Portrait of Balakrishna
|Member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for Hindupur|
|Preceded by||P. Abdul Ghani|
10 June 1960 |
Madras, Madras State, India
(now Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
|Political party||Telugu Desam Party|
|Spouse(s)||Vasundhara Devi (m. 1982)|
Nandamuri Mokshagna Teja
|Parents||Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao
|Residence||Film Nagar, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana, India|
|Profession||Film Actor, Politician|
Nandamuri Balakrishna (born 10 June 1960) is an Indian film actor and politician, known for his works exclusively in the Telugu cinema. He is the sixth son of Telugu matinee idol and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. T. Rama Rao. He entered the film industry as a child artist at the age of 14 with the film Tatamma Kala. Known for his break dancing skills, in a film career spanning 40 years he has acted in over ninety eight films, in a variety of roles. Balakrishna has received two state Nandi Awards, and the South Indian International Movie Award for best acting. Balakrishna was the guest of honour at the 43rd International Film Festival of India.
In 1984, he appeared in K. Viswanath's directorial Janani Janmabhoomi which was a critical success, he then starred in a dual role in Apurva Sahodarudu (1987) directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, was a box-office success. This year he had six super hit films in a row. In the same year, he starred in Presidentugari Abbai directed by Tatineni Rama Rao and Muvva Gopaludu by Kodi Ramakrishna were biggest hits of the year. Bhargava Ramudu, which is made from a novel, alongside vijayashanti is a success at the box office. His other box office hits during that time include Inspector Pratap, Bharatamlo Bala Chandrudu, Tiragabadda Telugubidda, and Rakthabhisekham. In 1989, he was starred alongside Vijaya Shanti in Muddula Mavayya directed Kodi Ramakrishna. The film was a blockbuster at the box-office. Bhale Donga alongside Vijayasanthi and sharada was also success at the boxoffice. In 1990, he acted in Nari Nari Naduma Murari directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy alongside Shobana and Nirosha. The film was a box-office success. In the same year he appeared in B. Gopal's Lorry Driver opposite Vijaya Shanti; the film was a Superhit at the box-office. Talli Tandrulu alongside vijayasanthi was again a success at the boxoffice.
In 1991, he acted in another blockbuster science fiction film Aditya 369 directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The film is about a time machine that goes into the past and the future. This was the only science fiction film in Telugu cinema, during that period of time. He then had two releases in 1992 Dharma Kshetram was an Average and Rowdy Inspector directed by B. Gopal, was a "Super Hit" at the box-office. In the year 1993, balakrishna had two releases on the same day which are Nippu Ravva alongside Shobana and Vijaya Shanti directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy and Bangaru Bullodu alongside Raveena Tandon and Ramya Krishna directed by Ravi Raja Pinisetty, out of which "Bangaru Bullodu" was a super hit.
His next appearance was a folk role in Bhairava Dweepam (1994) directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao. The film was a critical and commercial success and one of the milestone of his acting career. In Brahmarshi Viswamitra, directed by his father, he played as Satya Harischandra and Dushyanta. Between 1994–1999, he acted in super hit movies like Bobbili Simham, Vamsanikokkadu, Peddannayya and moderate successes like Muddula Mogudu, Maatho Pettukoku, Yuvaratna Rana and Pavitra Prema. In the year 1999, he acted in B. Gopal's action film Samarasimha Reddy opposite Simran and Anjala Zhaveri. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of Telugu cinema of its time. He is actively involved in politics and is a member of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founded by his father. In 2014, he was elected incumbent M. L. A. from Hindupur for the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. He is also the chairman of the trust board for The Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital and Research Institute based in Hyderabad, India.
Early life and family
Balakrishna was born in Chennai (then Madras), Tamil Nadu to veteran Telugu actor and three-time former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao and his wife Basava Tarakam. As the Telugu film industry was based in Madras at the time, he spent his entire childhood in Madras. During his adolescence, he moved to Hyderabad following the shifting of the Telugu film industry to that city. He earned a bachelor's degree in commerce from Nizam College , Hyderabad, Telangana.
In 1982, at the age of 22, Balakrishna married Vasundhara Devi, daughter of the owner of SRMT. They have 2 daughters, Brahmani and Tejaswini, and a son, Taraka Rama Mokshagna Teja. His elder daughter, Brahmani, is an alumnus of Santa Clara University and Stanford University. She is married to her cousin, Nara Lokesh, the son of TDP president and present Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu.
In 1974, he acted as a child artist in Tatamma Kala which was directed by NTR. Over a period of time he acted in several films, many of them were directed by NTR. Out of which Dana Veera Soora Karna, Srimadvirataparvam, Akbar Saleem Anarkali and Sri Tirupati Venkateswara Kalyanam became memorable films in his film career. His roles as Abhimanyu in Dana Veera Soora Karna, Srimadvirataparvam and saleem in Akbar Saleem Anarkali, saint Narada In Sri Tirupati Venkateswara Kalyanam are highly praised. At the age of 16, Balakrishna acted in a movie titled Annadammula Anubandham, a remake of Dharmendra's Hindi movie Yaadon Ki Baaraat. After watching this movie, other legend of Tollywood Akkineni Nagewara Rao commented that 'Simham kadupuna Sihame puttindi'. In this film, Balakrishna appeared in brother role to his real life father Swargiya NTR. Balakrishna appeared as son to his real life brother Nandamuri Harikrishna in the movie Dana Veera Sura Karna. In 1984 he debuted in a hero role with Sahasame Jeevitham. Even though BalaKrishna acted in several films named as N.T. Rama Rao son, later his hard work, discipline, talent and dedication made him stand in the industry and to win the hearts of crores of fans. He then starred in a drama film Mangammagari Manavadu (1984) alongside Bhanumathi, Suhasini directed by Kodi Ramakrishna. The film was a Block Buster at the box-office. In the same year, he acted in Kathanayakudu and in Biographical film Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra. Both the films were hits at the Box-office. Again his role as Siddhappa in Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra is critically praised. This movie was directed by his father NTR. In the year 1985, he acted with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the film Bharya Bhartala Bandam alongside rajani, which is a moderate success. In the year 1986, he acted in hit movies like Muddula Krishnnayya, Seetarama Kalyanam, Anasuyamma Gari Alludu and Desoddarakudu which gradually increased his potential at boxoffice.
Recent work (2000–present)
In 2000, Balakrishna acted in Goppinti Alludu directed by E V V Satyanarayana with Simran. The film was a hit at the box office. In 2001, he starred in B. Gopal's directed faction film Narasimha Naidu opposite Simran once again. The film broke several box office records and it completed 100 days in as many as 109 centres in the state and neighbouring states and silver jubilee in a record 17 centres. The film became the highest-grossing telugu film of all time until the record was broken by Chiranjeevi's Indra, which was also directed by B. Gopal. Balakrishna won his first Nandi Award for Best Actor for his performance. In the same year, he appeared in Bhalevadivi Basu with Shilpa Shetty, Anjala Zhaveri which opened to average reviews. His 2002 and 2003 films include Seema Simham, Chennakeshava Reddy. The former received unfavourable reviews and was a box office flop, but the latter one was critically successful as well as a box office hit. In 2004, he performed in a remake of the 2003 Tamil hit Saamy titled Lakshmi Narasimha with Asin Thottumkal. The film and Balakrishna's performance won critical acclaim and was a box office hit.
The years from 2005 to 2009 saw a lull in Balakrishna's career. Action-drama flicks such as Vijayendra Varma, Veerabhadra, Allari Pidugu, Okka Magadu and Maharadhi bombed at the box office. Balakrishna paired with Sneha and Tabu in the mythological movie Panduranga (2008) directed by K. Raghavendra Rao. He played the dual roles of Krishna and Panduranga. Rediff described his performance as "Balakrishna does justice to both the roles of God and Ranga. He shines in the climax of the movie. It's quite a task to step into NTR's shoes but his son has done pretty well, though one does miss NTR in the role of Krishna!". The film was an average success and his performance won him the Santosham Best Actor Award. In the year 2009, he starred in family drama Mithrudu alongside Priyamani in a slightly different role – that of a dependable friend and confidante to the female lead. The film opened to average reviews.
In 2010, he acted in Boyapati Srinu's film Simha alongside Nayantara and Sneha Ullal. NBK played dual roles as father and son. The film opened to positive reviews, and went on to became the highest grossing film of the year. A review in Rediff said about his performance "Balakrishna has put in a restrained performance. Though his character is supposed to roar at times, he seems subdued most of the time. But he's given plenty to be pleased about as it is his show all the way." In 2011 he acted in a mythological film Sri Rama Rajyam based on the epic Ramayana.
International Film Festival of India (IFFI)
The Goa Governor, B V Wanchoo, the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Balakrishna were seen along with award winners and other dignitaries at the closing ceremony of the 43rd edition of the IFFI. Balakrishna, in his speech, said that although Telugu film industry finds no place in the film festival by way of representation to its films, 80 per cent of the movies that are produced in India are in regional languages, out of which 50 per cent are from South India. "Today, film industry is facing competition from radio, and television as also from piracy," the South Indian superstar stated. He also maintained that the film festivals have enlarged his vision towards his career.
Nandamuri Balakrishna was involved in a shooting controversy in June 2004. The incident took place on 3 June 2004 around 2050 hrs at his residence in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. It is alleged that the actor had fired shots at a movie producer B. Suresh and his associate, Satyanarayana Chowdhary. Later, both the wounded were admitted into Apollo hospital. The circumstances under which the case was handled led to much controversy as purported by the Human Right Forum (HRF). The HRF has questioned the integrity of people who handled the case, and the circumstances under which the actor was shielded from police by giving refuge in the CARE Hospital without any justifiable cause. The two victims had given statements before the magistrate alleging that Balakrishna had fired shots at them during their treatment in the hospital but soon they were retracted and made volte-face of their earlier statements. The actor was arrested later on 6 June around 3:30 AM and was produced before the Fifth Metropolitan Magistrate. A show cause notice was also served on his wife Smt. Vasundhara Devi as the weapon used was licensed under her name and she could not give sufficient protection to her licensed weapon. But later, the actor was granted bail.
Ever since the Telugu Desam Party formation, Balakrishna always campaigned for it in every election but never entered the electoral battle. Nandamuri Balakrishna went on a vacation to his father-in law Late Devarapalli Suryam's house. During the vacation, he went on a political campaign for TDP all over East Godavari district and made a victory for TDP. After coming to know about this NTR said that East Godavari victory is completely Balayya's victory. He contested in the 2014 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections on behalf of TDP and won the Hindupur Assembly Constituency seat with a reasonable majority. Hindupur, in Anantapur district, has been a TDP stronghold since 1983. It was once represented by NTR himself and later for a term by his elder son Nandamuri Harikrishna and Balakrishna will be the third from the family to represent State Assembly.
- Santosham Best Actor Award – Pandurangadu
- Santosham Best Actor Award – Simha
- Santosham Best Actor Award – Sri Rama Rajyam
- Legendary Actor Award – Legend
- Best Actor Award for the year 2010 – Male – Simha
- Best Actor Award for the year 2011 – Male – Sri Rama Rajyam
- Best Actor Award for the year 2014 – Male – Legend
- Other Awards
- Award for Best Child Actor - Thathamma Kala
- Samman Award - Highest taxpayer in the charge of Commissioner of Income Tax.
- Bharata Muni award for Best Actor of the year 2009 – Pandurangadu
- Bharata Muni award Best Actor of the year 2010 – Simha
- Bharata Muni award Best Actor of the year 2011 – Sri Rama Rajyam
- A.P. CINE Goers Association Best Actor Award – Narasimha Naidu Chennakesava Reddy and Pandurangadu.
- Akkineni Abhinaya Puraskaram for the year 2007
- Best Actor – Telugu - Narasimha Naidu
- Best Actor – Telugu - Simha
- Best Actor – Telugu - Sri Rama Rajyam
Below are the selected filmography of Balakrishna.
- 1974: Tatamma Kala
- 1977: Daana Veera Soora Karna as Abhimanyu
- 1979: Akbar Salim Anarkali as Salim
- 1984: Mangammagari Manavadu as Veeranna
- 1984: Srimadvirat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra as Saiyad / Sidda
- 1986: Apoorva Sahodarudu as Ramu/Arun Kumar
- 1987: President Gari Abbai as Rama Krishna
- 1987: Muvva Gopaludu as Gopi
- 1989: Muddula Mavayya as Raja
- 1990: Nari Nari Naduma Murari as Venkateswara Rao
- 1990: Lorry Driver as Bala Murali
- 1991: Aditya 369 as Krishnadevaraya/Krishna Kumar
- 1992: Rowdy Inspector as Rama Raju
- 1993: Bangaru Bullodu as Balakrishna
- 1994: Bhairava Dweepam as Vijay
- 1994: Bobbili Simham as Vijaya Raghava Bhupathi
- 1996: Vamsanikokkadu as Raja
- 1997: Peddannayya as Rama Krishna Prasad/Bhavani Prasad
- 1999: Samarasimha Reddy as Abbulu / Vaasu / Samarasimha Reddy
- 2000: Goppinti Alludu as Murali Manohar / Bheemudu
- 2001: Narasimha Naidu as Narasimha Naidu
- 2004: Lakshmi Narasimha director by Venkata Rao Mandati
- 2006: Veerabhadra as Murali
- 2010: Simha as Dr.Narasimha/Prof.Srimannarayana
- 2011: Sri Rama Rajyam as Sri Rama
- 2014: Legend as Jaidev/Krishna
- 2015: Lion as Godsey/Bose
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