It’s easy to get lost in the awe induced by one of the Nation’s greatest ever actors and reminisce about the past, but when a beaming Nagarjuna comes along, all swagger, handsomeness, and charisma personified, you are reminded that the ANR is well and truly alive. From the talented young man who endeared himself to audiences’ hearts with “Geethanjali” and “Shiva” to his seasoned performances in the more recent “Soggade Chinni Nayana” or “Oopiri,” Nagarjuna’s film journey is a classic example of an actor’s perfect transition through time. The veteran actor is over 90 films old in a career spanning three decades, but his zeal for cinema is unmistakably youthful as he continues to set the bar high — which looks to continue in his upcoming flicks like “Om Namo Venkatesaya” and so on.
Fondly called as ‘Yuva Samrat’ and ‘King,’ Nagarjuna is celebrating his birthday on August 29. On the occasion, thetelugufilmnagar.com wishes to bring to the fore his biography and filmography.
Nagarjuna was born on August 29, 1959, to the legendary actor Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Annapurnamma, in Chennai (the then Madras). He completed his Mechanical Engineering in Madras. Despite completing Engineering, Nagarjuna chose films as his profession to continue his father’s legacy.
After appearing in a small as a child artist in “Sudigundalu,” Nagarjuna was introduced as the hero with “Vikram,” an official remake of Bollywood film “Hero.” “Vikram” was released on May 23, 1986, and was an instant hit.
However, it was Dasari Narayana Rao’s romantic tragedy “Majnu” that won him accolades as an actor and catapulted Nagarjuna to stardom. Post “Majnu,” Nagarjuna established himself as star hero, with films like “Murali Krishna,” “Collector Gari Abbayi” and K. Raghavendra Rao’s “Aakhari Poratam” which established Nagarjuna as a star hero. But it was the year 1989 that changed the fortunes of Nagarjuna forever. In this year, he had two of the biggest hits of his career. A classic love story “Geethanjali,” directed by Maniratnam that took Nag’s image as a romantic hero to newer heights. The sensational success of “Geethanjali” has been made look minuscule and overshadowed by his career changing stormy hit in the form of the cult-classic “Shiva,” directed by the first-time director Ram Gopal Varma. Though many were against his decision to deploy faith in Ram Gopal Varma, who doesn’t have any experience in the direction department, Nagarjuna believed his instinct and it paid off well. The film has set a new trend in Tollywood giving Nagarjuna, the much-needed action hero image, and Nagarjuna’s stardom has risen to peaks making him the much bigger star than he was. “Shiva” made such an indelible impact on the youngsters that most of the leading current directors got inspired by this cult-classic to enter into filmmaking, and even Telugu films were differentiated as pre and post Shiva era, in terms of technical aspects of filmmaking.
After the storm Shiva was abated, there was a lull period for some time, before he plunged in with “President Gari Pellam,” which brought him the mass image that fetched him fans in B and C centers and was on a roll till “Hello Brother” happened. Nagarjuna’s comic antics is best exploited by the director EVV Satyanarayana in “Hello Brother,” and it was the first time Nagarjuna was seen in a dual role. With the stupendous success of “Hello Brother,” Nagarjuna has become a strong force to reckon with. Riding high on few hits, Nagarjuna delivered yet another blockbuster hit “Ninne Pelladatha,” which brought him closer to the family audience.
However, it was his next film “Annamayya,” which appeared to be the biggest challenge he has to come across, as many made snide comments as Nagarjuna’s ability to carry off the role of a devotee. But, Nagarjuna carried the role with a great panache and silenced the critics and justified his cast as the eponymous lead.
Nagarjuna is often called as “Celluloid Scientist” for the variety of genres he has experimented with and for introducing the new talent to the industry. He has done a variety of roles that of a Killer in “Antham,” a devotee in “Annamayya,” “Sriramadasu” and God in “Sri Shirdi Sai.” In an illustrious career spanning nearly 3 decades, Nagarjuna has appeared in close to 90 movies and has won 2 National Awards, 9 Nandi Awards, and 3 Filmfare Awards South. Apart from an actor, he is an entrepreneur and TV presenter. His TV Show Meelo Evaru Koteswarudu on MAA TV is a huge success. He is the president of non-profit school “Annapurna International School of Film and Media” based in Hyderabad.
Some of Nagarjuna’s superhit movies include Shiva, Geethanjali, Sri Ramadasu, Hello Brother, Annamayya, King, Ninne Pelladatha and Manmadhudu. His elder brother Akkineni Venkat is a famous producer, his nephews Sumanth, Sushant and sons Naga Chaitanya, Akhil are well-known heroes in Tollywood.
Age has not withered his looks or his charm. Nagarjuna has retained the grace and youthful exuberance that made him a teenage sensation of Telugu cinema in the Eighties.
The ‘King’ of Tollywood, Nagarjuna turns a year older today. On this blissful occasion, thetelugufilmnagar.com wishes the ‘King,’ a very Happy Birthday and a prosperous life ahead.