The very good-looking and age-defying superstar of the Telugu film industry was born this day, 57 years ago. Born as Akkineni Nagarjuna Rao to veteran Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and his wife Annapurna Akkineni, Nagarjuna got his Bachelor of Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy and completed M.S. in Automobile Engineering from Eastern Michigan University. After completing his studies, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the film industry. The Tollywood superstar has had many blockbuster movies in Telugu and Hindi. Let’s look at the career of a superstar who refuses to age – neither on-screen nor off -screen!
Nagarjuna’s Career So Far:
Nagarjuna’s father, Nageswara was a well-liked Telugu actor and it wasn’t a surprise when the acting bug bit his son. He began acting in 1967 as a child artist in the movie Sudigudaluand and was seen in 1986 playing a full-fledged lead role in the film Vikram. The film was directed by V. Madhusudhana Rao and also stars Shobana along with Nagarjuna in lead roles. Vikram was a hit at the box office. The film was a remake of the 1983 Bollywood film Hero which starred Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles.
His performance in the movie, Geethanjali (1989) directed by Mani Ratnam was raved by critics and won him accolades. The actor has worked in around 90 films till date. Other than Telugu, he has also worked in Hindi and Tamil films.
In 1989, he starred in the movie Shiva directed by Ram Gopal Varma opposite his future wife Amala and the movie went on to become his first major breakthrough. It won him his first ever Filmfare Award for Best Actor. He made his Bollywood debut with the Hindi remake of Shiva.
After Shiva, he acted in a string of action movies like Chaitanya, Nirnayam and Killer in 1991.
In 1992, his name made headlines yet again when he bagged a role in Khuda Gawah starring Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi. In the same year, he was paired opposite Urmila Matondkar in Ram Gopal Varma's Drohi.
Nagarjuna has also acted in Hindi movies like Zakhm (1998), Angaaray, and LOC–Kargil (2003). His Telugu movie Mass (2004) was remade into Hindi as Meri Jung- One Man Army and in Tamil as Veeran.
His power-packed performances in all his movies gave him the tag of Nag, King and Yuva Samrat of the Telugu film industry.
In the last couple of years, his movies like Manam (2014), Soggade Chinni Nayana (2016) and Oopiri (2016), have been super hits. Oopiri is the remake of the 2011 French super hit movie The Intouchables. Manam featured three generations of the Akkineni family- the Grandfather-Nageswara Rao, the son – Nagarjuna and the grandsons- Chaitanya and Akhil. Amitabh Bachchan also made a cameo appearance in the film Manam. This was the last time Nagarjuna shared screenspace with his father Nageswara Rao, as he soon passed away.
At a time where period dramas are a huge hit, Akkineni Nagarjuna is set to act in his next movie titled Om Namo Venkatesaya set in the 17th century based on Lord Balaji’s life.
Did you know that his popularity earned him the 56th spot in Forbes India top 100 celebrities in 2012!
We would love to wish the ‘King’ Akkineni Nagarjuna, who turns 57 today and still looks as young as ever, a very happy birthday and hope he continues his amazing run at the box office.
– By Stacey Prince