Nandamuri Balakrishna

  • Actor, Producer

Jun 10, 1960  in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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An Indian film actor and politician, Nandamuri Balakrishna, entered the film industry at the age of 14 and since then there has been no turning back. He is the sixth son of Telugu actor and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (N. T. Rama Rao), and focuses his work mainly in Telugu cinema. With a film career of more than four decades, this actor has featured in several movies, the most prominent ones being Narasimha Naidu (2001), Simha (2010), Pandurangadu (2008) and Sri Rama Rajyam (2011). For his movie performances, he has won Nandi Awards, and the South Indian International Movie Award for Best Acting, and is an elected member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Early life
Balakrishna was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to N. T. Rama Rao and his first wife Basavatarakam. He spent his entire childhood in Madras as the Telugu film industry was based in Madras earlier. While he was an adolescent, he moved to Hyderabad when the Telugu film industry shifted to that city. He graduated with a Bachelor`s in Commerce from Nizam College, Hyderabad, Telangana.

Personal life
In 1982, when Balakrishna was 22 years old, he married Vasundhara Devi. They have two daughters, Brahmani and Tejaswini, and a son, Taraka Rama Mokshagna Teja. Brahmani married her cousin, Nara Lokesh, the son of TDP president and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Movie career
Balakrishna ventured into the acting industry as a child artist in 1974 with Tatamma Kala, directed by N. T. Rama Rao (NTR). His association with the director continued for many films, of which his most memorable roles were Abhimanyu in Dana Veera Soora Karna, Saleem in Akbar Saleem Anarkali and saint Narada in Sri Tirupati Venkateswara Kalyanam. In Dana Veera Soora Karna, the actor played the son of his real life brother Nandamuri Harikrishna. When he was 16, he featured in Annadammula Anubandham, as a brother to his real life father NTR.

The actor`s debut in a hero role came with director Bharati-Vasu`s 1984 movie Sahasame Jeevitham, opposite Vijji, in which he played the son of a middle-class lecturer who falls in love with the daughter of a multi-millionaire. In the same year, he starred in the drama film Mangammagari Manavadu alongside Bhanumathi and Suhasini under the direction of Kodi Ramakrishna, which was a blockbuster at the box-office. In the next year, Balakrishna starred opposite Akkineni Nageswara Rao in Bharya Bhartala Bandam, and then in a handful of movies in 1986 like Muddula Krishnnayya, Seetarama Kalyanam, Anasuyamma Gari Alludu and Desoddarakudu, upping his standard at the box office. He wrapped up the year with a dual role for the first time in Apoorva Sahodarudu, about twins who were separated at birth and decide to unite with their parents when they grow up.

After opening 1987 with Bhargava Ramudu, he starred in the super hit film Ramu, directed by Y.Nageswara Rao. His other films in the year Allari Krishnaiah, President Gari Abbai, Muvva Gopaludu and Bhanumati Gari Mogudu, were all huge successes. The actor opened 1989 with Bhale Donga, directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy, which saw him play the role of a thief Surendra. After T. Rama Rao`s Prananiki Pranam in the next year, the actor featured in another super hit film Nari Nari Naduma Murari in the role of Venkateswara Rao, opposite Shobana. He then starred in the blockbuster hit Rowdy Inspector, in which Balakrishna was appreciated for his impressive portrayal of the Inspector Ramaraju.

He went to add a few more super hits to his list including Bangaru Bullodu, Bhairava Dweepam, Bobbili Simham and Vamsanikokkadu. In the super hit Peddannayya (1997), the actor essayed a dual role as Rama Krishna Prasad and Bhavani Prasad. This followed with a handful of films like Muddula Mogudu, Devudu and Pavitra Prema, before another industry hit Samarasimha Reddy in 1999, which performed very well at the box office. This B. Gopal directorial starred Simran and Anjala Zhaveri in the female lead.

After a dual role in Sarath`s Sultan and as the son of an industrialist in E. V. V. Satyanarayana`s Goppinti Alludu, he joined hands with B. Gopal once again for the industry hit Narasimha Naidu. This action drama revolves around Narasimha, who is chosen as the saviour of his village and has a young girl fall in love with him. The movie won Balakrishna The Nandi Awards for Best Actor and A.P. CINE Goers Association Best Actor Award.

After giving the hit Chennakeshava Reddy in 2002, he featured in Jayanth C. Paranjee`s Lakshmi Narasimha in 2004, which was a super hit too. The actor continued to feature in dual roles in various movies like Allari Pidugu, Okka Magadu, Pandurangadu, Parama Veera Chakra and Simha, of which Simha was an industry hit. The actor followed this up with an award-winning performance in the 2011 release Sri Rama Rajyam, a film based on the epic Ramayana, that saw him portray the role of Lord Sri Rama, for which he won The Santosham Best Actor Award, Best Actor Award for the year 2011 - Male at TSR - TV9 Film Awards, and Bharata Muni Award Best Actor of the year 2011.

In 2014, came Boyapati Srinu`s action drama Legend, starring Balakrishna in a dual role of Jaidev and Krishna, with a plot that revolves around a man who falls in love with a girl when he is away from home. His performance in this hit movie won him The Legendary Actor Award at Santosham Film Awards, Best Actor Award for the year 2014 - Male at TSR - TV9 Film Awards, and SIIMA Award for Best Actor. In 2015, he was seen in the psychological thriller Lion, directed by Satyadev, in the role of Godse. In the next year, he starred in Sriwass` Dictator, which was a box office success. His 2017 release includes the epic historical action film Gautamiputra Satakarni in the role of Gautamiputra Satakarni, 2nd century ruler of the Satavahana Empire. This movie, directed by Krish, starring Shriya Saran and Hema Malini as the female leads, was Balakrishna`s 100th film. His other 2017 venture includes the Telugu action comedy film Paisa Vasool, once again opposite Shriya Saran, under the direction of Puri Jagannadh. His 2019 releases includes the biographical drama NTR: Kathanayakudu and its sequel NTR: Mahanayakudu.

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