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Sumanth in the film Boni
Born Sumanth Kumar
(1975-02-09) 9 February 1975 (age 39)
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Occupation Film actor/producer
Years active 2000–present
Relatives Akkineni Nageswara Rao (Grand Father)

Sumanth (Telugu: సుమంత్) is a Telugu film actor/producer from the Akkineni family. He is the nephew of actor Akkineni Nagarjuna, and the grandson of the late actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao.[1] He is also partner in Annapurna Studios, a prominent film studio/production house that was established in 1975 by his grandfather.


Sumanth studied at the Hyderabad Public School, graduating in 1992. For his undergraduate studies, he went to the United States, where he enrolled in an engineering course at Michigan. Realizing that engineering didn't match his career aspirations, he later transferred to Columbia College in Chicago, where he majored in film.[2] During his senior year in university, he was selected to the Dean's list in recognition of his academic excellence[citation needed].


Sumanth started his acting career in Telugu cinema in 1999 with Ram Gopal Varma's film Prema Katha. Despite moderate commercial success, the film received several Nandi Awards.[3] His next film, Yuvakudu, directed by Karunakaran and co-starring debutant Bhumika Chawla, did average business at the box office but was critically hailed. His subsequent films, Pelli Sambandham, co-starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao and directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, and Snehamante Idera, where he co-starred alongside Akkineni Nagarjuna, failed at the box office.

However in late 2003, after a self-imposed hiatus of almost two years, he delivered his first blockbuster, Satyam. It also happened to be Genelia D'Souza's debut Telugu film.[4] Satyam, which was produced by Akkineni Nagarjuna, was one of the highest grossing films of that year. Sumanth revealed later that this was one film where he was active in the production aspects as well. He followed it up with another hit film, Gowri, which confirmed him as a bonafide box office draw.[5] It was a remake of the hit Tamil film Thirumalai, which starred Vijay and Jyothika. Gowri was instrumental in giving him an action image as well amongst the masses. In 2005, he starred in the flop Dhana 51 and the moderate hit Mahanandi, in which Anushka Shetty starred opposite him.

In 2006, Sumanth played the lead in Sekhar Kammula's romantic comedy Godavari. It remains one of the most acclaimed films of his career.[6] In addition to receiving rave reviews and box office success, it went on to win multiple Nandi and Filmfare awards.[7] The film was especially successful in giving Sumanth a new urban and international Telugu following. It is widely regarded as a modern day classic.[8]

Sumanth's next film was the average running action/drama Chinnodu (2006). In 2007, he starred in two movies: Madhumasam and Classmates. The former, a romantic comedy/drama produced by D. Ramanaidu, was a hit at the box office, whereas the latter did not fare too well.[9] In early 2008, Sumanth's home production, the action/drama Pourudu turned out to be a decent success at the box office.[10] It was especially hailed for its action sequences. However his next film, Boni, produced by the music director Ramana Gogula and released in mid-2009, failed to repeat his previous success.

In 2010, after a gap of almost a year, Sumanth starred in Golconda High School, directed by the national award winning Indraganti Mohan Krishna under the Artbeat Capital banner, which previously produced the hit film Ashta Chamma. It was based on the English novel The Men Within written by ex-cricketer, Harimohan Paruvu, and is regarded to be Telugu cinema's first film in the sports genre.[11] Released on January 15, 2011, it garnered excellent critical acclaim and was declared a commercial hit as well. Many critics and the public termed Sumanth's portrayal of a young cricket coach as one of his finest roles to date.[12] This film is also slated to be dubbed into English for an upcoming international release.

Sumanth's next film was the romantic drama Raaj opposite the national award winning actress Priyamani, and Vimala Raman. The film was directed by V.N. Aditya, who earlier directed Manasantha Nuvve, Aata, and Nenunnanu. This film was released in March 2011, but failed miserably at the box office. To the surprise of many,[who?] Sumanth candidly admitted after release that he wasn't expecting much from this film as it was plagued with several problems during production. It was more or less a "salvage operation" according to him.[citation needed]

Subsequently, Sumanth starred in Daggaraga Dooramga, a romantic thriller under the direction of the National and Nandi award winning writer/director Ravi Kumar Chavali, who earlier made the critically acclaimed film, Samanyudu. It released in August 2011, and did below average business at the box office. The film industry was of the general opinion that the lack of proper promotion was one of the reasons for its mediocre performance.[citation needed]

In 2013, Sumanth teamed up again with director Chandra Siddharth for the comedy Emo Gurram Egaravachu[13] M.M. Keeravani scored the soundtrack and Thai actress, Pinky Savika, aka Sawika Chaiyadech, starred alongside Sumanth in this film. It released on January 25, 2014 and garnered a predominantly positive response from the audience. Sumanth's foray into the comedy genre received rave reviews from the critics as well. [14]

Sumanth has also recently expressed an interest to don a strong negative lead role in the near future, saying it's something that he always wanted to do for as long as he could remember.[15]

Off screen, being an avid sports fan, Sumanth was recently roped in to be the brand ambassador for the Hyderabad Skykings, one of the franchises of the EFLI (The American Football League of India).

Personal life[edit]

Sumanth was born in Hyderabad, India, on February 9, 1975.[citation needed] He is the only son of Surendra Yarlagadda and the late Satyavathi Akkineni.[citation needed] He has one sister, Supriya Yarlagadda, a film producer and executive director of Annapurna Studios. A few months after his birth, Sumanth's parents returned to the US where they were residing. Sumanth, however, remained in India on the request of his grandfather, Akkineni Nageswara Rao. He was subsequently adopted by his grandfather and his grandmother, the late Annapurna Akkineni.[citation needed]

Sumanth is also closely related to the prominent film producer and studio owner D. Ramanaidu from his paternal side. The noted film producer Suresh Babu Daggubati and the famous Telugu actor, Venkatesh Daggubati are his uncles. Fellow actors, Naga Chaitanya Akkineni, Sushanth, and Rana Daggubati are his cousins.[citation needed]

In August 2004, Sumanth married former actress Keerthi Reddy. They, however, were divorced amicably in 2006.[16] Sumanth presently resides in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, at the home of his late grandfather, Akkineni Nageswara Rao.[citation needed]



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