the largest worldwide opening for a Telugu film.The film was released among seventy nine screens in the United States.[8][9] In the rest of north, east and west India, it opened up in 21 cities.[10] It became the first Telugu film to reach a gross of more than INR 1 billion at the time, excluding the dubbed versions. Subsequently, the Los Angeles Times quoted it as "The biggest hit you've never heard of".[11]

In 2014, he starred in the psychological thriller, 1: Nenokkadine which reached $1.225 million in its first weekend, and remained one of the best openings ever for an Indian film in the United States.[12][13] He was then starred in Aagadu, which became the highest opening weekend Indian film in U.S. box office beating Bollywood films like Krrish 3 and Kick.[14][15] Other box office hits include the spiritual thriller, Murari (2001), the family thriller Arjun (2004), the action thrillers viz., Sainikudu (2006), Athidhi (2007), Khaleja (2010), the crime thriller, Businessman (2012), and the family drama SVSC (2013).

He has won seven state Nandi Awards, four Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards, two CineMAA Awards and two South Indian International Movie Awards. In addition to the films, he also endorses several brands in Andhra Pradesh and South India. He was also the national brand ambassador for Thums Up.[16] He was voted as the most desirable man in the Times Most Desirable Men 2013 online polls conducted by the Indiatimes Group.[17] In January 2013, he was ranked 31st on business magazine Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list.[18]

Early life[edit]

Mahesh Babu was born in Chennai, to Telugu Cinema actor Ghatamaneni Siva Rama Krishna and Smt. Indira Devi on 9 August 1975.[19] He is the younger brother of actor turned producer Ramesh Babu Ghattamaneni.[20] He also has two elder sisters, Padmavathi and actress-producer Manjula Ghattamaneni and one younger sister Priyadarshini.[21] All siblings have acted in films as child artistes. Mahesh's childhood was spent mostly in Madras under the care of his maternal grandmother, Smt. Durgamma, and the rest of his family.[22][23]

His father made sure all the children spent sufficient time with him on location and on his film sets, especially during holidays. Many times, Mahesh has said that this was where his interest for acting began.[24] The film sets were a second playground and he did not hesitate to face the camera when asked to do a small role in his brother Ramesh Babu's debut film, Needa, at the age of four.[24] He acted in seven of his father's films as a child actor.

Mahesh studied at St. Bede's School in Chennai while continuing to attend his dad's filming during holidays. Tamil film actor Surya was one of his schoolmates.[25] Mahesh obtained an Honours Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Mahesh dated Bollywood actress and former Femina Miss India Namrata Shirodkar for five years.[27] She was his co-star in the movie Vamsi. They got married on 10 February 2005 in Mumbai.[28] They have two children, son Gautam Krishna (born 31 August 2006) and daughter Sitara (born 20 July 2012).[29][30]

Career[edit]

Early career (1979–1990)[edit]

He started his acting career by playing a small role in his brother Ramesh Babu's debut film, Needa under Dr. Dasari Narayana Rao's direction in 1979, at the age of 4.[31] In 1983, at the age of 8, director Kodi Ramakrishna requested him to play a role in the film Poratam since they were having difficulty casting for the role of Krishna's sibling. This was his first full length feature film.[32] Producer and director Dhoondy, one of the early backers of Krishna in his struggling days, watched a preview of the movie and was stunned to find out he was Krishna's own son and remarked that there was a spark in him and he would become an excellent artist.[33] True to that prognostication, Mahesh became successful as a child artist through varied roles. In Sankharavam (1987) he faced the cameras with his father directing him for the first time.[34] Veteran director A. Kodandarami Reddy directed him and his brother Ramesh for Bazaar Rowdy (1988), where he won accolades for his acting.[35] Mugguru Kodukulu (1988) saw him again team up with his brother and father, the father directing them all this time.[36] Gudachari 117 (1989) reunited Mahesh with his first film director Kodi Ramakrishna in a James Bond type of flick for which his dad, the lead in the movie, was famous.[37] Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989), directed by Krishna again, had Mahesh in a dual role.[38] Balachandrudu and Anna Tammudu (1990) saw the teenaged Mahesh Babu completing his first innings on celluloid after which he concentrated on his studies and went out of the public eye while letting nature take its course through the awkward adolescent years.[39]

1999–2004[edit]

In 1999, Mahesh was re-introduced as a full-fledged hero with the movie Raja Kumarudu.[40] Directed by K. Raghavendra Rao and co-starring Priety Zinta, this movie was a debonair start for his career earning him Nandi Award for Best Male Debutant.[41] After the movie was released, both fans and the media started fondly calling him "Prince Mahesh".[42] His next release Yuvaraju followed in the year 2000.[43] Directed by Y.V.S Chowdary, the movie did moderately well at the box office completing 100 days in 19 centres all over AP.[44] In the same year, another movie Vamsi under the direction of B. Gopal was released and this movie had Namrata Shirodkar co-starring for the first time with Mahesh.[45] During the movie, the on screen couple Mahesh and Namrata started seeing each other in real life and this relationship later resulted in their marriage.[46]

In 2001, his successful movie Murari, directed by Krishna Vamsi and co-starring Sonali Bendre, was released[47] and earned Mahesh plaudits from all sections of audience and from critics.[48] He bagged a Nandi Special Jury Award for his performance in the film.[49] Takkari Donga, produced and directed by Jayanth C. Paranjee was released in 2002, where Mahesh essayed the role of a cowboy.[50] The role and the movie were meant to honour the legacy of Krishna as the first ever Indian cowboy and also the first Indian cowboy movie Mosagallaku Mosagadu.[51] His untiring effort in the movie led to another Nandi Special Jury Award.[52] His next film Bobby was released in the same year. Mahesh was paired along Aarthi Agarwal in this movie which was directed by Sobhan.[53]

Mahesh was next seen in Okkadu directed by Gunasekhar and co-starring Bhumika Chawla, the movie was produced by M.S. Raju.[54] This movie was released in 2003 and it remains as a landmark film in Mahesh Babu's career. He won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for this movie.[55] His next movie Nijam co-starring Rakshita was directed by Teja.[56] Mahesh's performance acquired him the prestigious Nandi Award for Best Actor.[57] In 2004, he worked with director S. J. Suryaah and had paired with Amisha Patel for the movie Naani.[58] This movie was produced by his sister Manjula Ghattamaneni.[59] The same year also had Mahesh again collaborating with Gunasekhar for his next movie Arjun which was produced by his brother G. Ramesh Babu.[60] He received a Nandi Special Jury Award for his emotional performance in the film.[61]

2005–2010[edit]

In 2005, Mahesh married Namrata Shirodkar after being in a relationship with her for almost 5 years. The year also saw the first release after his marriage and Trivikram Srinivas's second directorial venture, Athadu.[62] He was paired alongside with Trisha Krishnan. Mahesh once again achieved critical acclaim for his performance in the movie and also earned himself the Nandi Award for Best Actor for the second time.[63] Pokiri, produced jointly by his sister Manjula Ghattamaneni and Vaishno Academy and directed by Puri Jagannadh was the highest-grossing Telugu film of ever and broke all previous records across the state.[64] The movie saw him paired alongside with Ileana D'Cruz. Pokiri was a success in AP as well as other states and overseas. The film completed 100 days in as many as 200 centres in Andhra Pradesh and completed silver jubilee in a record 63 centres.[65] Mahesh earned his second Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for this movie.[66]

The year also saw Mahesh working again with Director Gunasekhar and actress Trisha Krishnan for the movie Sainikudu.[67] In 2007, for his next venture Mahesh embraced corporate film making in Telugu Film Industry.[68] He collaborated with UTV and with young director Surender Reddy for Athidi which made him the first corporate hero in Telugu Film Industry.[69] He was paired alongside Amrita Rao.[70] After Athidi, Mahesh devoted more time to family matters with a new toddler to spend time with, supporting and helping Namrata cope with her father's illness and then his death, followed by Namrata's mother's bout with cancer and her death.[71] In 2008, Mahesh lent his voice for the film Jalsa, directed by his friend Trivikram Srinivas.[72]

In 2010, after a 3-year long hiatus Mahesh returned to the silver screen with the movie Khaleja.[73] Directed by Trivikram Srinivas, the movie languished in development hell due to production problems[74] and the telangana agitations.[75] Upon release, the movie received mixed reviews but also became one of the highest grossing Telugu films overseas.[76] The year also saw Mahesh embracing social networking site Twitter to interact with his fans.[77]

2011–2014[edit]

Mahesh Babu with K. Viswanath, Namrata Shirodkar and Manjula Ghattamaneni at the Biography Launch of Adurthi Subba Rao in 2014

After the unsatisfying box office run of Khaleja, Mahesh starred in Srinu Vaitla's Dookudu which was a blockbuster.[78] He played the role of an honest cop and his performance was well appreciated by critics. Sify.com wrote "Mahesh Babu`s role, particularly in the action episodes, rocks. Even in emotional scenes too, the hero looks superb, drawing applause from the audience. Coupled with this, Mahesh thrills with his comedy timing. Going by the story, Mahesh Babu donned two different attires, impressive in both and playing them to perfection."[79] Dookudu completed a successful run in 152 centres after 50 days and is supposedly the second highest grossing Telugu film after Maghadheera (With 660 million Share world wide).[80] CNN-IBN for the year 2011, declared him as the Actor of the Year and Dookudu as the Hit of the Year in a survey conducted for Telugu films.[81] He also won his third Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for his performance in the movie.[82]

He then co–starred with Kajal Aggarwal in the movie Businessman. The film, directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by RR Movie Makers, released worldwide on 13 January 2012.[83] He played a complete Negative role similar to an anti hero and he received huge critical acclaim for his performance. The Hindu wrote "The film has no frills, no vulgar wastage and the hero is practically in every frame; you hear only his voice, he looks good, sounds good, he also steals the comedian's job." It added "The thrills for the audience, amoral enjoyment arrives with every step that Surya (Mahesh) climbs, he has the uncanny ability to deceive, to lie convincingly on all scales, as though this was second nature. Yet he is compelling when he speaks the truth. Mahesh plays it straight."[84] Similar to his previous release, it took the largest worldwide opening[85] by collecting INR187.3 million on the first day[86] and INR 629.4 million worldwide in the first week.[87] For the first time in his career, Mahesh along with the director Puri Jagannadh lent his vocals for a song in the project.[88] According to certain reports, Mahesh emerged as the highest paid actor in South India after Rajnikanth.[89]

His next venture was a multi–starrer film Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu under the direction of Srikanth Addala.[90] Being produced by Dil Raju, the film also starred Daggubati Venkatesh. The film was officially launched on 6 October 2011 and the filming began on 18 January 2012.[91] Samantha was cast opposite him, for the second time. The movie released on 11 January 2013 and was a blockbuster at the box office, his performance was widely praised by critics and he won fourth time Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for his performance in the movie, (the fourth time he had won this award). idlebrain.com wrote "Mahesh Babu is planning his career in a beautiful way. After doing an all-round entertaining character in Dookudu and terrific character of a ruthless angry young man in Businessman, Mahesh has selected a nice family guy role in this movie. The character is playful most of the times and highly intense in a few conflict scenes. It's a right career move for Mahesh Babu.".[92][93]

Almost after a year's gap, his next project 1: Nenokkadine under the direction of Sukumar released on 10 January 2014. The film, produced by 14 Reels Entertainment has debutante Kriti Sanon acting opposite him and the film was launched on 12 February 2012.[94][95] He also hired Hollywood trainer Kris Gethin as his personal trainer.[96] The film opened to mixed reviews but Mahesh received huge acclaim for his performance as a Revenge seeking Rock star suffering from Integration Disorder. Sify.com wrote "Mahesh Babu is the sole reason as to why you should watch the film. He gives one of his best performances. His presence and performance drives the movie despite hollow proceedings. He has built up his body and transformed it to look fit. Through out the film he maintains consistency. Watch out for his acting in pre-interval sequences."[97] After 1: Nenokkadine, his other movie Aagadu was released in the same year on 19 September 2014. [98] Directed by Srinu Vaitla, the movie starred Tamannaah with him. The movie received mixed reviews upon release. Although Aagadu had a strong opening at the box-office, eventually it ended up as a flop. He has been awarded Times Desirable Man of the year 2013-14.

After the completion of the project with Koratala Siva, Mahesh is going to share the screen with Rajinikanth, confirmed the Veteran producer U.Suryanarayana Babu.[99][100]

In the media[edit]

Mahesh Babu is considered as one of the most popular actors in Telugu cinema.[101] He was listed 5th in the Times 50 Most Desirable Men in India for the year 2011, becoming the only South Indian to have been so.[102][103] He climbed to the 2nd position of the same list the following year, beating the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan.[17] In January 2013, Mahesh was ranked 31st on business magazine Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list.[18] Based on recorded earnings between September 2011 and October 2012, Forbes listed Mahesh 15th among India's highest earning celebrities.[104] With earnings of over INR422.5 million (US$6.8 million), he was the highest earning South Indian celebrity in 2012.

Brand endorsements[edit]

In 2007, Mahesh Babu signed a five-year endorsement deal with the cola company, Thums Up to replace Chiranjeevi as its brand ambassador in Andhra Pradesh.[105] He endorses brands such as Navratna Oil, Royal Stag, Amrutanjan,[106] Provogue[107] in Andhra Pradesh and Univercell,[108] Idea Cellular, Jos Alukkas, TVS, Vivel,[109] Mahindra Tractors,[110] Santoor Soap and South India Shopping Mall[111] in South India. In 2012, he replaced Akshay Kumar as the national brand ambassador for Thums Up.[112] , Mahesh had signed for another endorsement TVS Motor Company in 2013.[113] He was topped in the list of Times 50 Most Desirable Men in India for the year 2013.[114] He is the new brand ambassador for Paragon footwear and Tata Sky-Telugu.

Filmography[edit]

Below are the selected filmography of Mahesh Babu.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Category Film Result
1999 Nandi Awards Nandi Award for Best Male Debut Raja Kumarudu Won
2001 Nandi Awards Nandi Special Jury Award Murari Won
2002 Nandi Awards Nandi Special Jury Award Takkari Donga Won
2003 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu Okkadu Won
CineMAA Awards CineMAA Award for Best Actor – Male Won
Santosham Film Awards Santosham Best Young Performers Award Won
AP Cinegoer's Association Awards Best Actor[115] Won
Nandi Awards Nandi Award for Best Actor Nijam Won
2004 Nandi Awards Nandi Special Jury Award Arjun Won
2005 Nandi Awards Nandi Award for Best Actor Athadu Won
Vamsee Film Awards Best Actor – N T R Swarna Kankanam[116] Won
2006 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu Pokiri Won
CineMAA Awards CineMAA Award for Best Actor – Male Won
Santosham Film Awards Santosham Best Actor Award Won
Vamsee Film Awards Best Actor – N T R Swarna Kankanam[116] Won
2007 CineMAA Awards CineMAA Award for Best Actor – Male Athidi Nominated
Santosham Film Awards Santosham Best Actor Award Nominated
2008 Vamsee Film Awards Best Actor – N T R Swarna Kankanam[116] Won
2011 Nandi Awards Nandi Award for Best Actor Dookudu Won
Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu[117] Won
CineMAA Awards CineMAA Award for Best Actor – Male Won
The Hyderabad Times Film Awards Best Actor – Male[118][119] Won
South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor[120] Won
2012 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu[121] Businessman Nominated
Santosham Film Awards Best Actor[122] Won
South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Nominated
2013 Filmfare Awards South Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu Won
South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Won

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