Krishnam Raju

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Krishnam Raju
Born Uppalapati Venkata Krishnam Raju
(1940-12-01) 1 December 1940 (age 74)
Mogalthur, West Godavari, Madras Presidency, British India
Other names Rebel Star
Occupation Film actor, Politician
Years active 1966–present
Spouse(s) Shyamala Devi (m.1996)
Children Siddharth rajkumar(son)
Relatives Prabhas (Nephew)

Uppalapati Venkata Krishnam Raju (born 20 January 1940) is a Telugu film actor. He was popularly known as 'Rebel Star' for his rebellious acting style. He was also the winner of the first ever Nandi Award for Best Actor.

Krishnam Raju starred in more than 183 Telugu films in his career and was a prominent actor of the 1970s and 1980s in Tollywood. He entered the films in 1966 with Chilaka Gorinka produced and directed by Kotayya Pratyagatma. He won 5 Filmfare Awards and 2 Nandi Awards.[1]

Krishnam Raju acted in several blockbuster hit films like Jeevana Tarangalu (1973), Krishnaveni (1974), Bhakta Kannappa (1976), Amaradeepam (1977), Sati Savitri (1978), Katakataala Rudraiah (1978), Mana Voori Pandavulu (1978), Rangoon Rowdy (1979), Shri Vinayaka Vijayamu (1979), Sita Ramulu (1980), Taxi Driver (1981), Trishulam (1982), Dharmaatmudu (1983),Bobbili Brahmanna (1984), Tandra Paprayudu (1986), Marana Sasanam (1987), Vishwanatha Nayakudu (1987), Antima Theerpu (1988), Bava Bavamaridi (1993),Palnati Pourusham (1994).

After late 1990s, he became active in politics. He joined Bharatiya Janata Party and was elected to the 12th and 13th Lok Sabha from Kakinada and Narasapur constituencies. He served as a Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs in the Third Vajpayee Ministry from 1999 to 2004. On 24 March 2009 he has joined Praja Rajyam Party founded by Chiranjeevi. In 2009 State Assembly elections he contested for M.P. seat from Rajahmundry and had Murali Mohan as a major opponent who contested on behalf of Telugu Desam Party. He has a nephew, Prabhas, who is also known as 'Young Rebel Star' and who is currently one of the most popular actors in Tollywood. Krishnam Raju has planned to launch his dream project "Okka Adugu" with Prabhas as the lead actor . He would be directing the movie.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Krishnam Raju was born in Mogalthur, West Godavari on 20 January 1940 to Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Raju. He had a wife before he married Shyamala Devi in 1996. He has three daughters. Film producer Suryanarayana Raju is his younger brother and Prabhas is the son of Suryanarayana Raju. Krishnam Raju worked as a journalist for the Andhra Patrika. He was awarded the Second Best Photographer in state level. He is fond of cameras and has a collection of cameras. He owns GopiKrishna Movies.


Debut and career up to 1967[edit]

Krishnam Raju entered Tollywood in 1966 with the film Chilaka Gorinka directed by Kotayya Pratyagatma alongside Krishna Kumari. The film won Nandi Award for Best Feature Film - Silver for that year. Later he acted in the mythological film Shri Krishnavataram which also starsN. T. Rama Rao. He acted in many films with the established actos N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao. He also acted in many films with the established actresses Krishna Kumari, Rajasulochana, Jamuna and Kanchana.[3]

Breakthrough: 1968-1973[edit]

Krishnam Raju acted alongside Kanchana in Nenante Nene and set the trend of handsome villain. Later, he acted in Bhale Abbayilu, the Telugu remake of Yash Chopra's 1965 film Waqt. Later he acted in films such as Buddhimantudu, Manushulu Marali, Mallee Pelli and Jai Jawan. He acted opposite Bollywood actress Rekha in Amma Kosam which was her first film as an actress. Later he acted in films such as Anuradha, Bhagyavantudu and Bangaru Talli, the remake of critically acclaimed 1957 Hindi film Mother India. Later he acted in films such as Muhammad bin Tughluq portraying the role of Islamic scholar Ibn Battuta, Raj Mahal, Hantakulu Devaantakulu opposite Rajasulochana, Manavudu Danavudu opposite Krishna Kumari, Neeti Nijayitee opposite Kanchana and Vinta Dampatulu opposite Jamuna. Later he acted in films such as Badi Panthulu, Bala Mitrula Katha, Jeevana Tarangalu and Kanna Koduku. In most of the films he acted as antihero, villain and supporting roles and in lead roles in a few films.


Krishnam acted in Bantrotu Bharya which marks the first collaboration of Krishnam Raju with Dasari Narayana Rao. Later he acted in the critically acclaimed film Krishnaveni opposite Vanisri directed by V. Madhusudhan Rao. The film marks the debut of Krishnam Raju as a producer, the film was produced under his own production house Gopi Krishna Movies. Later he acted in Parivartana opposite Jamuna, Kanchana and Lakshmi and in Bharati opposite Jamuna, Iddaru Iddare and Yavvanam Katesindi. Later he acted in Bhakta Kannappa portraying the roles of Arjuna and Kannappa Nayanar directed by Bapu which is the unique Telugu film to win National Film Award for Best Audiography. Later he acted in Kurukshetram portraying the role of Karna directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao. Later he acted in Amaradeepam which marks the first collaboration of Krishnam Raju with K. Raghavendra Rao. The film earned him Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) and Nandi Award for Best Actor for the year 1977. Later he acted in films such as Jeevana Teeralu, Manushulu Chesina Dongalu and Sati Savitri. Later he acted in the lavishly made Katakataala Rudraiah which grossed 75 lakh (US$110,000) made on a budget of 18 lakh (US$27,000). Later he acted in Mana Voori Pandavulu which was produced by him and Jaya Krishna. The film garnered Filmfare Best Film Award (Telugu) for the year 1978 and Krishnam Raju shared the award with Jaya Krishna. Katakataala Rudraiah and Mana Voori Pandavulu were released within a gap of 10 days and both the films became blockbusters.[4] Later he acted in films such as Ramabanam, Andadu Aagadu in which he acts in a role of a spy which is parallel to James Bond and the film became a smash hit. Later he acted in Rangoon Rowdy, Shri Vinayaka Vijayamu portraying the role of Lord Shiva. Later he acted in films such as Shivamettina Satyam, Kalyana Chakravarti and Alludu Pattina Bharatam which was directed by K. Viswanath. Later he acted in Sita Ramulu, Bebbuli and Prema Tarangalu, the Telugu remake of 1978 Bollywood blockbuster Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. In 1981, he acted in Aadavaallu Meeku Joharlu directed by K. Balachander. In the same year he acted in Agni Poolu which was based on Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani's novel of the same name. Later he acted in the musical hit, Puli Bidda, Taxi Driver, Ragile Jwala, Guvvala Janta, Rama Lakshmanulu, Madhura Swapnam, Talli Kodukula Anubandham, Nipputo Chelagaatam, Golconda Abbulu, Jaggu, Pralaya Rudrudu and critically acclaimed Trishulam. Later he acted in Nijam Chebite Nerama!, Adavi Simhalu, Puli Bebbuli, Kotikokkadu and Dharmaatmudu.


In 1984, Krishnam Raju acted in Yuddham, Sardar, Babulugaadi Debba, Kondaveeti Nagulu and S. P. Bhayankar. Later, he acted in the Tollywood industrial hit Bobbili Brahmanna which earned him Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) and Nandi Award for Best Actor.[5] He also remade the film in Hindi as Dharm Adhikari with Dilip Kumar and Jeetendra in 1986. Later, he acted in films such as Raraju, Bharatamlo Shankaravam, Rowdy, Bandee, Tirugubatu, Aggi Raju, Bullet, Ukku Manishi, Ravana Brahma, Neti Yugadharmam and Ugra Narasimham. In 1986, he acted in Tandra Paparayudu portraying the role of Tandra Paparayudu which earned him Filmfare Best Actor Award for the year 1986. The film was premiered at the 11th International Film Festival of India. Later, he acted in films such as Brahma Nayudu, Sardar Dharmanna and Marana Shasanam which earned him Filmfare Best Actor Award for the year 1987. In 1987, he acted in Vishwanatha Nayakudu portraying the role of Srikrishnadevaraya. Later, he acted in films such as Maarana Homam, Kirai Dada, Maa Inti Maha Raju, Antima Teerpu, Prithvi Raj, Prachanda Bharatam, Dharma Teja, Prana Snehitulu, Simha Swapnam, Shri Ramachandrudu, Bhagawan, Two Town Rowdy, Yama Dharma Raju and Neti Siddhartha.


In 1991, Krishnam Raju acted in Vidhata, Bava Bavamaridi, Jailor Gaari Abbayi, Andaroo Andare, Gangmaster. In 1994, he acted in Palnati Pourusham & this film super hit at box office.. Later he acted in Rikshaw Rudraiah, Simha Garjana, Nayudugaari Kutumbam, Tata Manavadu, Kutumba Gowravam and Maa Nannaki Pelli which won Nandi Award for Akkineni Award for Best Home-viewing Feature Film. In 1997, he entered Sandalwood and acted in two Kannada films viz Hai Bangalore and Simhada Mari. Later he acted in Sultan, Vanshoddharakudu and Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu which won Nandi Award for Akkineni Award for Best Home-viewing Feature Film. Later he acted in Raam and Billa, a film of the Don film series and acted with Prabhas for the first time. Later he acted in Thakita Thakita and Rebel. Rebel marks the second innings of his production house, Gopi Krishna Movies. Krishnam Raju said in an interview that he would produce films continuously under the banner. Later he acted in Chandee, Yevade Subramanyam and the first Indian 3D historical film, Rudramadevi where he portrays the role of Ganapati Devudu, father of Rudramadevi.

Political career[edit]

He contested an unsuccessful election in 1992 from Narsapuram on a Congress ticket. After a brief hibernation, he rejoined politics, accepting an invitation from the Bharatiya Janata Party. He won the 1998 Lok Sabha elections from Kakinada. He set a record with a thumping majority of over 165,000 votes, the maximum majority as compared to any of the 42 other constituencies in Andhra Pradesh which ensured him a berth at the Centre. He was in the advisory committees of the Information and Broadcasting, and Commerce Ministries during 1998-99. At 61, Krishnam Raju rejuvenates himself with twice-a-day yoga session. He is into transcendental meditation and says that with meditation one can be as active with just two hours of sleep instead of the usual eight hours. He believes that the body is a slave to the mind and that no medicine is more powerful than a controlled mind. He is a voracious reader and takes keen interest in spiritual writings.

  • 1998 Elected to 12th Lok Sabha
  • 1998-99 Member, Committee on Commerce Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • 1999 Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term)Whip, B.J.P. Parliamentary Party, Lok Sabha
  • 1999-2000 Member, Committee on Finance Member, Committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
  • 2000 Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • 30 Sept 2000- Union Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs 22 July 2001
  • 22 July 2001- Union Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 30 June 2002
  • 1 July 2002 - Union Minister of State, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food onwards and Public Distribution

Role in the prohibition of cow slaughter[edit]

The Ban on Cow Slaughter Bill, 1999 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Shri Adityanath which provided for complete prohibition on slaughter of cows for all purposes. The statement of objects and reasons appended to the Bill stated, “Article 48 of the Constitution enjoins on the State to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cow and its progeny. In view of the consideration that the cow and its entire progeny must be saved to provide milk, as well as manure, it becomes imperative to impose a complete ban on the cow slaughter.” In 2000, U.V. Krishnam Raju moved a motion in the Lok Sabha for the introduction of The Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2000 with the following statement of objects and reasons, “Article 48 of the Constitution enjoins upon the State to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cow and its progeny. In view of the consideration that the Cow and its Progeny must be saved to provide milk and milk product, as well as manure, it has become necessary to enforce prohibition of cow slaughter.” When Krishnam Raju moved the motion on 20 April 2000 for leave of the House to introduce the Bill, G. M. Banatwala, raised the issue regarding the legislative competence of Parliament to enact legislation on the subject. Banatwala referred to the opinion given by the then Attorney General, M.C. Setalvad in the Lok Sabha on 1 April 1984 on the issue, to the effect that it was outside the legislative competence of that House to come forward with any Bill concerning organization of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. However, the Chairman of the Lok Sabha in his ruling on the point raised by Banatwala interalia observed that Chair does not decide whether the Bill is constitutionally within the legislative competence of the House or not and further, the House also does not take a decision on the specific question of vires of the Bill. The motion moved by was, therefore, put to the vote of the House and adopted. Accordingly, the Chair permitted introduction of the Bill by Krishnam Raju.”[6]


Awards and recognition[edit]

Filmfare Awards South[edit]

Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu)
Year Film Role
1977 Amara Deepam Shri Krishna / Hari
1984 Bobbili Brahmanna Brahmanna / Ravi
1986 Tandra Paparayudu Tandra Paparayudu

Nandi Awards[edit]

Nandi Award for Best Actor
Year Film Role
1977 Amara Deepam Shri Krishna / Hari
1984 Bobbili Brahmanna Brahmanna / Ravi

TSR TV9 National Awards[edit]

  • 2012 - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2013 - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2015 - Legend Actor of Silver Screen

Zee Telugu Awards[edit]

  • 2015 - Lifetime Achievement Award


External links[edit]