9 February 1975
|Alma mater||Columbia College Chicago|
(m. 2004; div. 2006)
|Relatives||See Daggubati-Akkineni Family|
Sumanth (Born Sumanth Kumar) is an Indian actor/producer known predominantly for his work in Telugu cinema. The eldest grandson of late Akkineni Nageswara Rao, he is also a partner in Annapurna Studios. He is best known for starring in the films, Satyam, Gowri, Godavari, Madhumasam, Golconda High School, and most recently Malli Raava,Subrahmanyapuram
Background and education
Sumanth was born in Hyderabad, India, on 9 February 1975. He is the only son of Surendra Yarlagadda and the late Satyavathi Akkineni, the eldest daughter of Akkineni Nageswara Rao. 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 late maternal grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao, who was then on a hiatus from films after a major heart surgery. The latter had often said that his busy acting career prevented him from fully experiencing fatherhood with his own children, so he wished to raise his first grandchild himself. Hence Sumanth was adopted by his maternal grandparents.
Sumanth's father Surendra Yarlagadda is a retired film producer, noted for several hit films such as Shiva, Rao Gari Illu, Gaayam, Muchattaga Mugguru and Collector Gari Abbayi. Sumanth has one younger sister, Supriya Yarlagadda, who is the executive director of Annapurna Studios. Prominent actor Nagarjuna Akkineni is his maternal uncle. The famous late producer D. Ramanaidu is his uncle from his paternal side. Also, actors Venkatesh Daggubati, Rana Daggubati, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil Akkineni and Sushanth are his cousins; so is the noted film producer Daggubati Suresh Babu. In August 2004, Sumanth married former actress Keerthi Reddy. They, however, were divorced amicably in 2006.
Sumanth studied at the Hyderabad Public School, graduating in 1991. For his undergraduate studies, he enrolled in an engineering course at Michigan. Realising after 2 years that it wasn't in his best interest, he transferred to Columbia College Chicago, from where he graduated with a B.A in Film Studies in 1998. He was selected to the Dean's List during his final two semesters due to his academic excellence. He said that it was only in film school where he truly enjoyed and thrived in academics.
Sumanth started his acting career, playing the lead in Ram Gopal Varma's Prema Katha, which released on April 15, 1999. Despite moderate commercial success, Sumanth's performance was well appreciated, and the film too won critical acclaim and several Nandi Awards. His next film, Yuvakudu, directed by Karunakaran and co-starring debutant Bhumika Chawla, did positive business at the box office and was critically hailed as well. His third film Pelli Sambandham gave him the opportunity to act beside his grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao, and was directed by K. Raghavendra Rao. The film, however, managed only average business at the box office. The same was the case with Snehamante Idera, where he was cast alongside his uncle Nagarjuna Akkineni.
Box Office Breakthrough
In 2003, after a self imposed hiatus of almost 2 years, he starred in his first blockbuster Satyam. It also happened to be Genelia D'Souza's debut Telugu film. Satyam, which was produced by his uncle Akkineni Nagarjuna, was one of the highest-grossing films of 2003/2004. Sumanth revealed that he was actively involved in the production and creative inputs for this film besides just acting.
After the flop Dhana 51, and the average running Mahanandi alongside Anushka Shetty, Sumanth shifted paths in 2006, starring in Sekhar Kammula's romantic comedy/drama Godavari. It remains one of the most acclaimed films in his career. In addition to receiving rave reviews and box office success, it went on to win multiple Nandi and Filmfare awards. Godavari was responsible in giving Sumanth an urban and NRI following, and is widely considered a modern-day classic.
Sumanth's next film was the average running action/family drama Chinnodu (2006). In 2007, he starred in two movies: Madhumasam and Classmates. The former, a romantic comedy/drama alongside Sneha, produced by D. Ramanaidu, and directed by Chandra Siddhartha, was a hit, whereas the latter did not fare too well, despite good reviews. In early 2008, Sumanth's home production, the action/drama Pourudu alongside Kajal Aggarwal turned out to be a moderate success. It was especially appreciated for its action sequences. However, his next film, the action/romance Boni alongside Kriti Kharbanda released in mid 2009, and failed at the box office.
2011 to Present
In 2010, after a gap of almost a year, Sumanth took a rather experimental turn by starring in Golconda High School, directed by the national award-winning Indraganti Mohan Krishna. It was based on the English novel The Men Within, written by ex-cricketer Harimohan Paruvu, and it is regarded to be one of the few sports drama films in Telugu. Released on 15 January 2011, it garnered excellent critical acclaim and was declared a commercial hit as well. The critics as well as audience termed Sumanth's portrayal of a cricket coach with a chequered past to be one of his finest roles.
Sumanth's next was the romantic drama Raaj, which released in March 2011, but failed miserably at the box office. Sumanth candidly admitted after release that he wasn't expecting much from this film as it was plagued with several problems during production. Following this, he starred in Daggaraga Dooramga, a romance/ thriller under the direction of Ravi Kumar Chavali. It released in August 2011, and did below average business at the box office. In 2013, Sumanth teamed up again with director Chandra Siddhartha for the romantic comedy Emo Gurram Egaravachu It released on 25 January 2014 to a lukewarm response from the audience. Sumanth's foray into the comedy genre however received fairly positive reviews from the critics. Next came the romantic comedy Naruda Donoruda, the remake of the Hindi hit Vicky Donor. It released in November 2016, but this too did not fare well. Demonetization, which came into effect a few days after its release, was deemed one of the main reasons for its box office failure.
After a series of disappointments, Sumanth made a comeback with the romantic drama Malli Raava, under the direction of debutant Gowtam Tinnanuri. Released on Dec 8, 2017, it received positive reviews, and was a box office hit. Some critics even went to the extent of calling it his best film to date. Sumanth's performance too was praised, and he won the best actor award from the Telugu Chamber of Film/Commerce. The film also won in the best film and best director categories.
Sumanth's next was a supernatural mystery/thriller Subrahmanyapuram, directed by debutant Santhossh Jagarlapudi. Released on December 7, 2018, it received mixed reviews and turned out an average grosser. It was a profitable film for its producer though. This was followed by the drama/thriller Idam Jagath, which didn't fare too well.
Sumanth was most recently seen donning the role of his grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao biopic N.T.R: Kathanayakudu, directed by Krish Jagarlamudi. This film opened on January 9, 2019 to critical acclaim . Sumanth's portrayal in his first supporting role drew unanimous praise from all quarters.
He's also signed on to play the main role in a gangster comedy directed by debutant Vinu Yagna. This film goes on floor in January 2020.
He has also expressed an interest to diversify into playing author backed supporting and negative roles in the future.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1999||Prema Katha||Suri||Ram Gopal Varma||Debut Film|
|Pelli Sambandham||Unknown||K. Raghavendra Rao|
|2001||Ramma Chilakamma||Kasi||Tammareddy Bharadwaja|
|2004||Gowri||Gowri||B. V. Ramana|
|2005||Dhana 51||Dhana||R. Surya Kiran|
|2007||Classmates||Ravi||K. Vijaya Bhaskar|
|2011||Golconda High School||Sampath||Mohan Krishna Indraganti|
|Raaj||Raaj||V. N. Aditya|
|Daggaraga Dooranga||Gowtham||Ravikumar Chavali|
|2014||Emo Gurram Egaravachu||Bullebbai||Chandra Siddhartha|
|2016||Naruda Donoruda||Vicky||Mallik Ram|
|2017||Malli Raava||Karthik||Gowtam Tinnanuri|
|Idam Jagath||Nishith||Anil Srikantam|
|2019||N.T.R: Kathanayakudu||Akkineni Nageswara Rao||krish|
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