Jan 15, 1967 in Andhra Pradesh, India
Jan 15, 1967 in Andhra Pradesh, India
Manga Bhama, known popularly by her stage name Bhanupriya, is an Indian actress and dancer who is known primarily for her work in the South Indian film industry. She made her acting debut in the 1983 Tamil film Mella Pesungal, and rose to prominence when she played the titular role in the National Award winning Telugu drama film Sitaara (1984). Throughout the 1980`s and early 1990`s, Bhanupriya was one among the most popular leading actresses in South India, and appeared in several critically acclaimed and commercially successful films. Some of her best work at the peak of her career came in films like Anveshana (1985), Swarna Kamalam (1988), Aararo Ariraro (1989), Azhagan (1991) and Thalapathi (1991). She has also appeared in a handful of Bollywood films, notably Dosti Dushmani (1986), Khudgarz (1987) and Suryaa: An Awakening (1989). The actress has won two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, three Nandi Awards and two Filmfare Awards (South) in the course of a career spanning over three decades.
Bhanupriya was born in Rangampeta, Andhra Pradesh, to Pandu Babu and Ragamali. She has a sister named Shantipriya, who is also an actress.
Bhanupriya married U.S. based digital graphics engineer Adarsh Kaushal in 1998. After seven years of marriage, the couple parted ways in 2005. They have a daughter together, named Abhinaya.
Bhanupriya made her acting debut at the age of 15, in the Tamil film Mella Pesungal (1983). She didn`t have to wait long for her first big break, which came in her second film Sitaara (1983). Bhanupriya played the titular role in this Telugu drama film, which also marked her Tollywood. Sitaaras critical and commercial success made her an overnight star, and besides being screened at several international film festivals, the film also went on to win three National Film Awards - for Best Editing, Best Female Playback Singer and Best Feature Film in Telugu.
Rise to Prominence
In the years that followed, Bhanupriya became one of the sought-after actresses in Tollywood, and was fondly referred to as `the other Sridevi` by several media outlets. Her pairing opposite Tollywood star Chiranjeevi in blockbusters like Vijetha (1985), Chakravarthy (1987), Trinetrudu (1987) and Khaidi No. 786 (1988) also added to her popular appeal. The actress made her Bollywood debut in the 1986 film Dosti Dushmani, where she starred alongside stalwarts like Rajinikanth, Rishi Kapoor and Jeetendra. However, she couldn`t emulate the kind of success and popularity she enjoyed down south in Bollywood, in spite of hits like Khudgarz (1987) and Suryaa: An Awakening (1989).
In 1988, Bhanupriya bagged the first Nandi Award (for Best Actress) of her career for her performance in the critically acclaimed dance drama film Swarna Kamalam. She also earned her maiden Filmfare Award (South) for Best Actress for her performance in the film. In the following year, she won the Special Prize at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards for her portrayal of a woman with a traumatic past in the drama film Aararo Ariraro (1989). Critical acclaim continued to favour the actress in the years that followed, and in 1991, she won her second Tamil Nadu State Film Award for her performance in the K. Balachander film Azhagan. One of the landmark roles in her career also came in the same year, when she starred opposite Rajinikanth in Mani Ratnam`s cult classic film Thalapathi.
The actress made her Mollywood debut opposite Mohanlal in the 1992 film Rajashilpi, while the 1994 film Rasika marked her debut in the Kannada film industry. Peda Rayudu (1995), Azhakiya Ravanan (1996) and the devotional film Annamayya (1997) were some of Bhanupriya`s notable acting credits in the late 1990`s.
Since the 2000`s, Bhanupriya has appeared primarily in supporting roles in films. While her extended cameo in the Malayalam family drama Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal (2000) earned the actress much praise, Bhanupriya won her second Nandi Award for her performance in the musical family-drama Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo in 2002. This was also her first major award in the Best Supporting Actress category. In 2005, she won the third Nandi Award of her career for her role in the 2005 S.S. Rajamouli directorial Chhatrapati. She has since appeared in the Dhanush starrers Polladhavan (2007) and 3 (2012), and the NTR Jr. starrer Dammu (2012). Among Bhanupriya`s more recent projects is the ensemble comedy-drama film Magalir Mattum, in which she stars alongside Jyothika, Saranya Ponvannan and Urvashi. Her 2018 projects include Karthi starrer Kadaikutty Singam. The other cast includes Sayyeshaa, Sathyaraj, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Soori, Ponvannan, and Arthana Binu.
Bhanupriya forayed into television in the latter half of her career, and has starred in soap operas like Sun TV`s Shakti, Yamuna and Aaha on Vijay TV. She has won the Screen Videocon Award for Best Actress for her performance in Shakti. Besides these, she has also appeared as a guest member of the judging panel in popular dance reality shows like Jodi Number One on Star TV, Narthanashala on ETV Telugu and Maanada Mayilada on Kalaignar TV.