Chiranjeevi in 2011
|MP of Rajya Sabha for Andhra Pradesh|
3 April 2012 – 2 April 2018
|Succeeded by||Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy, YSRCP|
|Minister of Tourism (Independent Charge)|
27 October 2012 – 15 May 2014
|Preceded by||Subodh Kant Sahay|
|Succeeded by||Shripad Yasso Naik|
|Member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for Tirupati|
|Preceded by||M. Venkataramana |
|Succeeded by||M. Venkataramana |
|Born||22 August 1955|
Mogalthur, Andhra State, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress (2011—present)|
|Praja Rajyam (2008–2011) Founder|
Surekha Konidela (m. 1980)
|Children||Ram Charan |
|Relatives||See Chiranjeevi family|
|Residence||Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana, India (Permanent)|
New Delhi, Delhi, India (Official)
|Occupation||Film Actor, politician, television host|
|Awards||Padma Bhushan (2006)|
This article's lead section may be too long for the length of the article. (July 2018)
Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad (born 22 August 1955), better known by his stage name Chiranjeevi, is an Indian film actor and politician. He was the Minister of State with independent charge for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Prior to politics, Chiranjeevi had attended the Madras Film Institute and had worked primarily in Telugu cinema in addition to Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi films. He made his acting debut in 1978 with the film Punadhirallu. However, Pranam Khareedu was released earlier at the box office. Known for his breakdancing skills, Chiranjeevi starred in 150 feature films. In 1987, he starred in Swayam Krushi which was dubbed into Russian and was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival. Chiranjeevi won the 1988 Cinema Express Best Actor Award and the state Nandi Award for Best Actor awards for his performance in the film. In the same year, Chiranjeevi was one of the Indian delegates at the 59th Academy Awards. In 1988, he co-produced Rudraveena which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Chiranjeevi's 1992 film Gharana Mogudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, is the first Telugu film to gross over ₹10 crore at the box office. The film was screened at the 1993 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section.  It made Chiranjeevi the highest-paid actor in India at the time catapulting him to the cover pages of national weekly magazines in India. The entertainment magazines Filmfare and India Today named him "Bigger than Bachchan", a reference to Bollywood's Amitabh Bachchan. News magazine The Week hailed him as "the new money machine". He was paid a remuneration of ₹1.25 crore for the 1992 film Aapadbandhavudu. In 2002, Chiranjeevi was given the Samman Award for the Highest Income Tax Payer for the 1999–2000 assessment year by the Minister of State for Finance. A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in 2006 named Chiranjeevi the most popular star of the Telugu film industry.
In a film career spanning thirty-nine years, he won four state Nandi Awards, including the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, and ten Filmfare Awards South including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South. In 2006, Chiranjeevi was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award, for his contributions to Indian cinema and was presented with an honorary doctorate from Andhra University. In 2013, he inaugurated the Incredible India Exhibition, a joint participation of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
He also represented Incredible India at the 14th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony held in Macau. In 2013, IBN LIVE named him as one of "the men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema". Chiranjeevi's 150th film was announced in May 2015.
Chiranjeevi founded the Chiranjeevi Charitable Foundation, established in 1998, which is involved in humanitarian activities. In 2008, he entered politics by forming the Praja Rajyam Party. In the 2009 Andhra Pradesh elections, Chiranjeevi contested from his native places Palakollu and Tirupati.
He was defeated by the Congress party candidate in Palakollu and was elected as a member of the State Assembly from the Tirupati constituency. He led the Praja Rajyam Party to emerge as the third-largest party during the same election. Later, in February 2011, his Praja Rajyam Party merged into the Indian National Congress. He is a co-owner of the Indian Super League team Kerala Blasters.
Early life and family
Chiranjeevi was born in Mogalthur, a village near Narsapur, West Godavari. His father worked as a constable and was transferred on a regular basis. He spent his childhood in his native village with his grandparents. Chiranjeevi did his schooling in Nidadavolu, Gurajala, Bapatla, Ponnuru, Mangalagiri and Mogalturu. He was an NCC cadet. Chiranjeevi had participated in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi as being an NCC cadet in the early 70s. He was interested in acting from a young age. He did his Intermediate at C. S. R. Sarma College in Ongole.
One of Chiranjeevi's brothers, Nagendra Babu, is a film producer and also has acted in several films. His youngest brother, Pawan Kalyan, is an actor in Tollywood too and he also the founder of the Jana Sena Party. Allu Aravind, his brother-in-law, is a film producer. Chiranjeevi is the uncle of Allu Arjun, Allu Sirish, Varun Tej and Sai Dharam Tej.
Early career: 1978–1981
Chiranjeevi started his film career with Punadhirallu. However, his first released film was Pranam Khareedu. Mana Voori Pandavulu, directed by Bapu, gave Chiranjeevi recognition from the Indian audience. He played a small role in Tayaramma Bangarayya. He played the anti-hero in films I Love You and K. Balachander's Idi Katha Kaadu, starring Kamal Haasan.
In a remake of the Tamil film Avargal, Chiranjeevi portrayed the character played by Rajinikanth in the original. In 1979, Chiranjeevi had eight major film releases and then 14 films in the following year. He played lead antagonist in works such as Mosagadu, Rani Kasula Rangamma, 47 Natkal /47 Rojulu, Nyayam Kavali and Ranuva Veeran.
Leading roles: 1982
Chiranjeevi began to appear in lead roles with films such as Intlo Ramayya Veedilo Krishnayya, directed by Kodi Ramakrishna, which was a hit at the box office. Later, he starred in Shubhalekha, directed by K. Viswanath, which dealt with the social malady of the dowry system. It brought him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu and Viswanath's third Filmfare Award for Best Director – Telugu. He also appeared in movies such as Idi Pellantara, Sitadevi, Tingu Rangadu, Bandhalu Anubandhalu and Mondi Ghatam. He acted in multi-star movies such as Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu and Billa Ranga, and later appeared in Manchu Pallaki.
Khaidi was a box office success and Chiranjeevi attained stardom with this movie. In 1984, he continued doing action films. A series of box office hits at this time include; Mantri Gari Viyyankudu, Sangharshana, Goonda, Challenge, Hero, Donga, Jwala, Adavi Donga, Kondaveeti Raja, Rakshasudu, Gang Leader, Rowdy Alludu, Yamudiki Mogudu and Donga Mogudu. In 1985, he received his second Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his performance in Vijetha. Chiranjeevi received his first Nandi Award for Best Actor for Swayam Krushi (1987), directed by K. Viswanath.
After Khaidi, Chiranjeevi had hits such as Pasivadi Pranam (1987), Yamudiki Mogudu (1988) and Manchi Donga (1988). Chiranjeevi co produced and acted in Rudraveena (1988), which not only won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, but also the Nandi Special Jury Award. Chiranjeevi then experimented with Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari, a socio-fantasy directed by K. Raghavendra Rao and produced by Ashwini Dutt. Other experimental works at this time include works such as Kondaveeti Donga the first Telugu film to be released on a 70 mm 6-Track Stereophonic sound, the western genre Kodamasimham and the social problem action film Gang Leader (1991), which were box-office hits and led to Chiranjeevi being regarded as the "boss of Telugu cinema".
Chiranjeevi's Bollywood performances were appreciated in Pratibandh (1990) and Aaj Ka Goonda Raj. In 1996, he appeared in a guest role in the Kannada film Sipaayi. For his role in Aapadbandhavudu (1992), he received his second Nandi Award for Best Actor and third Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. The mid-1990s saw a career dip for Chiranjeevi with box office duds such as Mechanic Alludu, S. P. Parasuram, Big Boss and Rikshavodu. There were exceptions, such as Mutha Mestri, which fetched him a fourth Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu, Mugguru Monagallu and Alluda Majaka were moderately successful. After a brief lull, Chiranjeevi bounced back with Hitler, Master, Bavagaru Bagunnara?, Choodalani Vundi and Sneham Kosam, for which he received his fifth Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. In 1999, Chiranjeevi was to appear in a Hollywood production directed by Dushan Garsi, and produced by Rameshkrishna Murthi. The Telugu version was directed by Suresh Krissna. The movie, which was titled The Return of the Thief of Baghdad, had its filming suspended for undisclosed reasons.
Chiranjeevi's new decade started with Annayya. After a brief gap, Chiranjeevi starred in Indra, released in 2002, which broke all his previous box office records of Tollywood and won him his third Nandi Award for Best Actor and sixth Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. After that, he appeared in films with an underlying message and a social cause, including Tagore and Shankar Dada MBBS, for which he won his seventh and latest Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu, and Stalin. He was awarded the Filmfare Special Award – South in 2006 and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South at the 58th Filmfare Awards South in 2011 for his contributions to the film industry.
Following his last film in the lead role, 2007's Shankar Dada Zindabad, which received an average response, Chiranjeevi did not star in any film for approximately 10 years, during which he embarked on his political career. During these 10 years, he has made only two cameo appearances in films starring his son Ram Charan: Magadheera in 2009 and Bruce Lee – The Fighter in 2015. He also served as narrator to both Varudu and Rudhramadevi. From 2013 onwards, he was on the lookout for the right script to mark his comeback into cinema, in what would coincidentally happen to be his 150th film as an actor. A year following the release of the highly successful 2014 Tamil film Kaththi, Chiranjeevi chose to remake that film in Telugu as his comeback film. The remake, titled Khaidi No. 150, directed by V. V. Vinayak, was released during the Sankranti holiday in 2017, about 6 months short of a decade following Shankar Dada Zindabad, to positive reviews and record-breaking box-office revenue. Critics have singled out Chiranjeevi in particular, praising him for both his performance and appearance, especially following a decade of absence from cinema. His next film will be a biopic on Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy and is titled Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy which is directed by Surender Reddy. It will be released on Sankranti in 2019.
Chiranjeevi made his debut as Television host with the fourth season of Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu. The first episode of fourth season was aired on 13 February 2017. The game show, a Telugu version of Kaun Banega Crorepati, will be telecasted Monday to Thursday at 9.30 pm.
In 2008, Chiranjeevi started Praja Rajyam, a political party in the state of Andhra Pradesh. At the launch, he stated that social justice was the main agenda of his party. In the 2009 general elections, the party won 18 of the 295 seats in the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly. He was elected a Member of the State Assembly from Tirupati.
On 6 February 2011, Chiranjeevi merged the 30-month-old Praja Rajyam Party with the Indian National Congress, after two weeks of talks with Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress, which feared the no-confidence motion in the state assembly in the wake of the emergence of Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party and the stronghold of Telangana agitation. After more than one year of merging his party into Congress, he was nominated to Rajya Sabha on 29 March 2012. He got elected and took the oath as a Rajya Sabha member on 3 April 2012. On 28 October 2012, he was sworn in as the Union Minister of State (Independent charge), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
After the Indian National Congress split the state of Andhra Pradesh leaving the residuary state with huge debt and little revenue in June 2014, most members of the Andhra Pradesh wing of Indian National Congress party left in protest. Chiranjeevi, however, remained with Indian National Congress and did a campaign for Indian National Congress as chairman of election campaign committee for 2014 parliamentary and assembly elections in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, however, he refrained from contesting in elections. There was also criticism that he did not campaign wholeheartedly due to the one-sided decision was taken to split Andhra Pradesh. His youngest brother Pawan Kalyan, a former Praja Rajyam Party youth wing leader, launched his own political party Jana Sena and campaigned vigorously against Indian National Congress and in favor of Telugu Desam Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. Due to the strong anti-Indian National Congress sentiment prevailing in Andhra Pradesh, its candidates were defeated in all parliamentary and state assembly seats Andhra Pradesh with 165 out of 175 candidates losing deposit [obtaining less than 10% of vote share]. Since the 2014 elections, he has maintained distance from active politics and will also end his tenure as Rajya Sabha member in April 2018. He has not attended any sessions of Indian National Congress either.
On 2 October 1998, he founded the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust (CCT), which includes Chiranjeevi Blood and Eye Banks. It is the state's largest recipient of blood and eye donations. The trust has made over 68,000 blood donations and 1,414 eye donations. The Blood Bank of the CCT has helped over 80,000 people and the Eye Bank has helped about 1,000 people in the state of Andhra Pradesh since its opening. Around 350,000 people have pledged their eyes to CCT so far, giving 1600 people eyesight through CCT. CCT has also won the "Best Voluntary Blood Bank Award" by the AP State Government for the past 4 years. On 10 June 2006, the then President of India, Abdul Kalam, inaugurated the Chiranjeevi Charitable Foundation (CCF) at the Jubilee Hills Check Post in Hyderabad.
After allegations made against the Blood Bank and Eye Bank, the state government of AP constituted a high-level committee to look into the allegations. The committee worked under the guidance of the project director of AP State AIDA Control Society, comprising experts from finance and technical fields, verified records pertaining to the collection and disposal of blood samples, blood grouping, screening, sterilisation, medical waste disposal, camps conducted, blood expiry, quality control, store room, record room and purchase of equipment.
Awards, honours and recognitions
Director K. Balachander said "Chiranjeevi has both Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth in him. Not only can he do action, he can also act." Chiranjeevi received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in India in the year 2006. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Andhra University in the same year. He is a ten-time winner of Filmfare Awards South and a four-time winner of Nandi Awards. In 2014, he was awarded International Face of Indian Cinema at the 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards from Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. He was the first actor from South India to be invited to the Oscars ceremony in 1987.
- Civilian honor
- Best Actor – Telugu – Shubhalekha (1982)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Vijetha (1985)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Aapadbandhavudu (1992)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Muta Mesthri (1993)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Sneham Kosam (1999)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Indra (2002)
- Best Actor – Telugu – Shankar Dada MBBS (2004)
- Special Award – South for Honorary Legendary acting career (2006)
- Lifetime Achievement Award – South (2010)
- Best Actor – Swayam Krushi (1987)
- Best Actor – Aapathbandhavudu (1992)
- Best Actor – Indra (2002)
- Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for contribution to Telugu cinema (2016)
- International Face of Indian Cinema – (2014)
- Other honors
A selected filmography of Chiranjeevi's major films:-
- 1979: Punadhirallu
- 1980: Punnami Naagu as Nagulu
- 1982: Subhalekha as Narasimha Murthi
- 1983: Abhilasha as Chiranjeevi
- 1983: Khaidi as Sooryam
- 1984: Challenge as Gandhi
- 1985: Vijetha as Chinnababu
- 1986: Chantabbai as Pandu
- 1987: Donga Mogudu as Ravi Teja
- 1987: Pasivadi Pranam as Madhu
- 1987: Swayamkrushi as Sambayya
- 1988: Rudraveena as Suryanarayana Sastry
- 1988: Yamudiki Mogudu as Kali/Balu
- 1989: Athaku Yamudu Ammayiki Mogudu as Kalyan
- 1990: Kondaveeti Donga as Raja
- 1990: Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari as Raju
- 1991: Rowdy Alludu as Johnny
- 1991: Gang Leader as Rajaram
- 1992: Gharana Mogudu as Raju
- 1992: Aapadbandhavudu as Madhava
- 1993: Mutha Mestri as Bose
- 1997: Hitler as Madhava Rao
- 1998: Choodalani Vundi as Rama Krishna
- 1999: Sneham Kosam as Simhadri/Chinnayya
- 2000: Annayya as Rajaram
- 2001: Daddy
- 2001: Mrugaraju as Raju Adavipalli
- 2002: Indra as Indrasena Reddy/Shankar Narayana
- 2003: Tagore as Tagore
- 2004: Anji as Anji
- 2004: Shankar Dada M.B.B.S. as Shankar Prasad/Shankar Dada
- 2006: Stalin as Stalin
- 2005: Andarivadu as Govindarajulu
- 2005: Jai Chiranjeeva as Sathyanarayana Murthy
- 2007: Shankar Dada Zindabad as Shankar Prasad/Shankar Dada
- 2017: Khaidi No. 150 as Shankar/Kathi Seenu
- 2019: Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy as Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy (Upcoming film)
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