Venkatesh (actor)

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Venkatesh at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Celebrity Cricket League season
Daggubati Venkatesh

(1960-12-13) 13 December 1960 (age 63)[1]
Madras (present-day Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
Other namesVenky
Alma materLoyola College, Chennai
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MBA)
Years active1986–present
(m. 1985)
RelativesD. Suresh Babu (brother)
Rana Daggubati (nephew)
Naga Chaitanya (nephew)
Familysee Daggubati–Akkineni family

Daggubati Venkatesh (born 13 December 1960), also known as Victory Venkatesh, is an Indian actor and producer known for his work predominantly in Telugu cinema and a few Hindi films.[2] Venkatesh has a prolific career spanning over 37 years and is known for portraying a variety of challenging characters. He has received many accolades including six Filmfare Awards and five Nandi Awards.[3]

Venkatesh made his debut in 1986 with the commercially successful Kaliyuga Pandavulu. He achieved stardom with box-office hits[4][5] such as Srinivasa Kalyanam (1987), Brahma Puthrudu (1988), Prema (1989), Dhruva Nakshatram (1989), Bobbili Raja (1990), and Kshana Kshanam (1991), the latter of which featured at the Fribourg Festival and went on to gather a cult following.[6][7][8]

Venkatesh received further acclaim for his notable performances as a painter in Swarnakamalam (1988), which featured in the Indian panorama section of the 12th IFFI,[9] an attorney in both Sathruvu (1991) and Dharma Chakram (1996), a coolie in Coolie No. 1 (1991), an eccentric cop in both Surya IPS (1991) and Gharshana (2004), an autistic villager in Chanti (1992),[5] in the romances Pavitra Bandham (1996), Preminchukundam Raa (1997), Premante Idera (1998), Raja (1999), Kalisundam Raa (2000), Nuvvu Naaku Nachav (2001), Vasantam (2003), Malliswari (2004) and Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule (2007), in the family dramas Suryavamsam (1998), Sankranti (2005) and Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2013), a journalist in Ganesh (1998), in the action dramas Jayam Manadera (2000), Lakshmi (2006), Tulasi (2007) and Venky Mama (2021), in the comedies Chintakayala Ravi (2008), Namo Venkatesa (2010), F2 (2019) and F3 (2022), in the crime thrillers Eenaadu (2009), Drushyam (2014) and Drushyam 2 (2021), an atheist in Gopala Gopala (2015), a boxing coach in Guru (2017), and a farmer in Narappa (2021).

Venkatesh also starred in Hindi language works such as Anari (1993), Taqdeerwala (1995), Rana Naidu (2023), and Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (2023).[10] In addition to acting, he co-owns Suresh Productions,[11] one of the largest film production companies in India, under which he acted in several films.[12][13] He is also the mentor of the Telugu Warriors, representing Tollywood in the Celebrity Cricket League.[14]

Early life[edit]

Venkatesh was born on 13 December 1960 in a Telugu family to film producer and former Member of Parliament, D. Ramanaidu and Rajeshwari in Madras (present-day Chennai), India. He has an elder brother Suresh Babu, who runs Suresh Productions, and a younger sister Lakshmi.[15]

Venkatesh did his schooling in Don Bosco, Egmore,[16] Chennai and graduated in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.[17][18] He got his MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, US.[15] After his return to India, he wanted to get into film production but instead became an actor.[19]


1986–1989: Debut and early career[edit]

Venkatesh first appeared as a child actor in the 1971 film Prema Nagar. His first film as a full-fledged lead was K. Raghavendra Rao-directed Kaliyuga Pandavulu (1986), alongside Khushbu Sundar which was a debut for both of them. The film won him a Nandi Special Jury Award.[2]

1996–2012: Critical and commercial success[edit]

In 1996, he portrayed an honest lawyer in Dharma Chakram, which won him both the Nandi Award and Filmfare Award South.[3][20] Later that year, he played a husband struggling between two wives in the E. V. V. Satyanarayana directed hit comedy drama Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu.[21] In Ganesh (1998), he played a person fighting the ills of the Indian public healthcare system. The following year, he starred in the romantic action film Preminchukundam Raa. The film, which was one of the first portrayals of factionalism in Rayalaseema region, was a big commercial success.[22] His 1999 drama film Raja, where he plays a small time thief who is reformed by his love was also well received by the audience.[21] Following this, he established himself as one of top actors in Telugu cinema.[23]

In 2001, Venkatesh starred in the romantic comedy Nuvvu Naaku Nachav which was a critical and commercial success.[24] The success continued with Malliswari (2004), his second collaboration with director K. Vijaya Bhaskar after Nuvvu Naaku Nachav.[21] In 2007, he starred in two films, Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule and Tulasi, both of which grossed over ₹30 crore at the box office.[5] In the following years, Venkatesh appeared in several films, including Chintakayala Ravi (2008), Namo Venkatesa (2010) and Bodyguard (2012).[25][26][27]

2013–present: Multi-starrers and experimental roles[edit]

Venkatesh snapped at CCL.

In 2013, Venkatesh co-starred alongside Mahesh Babu in the critically acclaimed drama Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu.[28][29] The film was one of the first Telugu major multi-starrer films after many years. Subsequently, Venkatesh went on to feature in other multi-starrers such as Masala (2013), Gopala Gopala (2015) and F2: Fun and Frustration (2019).[30] F2 grossed over ₹127 crore and ended up as one of the highest-grossing Telugu film of that year.[31][32]

Venkatesh's performance in Drushyam (2014) received several accolades from the critics.[33] He portrayed a strict boxing coach in the Sudha Kongara's sports drama Guru in 2017.[34]

Later in 2019, he starred in Venky Mama, alongside his nephew Naga Chaitanya. The film was a profitable venture, grossing more than ₹72 crore worldwide.[35] In the same year, he dubbed in Telugu for the Genie in Alladin. His 2021 film Narappa was released on Amazon Prime, which marked his first direct-to-OTT released.[36] In 2022, the sequel to F2, F3: Fun and Frustration released to a fairly positive reception from critics and audiences. Venkatesh is set to make his first-ever pan-Indian film debut with Saindhav, directed by Sailesh Kolanu.[37]


Personal life[edit]

Venkatesh married Neeraja in 1985 and the couple have four children—three daughters and one son.[40][41] His eldest daughter, Aashritha, married Vinayak Reddy, the grandson of R. Surender Reddy, the chairman of Hyderabad Race Club.[42] He's also the uncle of actors Rana Daggubati and Naga Chaitanya.[43]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Film Award Category Result Ref.
1986 Kaliyuga Pandavulu Nandi Awards Best Male Debut (Special Jury Award) Won [44]
Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Nominated
1988 Brahma Puthrudu Won [45][46]
Swarna Kamalam Nandi Awards Special Jury Award Won [44]
1989 Prema Best Actor Won [44]
Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Nominated
1990 Bobbili Raja Nominated
1991 Kshana Kshanam Nominated
1992 Chanti Nominated
1993 Abbaigaru Nominated
1994 Muddula Priyudu Nominated
1995 Dharma Chakram Nandi Awards Best Actor Won [44]
1996 Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Won [47]
Sahasa Veerudu Sagara Kanya Nominated
1997 Preminchukundam Raa Nominated
1998 Ganesh Nandi Awards Best Actor Won [44]
Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Won [48]
1999 Raja Nominated
2000 Kalisundam Raa Nandi Awards Best Actor Won [44]
Filmfare Awards South Special Award Won [20]
Jayam Manade Raa Best Actor – Telugu Won [20][49]
2005 Sankranthi Best Actor Nominated
Santosham Film Awards Best Actor – Telugu Won
2007 Adavari Matalaku Ardhale Verule Nandi Awards Best Actor Won
Santosham Film Awards Won
Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Nominated
2010 Eenadu Best Supporting Actor – Telugu Nominated
2014 Masala Nominated
2015 Drushyam Best Actor – Telugu Nominated
TSRTV9 National Film Awards Best Actor (Jury) Won [50]
South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Nominated
2016 Gopala Gopala TSRTV9 National Film Awards Won
2017 Guru Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – Telugu Nominated
Best Actor – Critics Won


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