Konidela Shiva Shankara Vara Prasad, rechristened as Chiranjeevi, is one of the biggest stars of Telugu cinema, who is fondly referred to as the ‘Megastar.’ He is an acclaimed actor who is much adored for his versatility, easy and natural style of acting, unmatched charm and high above all, his electrifying dancing skills. Born with an inherent talent and passion for cinema, he has established himself as an actor with a difference. He has been associated with Telugu cinema for close to 40 years and after a long sabbatical, he is all set to continue from where he left off. Apart from showing his dexterity as an actor, he is involved in many social activities.
One of the biggest superstars of Telugu film industry, Chiranjeevi was born on 22nd August May 1955 in Mogalthur, a small village, which falls in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. His father Konidela Venkat Rao was a government employee and mother Anjana Devi a housewife. As his father’s job involved several transfers, the family shifted to various places, when Chiranjeevi was still a kid, and he did his schooling at various places in Andhra Pradesh. He was a good student in terms of studies but was always inclined towards acting and participated in school plays.
His talent fetched him several awards in school. After completing his schooling, Chiranjeevi joined Sri Yerramilli Narayanamurthy College (YN College), in Narasapuram, from where he graduated with a B. Com degree. After completion of the degree, Chiranjeevi shifted to Chennai, (then called Madras) to chase his dreams.
Debut and Early Career
“ Punadhirallu” was his first film, but the first released film was “Pranam Khareedu” that was released in the year 1978. After the success of the movie, various new opportunities opened up for him and he played roles of increasing importance in a number of movies, in the following years. In 1983, he was accredited with acting in many feature films at a stretch. One of the major hits of this period was A. Kondanda Rami Reddy’s “Khaidi”which changed his fortunes forever making Chiranjeevi the hero nonpareil.
The period between 1983 and late 1990s is regarded as one of the golden periods of Telugu cinemas. Films made in this “golden era” were characterized by detailing in the screenplay, thoughtful direction, importance to music and portrayal of characters with which even a common man could relate. This period was also favorable for Chiranjeevi when he gave blockbusters in a row. He was offered roles that had ample scope to display a wide range of emotions. He proved his versatility in almost all the roles that were assigned to him and each of them was accepted by the audience wholeheartedly, making him the ‘Megastar.’
During this time Chiranjeevi started fruitful associations with some of the best directors and screenplay writers, including A. Kodanda Rami Reddy, Vijaya Bapineedu, B. Gopal and K. Raghavendra Rao. The Chiranjeevi-A.Kodanda Rami Reddy duo, delivered a series of mega hits during this period. In A. Kodanda Rami Reddy films, Chiranjeevi portrayed action roles of the protagonist, with a tinge of humor in each of them. The larger than life characters of Chiranjeevi in these films was much adored by the audience. The typical Indian action hero image of Chiranjeevi, was much adored by the movie goers of the period, especially the youth.
Some of the best super hit movies of Chiranjeevi – A. Kodanda Rami Reddy duo are “Khaidi,” “Goonda,” “Donga” “Pasivadi Pranam,” “Abhilasha,” and “Muta Mestri.” The combination of Chiranjeevi with director K. Raghavendra Rao also worked wonders. A number of their films, including “Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari,” “Adavi Donga,” “Rowdy Alludu,” and “Gharana Mogudu,” were blockbusters amongst which “Gharana Mogudu” has emerged as blockbusters of all-time and was the first south Indian movie to collect 10 crores at the box-office in the 1990s.
Chiranjeevi stretched his success of the 1980s to the following two decades as well. During the 1980s and early 90s, Chiranjeevi acted in a number of critically acclaimed films, which included “Swayam Krushi” and “Apadhbandhavudu.”
The mid-1980s and entire 90s saw Chiranjeevi portraying invincible, larger than life characters in many films, which gained immense popularity in the Telugu film industry. These included “Gang Leader,” “Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundarudu,” and “Gharana Mogudu.”
The secret of Chiranjeevi’s success is the larger than life character that he has done in innumerable films over the years. No wonder then that many films sold purely on his brand equity, mainly owing to his large number of fans. For the common man, to a doting son, caring elder brother and superhero characters that Chiranjeevi played convincingly in many of his films, have made him click with the audience.
Chiranjeevi In Hindi
After establishing himself as ‘numero uno’ of Telugu cinema, Chiranjeevi entered the Hindi Film Industry. He acted in “Pratibandh,” and a directorial venture of Mahesh Bhatt’s “The Gentleman.” Though he was appreciated here as well, he hasn’t taken his career seriously in Bollywood.
Chiranjeevi is married to Surekha, daughter of veteran Telugu actor, Allu Ramalingiah. The couple have three children – Sushmitha, Ram Charan Tej, and Sreeja. While Chiranjeevi’s younger brother Nagendra Babu has established himself as a character actor, his youngest brother Pawan Kalyan has emerged as one of the biggest heroes of Telugu cinema. His son Ram Charan Tej, nephews Allu Arjun, Sai Dharam Tej, Allu Sirish and Varun Tej too established themselves as heroes of repute.
After a self-imposed exile that stretched for over 9 years owing to his political career, Chiranjeevi is all set to make his comeback in a grand way with his 150th movie which is likely to hit the screens early next year.
The ‘Megastar’ of Telugu cinema, Chiranjeevi turns a year older today. On this blissful occasion, thetelugufilmnagar.com wishes the ‘Megastar,’ a Happy Birthday and a prosperous life ahead.