Mahesh Babu Wiki
Mahesh Babu (born Mahesh Ghattamaneni on 9 August 1975) is an Indian actor, producer, media personality, and philanthropist known for his works in Telugu cinema. He owns the production house G. Mahesh Babu Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. The younger son of veteran Telugu actor Krishna, Mahesh made his cameo as a child artist in Needa (1979), at the age of four, and acted in eight other films as a child artist. He made his debut as a lead actor with Rajakumarudu (1999) and won the State Nandi Award for Best Male Debut.
Mahesh achieved his breakthrough with the supernatural drama Murari (2001), and the action film Okkadu (2003). He went on to act in other commercially successful films such as Arjun (2004), Athadu (2005), Pokiri (2006), Dookudu (2011), Businessman (2012), Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2013), 1: Nenokkadine (2014), Srimanthudu (2015), Bharat Ane Nenu (2018) Maharshi (2019) some of which rank among the List of highest-grossing Telugu films. To date, he has won eight Nandi Awards, five Filmfare Awards, three CineMAA Awards, three South Indian International Movie Awards and one International Indian Film Academy Award.
Mahesh has been cited in the media as one of the most attractive male celebrities in India. His accomplishments have established him as a leading actor in Telugu cinema. Referred in the media as the Prince of Tollywood, he is one of the most popular and influential actors of Telugu cinema, and is described as the superstar of Telugu cinema by the audience. In addition to his acting career, Mahesh is an active humanitarian and philanthropist through his charitable trust and non-profit organisation Heal-a-Child. He is also associated with Rainbow Hospitals as their goodwill ambassador.
Mahesh was born on 9 August 1975 in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India. He is the fourth of the five children of Telugu actor Krishna and Indira, after Ghattamaneni Ramesh Babu, Padmavathi and Manjula Swaroop and before Priyadarshini. Mahesh's childhood was spent mostly in Madras under the care of his maternal grandmother Durgamma and the rest of his family. Since Krishna was busy with his film commitments, Ramesh used to look after Mahesh's academic performance. Along with his siblings, Mahesh used to play cricket regularly at the VGP Golden beach in Madras. To spend time with him, Krishna used to make sure that his films' shoots would be conducted at the VGP Universal Kingdom during the weekends.
Krishna also made sure that none of his children would reveal his name during their schooling to ensure a peaceful environment. He was educated at St. Bede's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Madras where actor Karthi was his schoolmate. Mahesh in an interview said that actor Vijay and he have been longtime close friends and studied at the same college before establishing themselves in their respective film industries. Mahesh was an above average student. He obtained a bachelor's degree in commerce from Loyola College in Chennai. After graduating, he met with director L. Satyanand in Vishakhapatnam for further training in acting which went on for three to four months. Being unable to read and write Telugu, he used to memorise the dialogues given by his directors during the dubbing phase of his films.
Early career and breakthrough (1979–2003)
At the age of four, Mahesh visited the sets of the Telugu film Needa (1979) where its director Dasari Narayana Rao shot a few sequences of his as a part of the narrative in the presence of the former's brother Ramesh. Needa marked his debut as a child actor. During the shoot of Poratam (1983) at Vauhini Studios, after watching Mahesh on the sets director Kodi Ramakrishna suggested to Krishna that he cast Mahesh in the role of the protagonist's brother. Initially terrified, Mahesh agreed to act in the film after being persuaded by the film's crew. He went on to act as a child artist in the films Shankharavam (1987), Bazaar Rowdy (1988), Mugguru Kodukulu (1988) and Gudachari 117 (1989). He played a dual role in the film Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989). Mahesh then appeared in Bala Chandrudu (1990), and Anna Thammudu (1990). Later, Mahesh continued his college studies.
In 1999, Mahesh made his debut as a lead actor with the film Raja Kumarudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao and co-starring Priety Zinta. The film was commercially successful, and people began referring to him with the title Prince. He received the Nandi Award for Best Male Debut. He starred in two films the following year – Yuvaraju and Vamsi. Following their poor performance at the box office, Mahesh starred in Krishna Vamsi's Murari the next year. Mahesh called Murari an important film in his career and the role he played in it one of his favourites. Murari was a commercial success and earned him the Nandi Special Jury Award. Though his 2002 releases Takkari Donga and Bobby performed poorly at the box office, Mahesh received his second Nandi Special Jury Award for his performance in the former.
Mahesh had two film releases in 2003, the first one being Gunasekhar's Okkadu co-starring Bhumika Chawla, which went on to become the highest grossing Telugu film of the year collecting ₹23 Crores at the boxoffice. He won his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his performance in the film. The other release was Teja's Nijam co-starring Rakshita. The film was noted for introducing Dolby EX surround system in Telugu cinema. Though the film was a commercial failure, Mahesh received praise from the critics for his performance in the film, with Vijayalaxmi of Rediff.com calling him the only reason to watch the film's second half which she termed a routine tale of vendetta. Mahesh won his first Nandi Best Actor Award for his performance in the film.
Mainstream film acclaim and success (2004–2010)
Manjula produced his next film, Naani, directed by S. J. Surya co-starring Amisha Patel. While its simultaneously shot Tamil version New featuring a different cast was commercially successful, Naani flopped at the box office. He received the Nandi Special Jury Award for his performance in his next film, Arjun, directed by Gunasekhar and produced by Ramesh. The failure of Naani depressed both Mahesh and Manjula, who took a small break in Goa before resuming their other commitments. He chose to act in Trivikram Srinivas's Athadu, co-starring Trisha Krishnan, whose script had been approved back in 2002 before the production of Naani and Arjun had begun. Athadu became one of the highest-grossing films of the year. The film was commercially profitable venture for the producers and distributors. The film benefited Mahesh's career as he won the Nandi Best Actor Award for his performance in the role of a hired assassin. Athadu collected a share of ₹25 Crores at the boxoffice.
Mahesh collaborated with Puri Jagannadh in 2006 for the film Pokiri, which was jointly produced by Jagannadh and Manjula. Made on a budget of ₹100 million and shot within six months, Pokiri became the highest grossing Telugu film of all time by the end of its run, and was screened at the 7th IIFA Awards held in Dubai. Mahesh received praise for his performance, with Y. Sunita Chowdary of The Hindu opining that "Mahesh's understated performance in Pokiri allows him effortlessly to reclaim the title of a star, overshadowing more questionable recent career choices". He won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for the second time.Pokiri grossed 67 crores at the boxoffice. That same year, his next film, Sainikudu, co-starring Trisha, was released amid huge expectations but flopped at the box office.
The following year saw Mahesh acting in the film Athidhi, co-starring Amrita Rao marking her Telugu debut. The film was produced by Mahesh's brother Ramesh. UTV Motion Pictures acquired the film's distribution rights for ₹185 million, which became its first Telugu film venture. In 2008, Mahesh provided voice-over for the film Jalsa directed by Trivikram Srinivas.
After Athidhi's release, Mahesh took a break from films for seven months; two months later, he signed Khaleja, but the break was unintentionally extended for two years due to several delays. During this time, Mahesh's grandmother and his wife Namrata's parents died. Krishna was worried about Mahesh's career as the film's shoot was delayed for so long. Upon release, Khaleja received mixed reviews from critics and was a commercial failure in India. However, it managed to perform well at the overseas box office.
Dookudu, Businessman and career setback (2011–2014)
In 2011, Mahesh collaborated with Srinu Vaitla for the film Dookudu, which was inspired in part by the 2003 German tragicomedy film Good Bye, Lenin!. Co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu, the film received positive reviews upon release and became one of the highest-grossing films of the year. Dookudu had the largest opening for a Telugu film, and collected a share of ₹101.1 million and a gross of ₹125.8 million on the first day of its release. The Los Angeles Times called Dookudu the "biggest hit you've never heard of". For his performance in the film, Mahesh won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Nandi Awards ceremony. He also won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu at the 59th Filmfare Awards South and 1st South Indian International Movie Awards ceremonies. After the film's gross crossed the ₹1 billion mark, Income Tax Department officials conducted a raid on Mahesh's Jubilee Hills residence as he was rumored to be getting a remuneration of more than ₹1.2 million for his next projects.
He later played the role of a mafia kingpin with a hidden personal agenda in the film Businessman, co-starring Kajal Aggarwal and directed by Puri Jagannadh. Upon the film's release, Mahesh received praise from the critics for his performance in the film, with Y. Sunita Chowdary of The Hindu writing, "The film has no frills, no vulgar wastage and the hero is practically in every frame; you hear only his voice, he looks good, sounds good, he also steals the comedian's job. Mahesh plays it straight.". It grossed approximately ₹187.35 million and collected a share of ₹137.8 million at the global box office on its first day creating an all-time record in terms of opening day collections. Businessman became one of the highest grossing Telugu films of the year. Businessman collected a share of 41 crores at the boxoffice. He received a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu at both the 60th Filmfare Awards South and the 2nd South Indian International Movie Awards ceremonies. By then, Mahesh was reported to be the second highest-paid actor in South India after Rajinikanth.
Mahesh then began filming for Srikanth Addala's Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu, whose script Mahesh had approved during the pre-production phase of Dookudu. Co-starring Daggubati Venkatesh along with Anjali and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu became the first Telugu multistarrer film to be produced in the last twenty-five years. Released in January 2013, the film became one of the highest grossing Telugu films of the year and marked the completion of Mahesh's hat-trick of successful films. Mahesh won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu at the 61st Filmfare Awards South ceremony and the 3rd South Indian International Movie Awards ceremony. He provided voice-over for Srinu Vaitla's Baadshah the same year. Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu collected a distributor share of ₹550 million and was the second-highest-grossing Telugu film of the year.
Mahesh had two releases in 2014, the first one being Sukumar's 1: Nenokkadine, an action thriller focusing on a celebrity suffering from hallucinations related to the murder of his parents and the discovery of a special variety of rice. Kriti Sanon played the female lead in this film, marking her acting debut. Made on a budget of around ₹70 crores, 1: Nenokkadine was released amid huge expectations, but received mixed reviews from the critics, turning out to be a box office bomb by incurring a loss of around ₹26–27 crores. However, Mahesh's performance received praise, with critics calling it one of his best performances. He also earned a nomination for the Best Actor – Telugu at the 4th South Indian International Movie Awards. Grossing over $1.32 million,1: Nenokkadine became the fourth-highest-grossing Telugu film in history at the United States box office at that time. The other release, Aagadu, directed by Srinu Vaitla and co-starring Tamannaah, flopped at the box office, even though it had a gross of ₹60 crores.
Resurgence and recent work (2015–present)
Mahesh collaborated with Koratala Siva for the action drama film Srimanthudu co-starring Shruti Haasan. He co-produced the film under his newly formed banner G. Mahesh Babu Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, marking his first film production venture. He opted to do so in order to control the film's budget, accepting a share in profits in lieu of remuneration. Released on 7 August 2015, Srimanthudu opened to positive reviews from the critics, was commercially successful, and gained the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu at the 63rd Filmfare Awards South for Mahesh, marking his resurgence. Sethumadhavan N. of Bangalore Mirror stated, Srimanthudu wouldn't have been as effective if it did not have Mahesh Babu who is at his charming best, adding that he "underplays the emotional scenes, making them a treat to watch".
The Film was a commercial success, grossing nearly ₹2.0 billion globally on a budget of ₹400—700 million and becoming the second-highest grossing Telugu film of all time and the highest grossing Telugu-language-only movie. After the film's release, many actors, bureaucrats and politicians announced plans to develop the backward villages and encouraged the adoption of villages in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Mahesh himself has adopted his native village, Burripalem.
Mahesh acted in Srikanth Addala's film Brahmotsavam co-starring Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Pranitha Subhash. Originally produced as a bi-lingual, the film would've marked Mahesh's first straight Tamil film. However, later on the plan was altered due to its disastrous performance at the Telugu box office and the film wasn't released in Tamil. While the film underperformed at the box office, the Deccan Chronicle stated that Mahesh Babu was its saving grace. The film was criticised by the public, due to the lack of a proper story. Mahesh stated that this was an error of judgement, where he had picked the wrong director. Mahesh later appeared in the Telugu-Tamil bilingual Spyder, directed by A. R. Murugadoss, which finally marked his Tamil cinema debut and grossed over ₹113 Crores at the box office. His next film was a political action drama Bharat Ane Nenu, directed by Koratala Siva and co-starring Kiara Advani. In this film, he played the role of a chief minister. It went on to become a hit and grossed over 150 crores, making it the 5th highest grossing Telugu movie of all time, Mahesh Babu winning the Dadasaheb Phalke Best Actor Award for his performance. His next film, Maharshi, was released on 5 April 2019. Mahesh has confirmed, in an interview, that he will be working with director Sandeep Reddy Vanga on a new film whose title is yet to be determined. As of August 2019, Maharshi had collected a total of ₹175 crore in worldwide gross figures.
In September 2004, Mahesh attended a rally organised by his fans at Warangal for the promotional activities of Arjun. He and his fans allegedly raided two video libraries and assaulted their owners who were circulating unauthorised CDs of the film. Cases under IPC section 448 (criminal trespass), section 427 (mischief) and section 366 (kidnap) were registered on Mahesh, who was the principal accused, and five others. Later, a delegation from the Telugu film industry, including Chiranjeevi, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Ghattamaneni Krishna, Allu Aravind and Daggubati Suresh Babu, approached the then chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy to intervene in this case. Regarding the issue, Mahesh said that while cases were booked against him, not a single case has been booked against the person dealing in bootlegged CDs, which he found the "funniest" thing. Actor and filmmaker Pawan Kalyan openly supported Mahesh throughout the episode. Mahesh surrendered in the district court on 20 September 2004 and appeared before the court again on 22 April 2006. The final hearing was held on 7 July 2006, and Mahesh and the others were exonerated.