- Actor, Narrator, Voice
Jan 26, 1968 in East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
Jan 26, 1968 in East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
Bhupatiraju Ravi Shankar Raju, better known by his stage name Ravi Teja, is a popular Telugu film actor and enjoys the moniker of `Mass Maharaja`. Teja is one of the highest-paid actors in the South Indian film industry, especially Telugu cinema. He has appeared thrice in the Forbes India list of Top 100 celebrities for the years 2012, 2013, and 2015.
Ravi Teja was born to Raj Gopal Raju and Rajya Lakshmi Bhupatiraju on the 26th January, 1968. His father worked as a pharmacist in the Jaggampeta village of Andhra Pradesh. His childhood was mostly spent in North India because of his father`s transferable job. Both his brothers, Bharath and Raghu, are actors as well. Raghu has done a few lead roles in B-grade Telugu movies, while Bharath majorly plays negative roles and has also shared screen space with Ravi.
He did schooling in several Indian cities like Jaipur, Delhi, Bhopal, and Mumbai. Finally, the young Teja completed schooling in Vijayawada from the NSM Public School. He also pursued a BA degree from Siddhartha Degree College of Vijayawada.
As a child, Ravi was influenced by Amitabh Bachchan, so much so that he also tried to run away from his Jaipur home to Mumbai to meet Amitabh Bachchan; hoping to get a chance to work in movies. Finally, his calling came in 1988, when he left his graduation studies midway and went to Chennai to work in the industry.
Teja married his wife Kalyani on May 26, 2002. The couple has a daughter Mokshada, who was born in 2003, and a son Manit, who was born in 2006.
Ravi Teja made his debut with the movie Aaj Ka Gundaraj (1992), where he portrayed the role of an associate to the lead hero Chiranjeevi. Following his debut, he was seen in movies like Prathihnbandh, Criminal (1995), Karthavyam (1990), and Chaitanya (1991). Simultaneously, he also worked behind the camera as assistant director for films and televisions. Despite working on several movies, his breakthrough came with director Krishna Vamsi`s the hit flick Ninne Pelladutha (1996), which was successful at the box office. Although he had a small role in the movie, Krishna Vamsi signed him as the lead actor in his 1997 movie Sindhooram, which was centered on the Naxalite crisis. It was well-received and even won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu.
For the next three years, Ravi Teja was seen in movies such as Premaku Velayra, Padutha Teeyaga, Manasicchi Choodu, and Seetha Rama Raju. His next well-received movie was Nee Kosam (1999), which won him the Nandi Award for Best Actor Special Jury. Following its success, the `Mass Maharaja` starred in lead roles in movies such as Budget Padmanabham, Annayya, and Samudram. However, at the same time, he was also seen in a supporting role in movies such as Kshemanga Velli Labanga Randi (2000), Sakuntumba Sapari Vare Sametham (2000), Ammayi Kosam (2001), and Tirumala Tirupati Venkatesa (2000). Ravi Teja managed a hat-trick of super hit movies in 2001 and 2002, which were the comeback films for their directors as well - Itlu Sravani Subramanyam (2001) by Puri Jagannadh, Avunu Validharu Ishtapaddaru (2002) by Krishna Vamsi, and as Chanti in Telugu film Idiot (2002), directed again by Puri Jagannadh.
His lucky spell again continued for another three years, delivering one hit after another. His performance in Rakshita received much critical appreciation. During the same time period, the Telugu actor didn`t enjoy commercial success and appeared in movies which went on to become box-office failures such as Anveshana (2002), Oka Raju Oka Rani (2003), and Ee Abbayee Chala Manchodu (2003). His movie Khadgam (2002) went ahead to win the Sarojini Devi Award for a Film on National Integration, and Ravi won the Nandi Special Jury Award for his stellar performance. The film Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi (2003) with Asin Thottumkal was a blockbuster success. Other popular movies in the same year were Dongodu, which released in 2003 and co-starred Kalyani, and Veere, which released the same year where he was cast opposite Aarthi Agarwal. Ravi showcased his brilliant comic timing in the 2004 film Venky directed by Srinu Vaitla. The versatile Ravi delivered a measured performance of a dejected lover in the movie Naa Autograph (2004) and started off 2005 with debutant director Boyapati Srinu`s Bhadra, alongside stars like Meera Jasmine and Arjan Bajwa. He was seen in the famous Bollywood director Ram Gopal Verma`s production Shock alongside Jyothika in the lead in 2006.
In the following years, he appeared in action roles that were well-received by his audience. Successful films in his kitty in this genre include Khatarnak (2007), Dubai Seenu (2007), Krishna (2008), and Kick (2009). In 2010, Ravi starred in the action-comedy Don Seenu alongside actresses Shriya Saran and Anjana Sukhani. In the year 2011, Ravi starred in two movies directed by Ram Gopal Verma -Dongala Mutha and Katha Screenplay Darshakatvam Appalaraju (cameo appearance). The same year Ravi Teja delivered a blockbuster hit in the form of action comedy flick Mirapakay. Ravi continued his association with Puri Jagannadh with the action comedy fantasy movie Devudu Chesina Manushulu, opposite actress Illeana D`Cruz. He was then seen with Tapsee Pannu in the 2012 movie Daruvu. Teja also did a much-subdued role in Sarocharu (2012). The year 2013 gave Ravi Teja a major blockbuster movie Balupu, where he delivered an entertaining performance.
He played the lead in 2015 movie Kick 2 opposite Rakul Preet Singh, which is a sequel to his 2009 hit film Kick. That same year, Ravi`s next film Bengal Tiger went on to become a commercial success, grossing about 40 crores globally. Around the same period, he has done guest appearances in films like Romeo (2014), and Vajrakaya (2015). The talented actor turned singer when he sang for movies like Balupu and Power. The Mass Maharaj has also done voiceovers for Maryada Ramayana (2010) and Doosukeltha (2013). His 2018 project includes Amar Akbar Anthony. His 2020 release includes Disco Raja.