9 February 1975
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
(now in Telangana, India)
|Spouse(s)||Keerthi Reddy (m. 2004; div. 2006)|
|Relatives||See Daggubati-Akkineni Family|
Sumanth (Born Sumanth Kumar) is an Indian film actor/producer known for his work predominantly in Telugu cinema. He is from the Akkineni Family. He is the grandson of late Akkineni Nageswara Rao, and nephew of Nagarjuna Akkineni. He is also a partner in the family owned Annapurna Studios, and in the film production company SS Creations.
Sumanth was born in Hyderabad, India, on 9 February 1975. He is the only son of Yarlagadda Surendra and the late Akkineni Satyavathi, the eldest child of Akkineni Nageswara Rao. A few months after his birth, Sumanth's parents returned to the US where they were then residing. Sumanth however remained in India on the request of his late maternal grandfather, 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 studied at the Hyderabad Public School, graduating in 1992. For his undergraduate studies, he went to the United States, where he enrolled in an engineering course at Michigan. Realizing after two years that engineering didn't match his career aspirations, he transferred to Columbia College in Chicago, where he majored in film. He was selected to the Dean's List during his final two semesters in college due to his excellent grades. He said many times that it was only in film school that he truly enjoyed and thrived in academics.
Sumanth's father Surendra Yarlagadda is a retired film producer, noted for several hits such as Shiva, Rao Gari Illu, Gaayam, Muchattaga Mugguru and Collector Gari Abbayi. He has one elder sister, Supriya Yarlagadda, who is also a film producer, and managing director of Annapurna Studios. The late producer D. Ramanaidu is his uncle from his paternal side. Actors Daggubati Venkatesh, Rana Daggubati, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil Akkineni and Sushanth are his cousins. In August 2004, Sumanth married former actress Keerthi Reddy. They, however, were divorced amicably in 2006, and continue to be friends today.
Sumanth started his acting career in Telugu cinema in 1999 in Ram Gopal Varma's film Prema Katha. Despite moderate commercial success, Sumanth's performance was well appreciated, and the film itself 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 late 2003, after a self-imposed hiatus of almost two years, he delivered his first blockbuster, Satyam. It also happened to be Genelia D'Souza's debut Telugu film. Satyam, which was produced by Akkineni Nagarjuna, was one of the highest-grossing films of 2003. Sumanth revealed later that this was one film where he was actively involved in other creative aspects of filming apart from just acting. Changing gear into another genre, he followed up with another hit film, Gowri, which confirmed him as a bona fide box office draw. Gowri was instrumental in giving him an action image as well among the mass audience. In 2005, he starred in the flop Dhana 51 and in the average running Mahanandi, in which Anushka Shetty starred opposite him.
Further critical and commercial success
In 2006, Sumanth shifted paths to play the lead in Sekhar Kammula's romantic comedy Godavari. It remains one of the most acclaimed films of his career. In addition to receiving rave reviews and box office success, it went on to win multiple Nandi and Filmfare awards. The film was especially successful in giving Sumanth an urban and Telugu NRI following. It was one of the first Telugu films to celebrate its 50 day run in the USA. It is widely regarded as a modern-day classic, regularly clocking high TV & digital ratings even to this day .
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 produced by D. Ramanaidu and directed by Chandra Siddharth, was a hit critically and at the box office, whereas the latter did not fare too well, despite good reviews. In early 2008, Sumanth's home production, the action/drama Pourudu turned out to be a moderate success at the box office. It was especially appreciated for its action sequences. However, his next film, the action/romance Boni released in mid 2009, but failed at the box office.
2010 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 is regarded to be Telugu cinema's first sports drama. 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. This film released in March 2011 and 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, Sumanth starred in Daggaraga Dooramga, a romance/ thriller under the direction of National and Nandi award-winning writer/director 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 Siddharth for the romantic comedy Emo Gurram Egaravachu M.M. Keeravani scored the soundtrack and Thai actress, Pinky Savika, aka Sawika Chaiyadech, starred alongside Sumanth in this film. It released on 25 January 2014 and garnered a lukewarm response from the audience. Sumanth's foray into the comedy genre however received fairly positive reviews from the critics.
Sumanth's next release was the romantic comedy Naruda Donoruda, the official remake of the Hindi hit Vicky Donor. It released in November 2016, but did not fare too well. Demonetization, which came into effect a few days after its release was deemed one of the main reasons for its box office failure.
Sumanth's latest film is the romantic drama Malli Raava, under the direction of debutant Gowtam Naidu Thinnanuri. Released on Dec 8, 2017, it received positive reviews across the board, and was declared a box office hit as well. Some critics even went to the extent of calling it his best film to date.. Sumanth's performance too was mostly hailed as his finest since Godavari.
Subsequently, Sumanth is playing the lead in a yet to be titled drama/thriller directed by another debutant, Anil Srikantam. He said that this would be the first time he plays a character with a grey shade. This film is expected to be a summer 2018 release.
He has also recently expressed an interest to don a strong negative lead role in the near future, saying it's something that he always wanted to do for as long as he could remember.
Off screen, being an avid sports fan, Sumanth was recently roped in to be the brand ambassador for the Hyderabad Skykings, one of the franchises of the EFLI (The American Football League of India).
|2016||Naruda Donoruda||Vikram "Vicky"||Remake of Vicky Donor|
|2014||Emo Gurram Egaravachu||Bullabbayyi|
|Golconda High School||Sampath|
|2008||Vijay IPS||Vijay IPS|
|2001||Snehamante Idera||Chandrasekhar "Chandru"|
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