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Born22nd August, 1955
CareerCast (7)
First MoviePrathikaarajwaala (1985)
ChildrenRam Charan Teja

Chiranjeevi (born Konidela Shiva Shankara Vara Prasad on 22 August 1955), is a popular Tollywood film personality, also called "Megastar" He was awarded the Padma Bhushan award, the third highest award bestowed by the Government of India. He is the only Tollywood actor to receive seven Filmfare Best Actor awards. He announced his formal entry into politics on in August 2008 by launching the Praja Rajyam Party at tirupathi in presence of a big gathering from every corner of the state and participated in 2009 elections. He is a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly representing Tirupathi.

Chiranjeevi married Surekha, the daughter of veteran actor and comedian Allu Ramalingaiah. He has two daughters Sushmitha and Sreeja and a son Ram Charan Teja. Chiranjeevi's two younger brothers Nagendra Babu and Pawan Kalyan are also well settled actors in the South Indian film industry.

Vara Prasad is the son of Late Sri Venkat Rao and Srimathi Anjana Devi. He was born on 22 August 1955 in Narsapuram,a town on the Banks of River Godavari in the West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in India. His father worked as a constable and got transferred on a regular basis. He spent his childhood in his native village with his grand parents. He has two sisters and two brothers. His younger brother, Nagendra Babu is a film producer and a actor. His youngest brother, Pawan Kalyan, is also an actor. Chiranjeevi did his schooling in Nidadavolu, Gurajala, Bapatla, Ponnuru, Mangalagiri and Mogalturu. After high school he studied in C.S.R.Sharma Junior College at Ongole. He then graduated from Y.N. College in Narasapur with a B.Com degree. He was an NCC cadet. Chiranjeevi had participated in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi as an NCC cadet in the early 70s. In 1977, after his graduation at Y.N. College in Narsapuram, Chiranjeevi moved to Chennai to seek a career in acting.

Chiranjeevi was a student at the Madras Film Institute and an amateur stage actor. Before completing his training at the film institute, he attended auditions and selected for the film Punaadi Raallu(1978). However, Pranam Khareedu was his first film released in theaters. His first public performance was in the Republic Day parade ballet of Andhra Pradesh on 26 January 1976. In the film Paleru Narsayya, he acted without makeup and impressed the prominent members of the industry. Famous directors Bapu and K Balachandar, who had attended the preview of this film, offered the roles in their respective movies. In Balachanders Idi Katha Kaadu he acted in a negative role, but in Bapus Manavoori Pandavulu he played one important role. For this movie he received a remuneration of Rs.1116. Towards the end of 1979, Chirajeevi started gaining pace in the industry with eight releases in the year. In Kothala Rayudu, a film released during this period, he played the title role for the first time. In 1980, a record fourteen films starring Chiranjeevi hit the theaters, establishing a solid base for him in the industry. In the next two years Chiranjeevi acted in several films in leading, supporting and even in negative roles.

Most notably, his performances in Punnami Naagu (1980) and Nyayam Kavali (1981), Albeit having negative shades, were acclaimed by critiques and audience alike. The year 1983 was a major turning point in Chiranjeevis career.Khaidi, which was released in October of this year, brought immediate stardom to Chiranjeevi and marked the beginning of his dominance in the industry. Many film critiques believe that the film has influenced the Telugu Cinema much the same way as the Hindi film Sholay influenced Bollywood. Inspired heavily by the Hollywood flick First Blood, Khaidi increased the demand for the director and writers also, besides turning the combination of the duo - director Kodanda Rami Reddy and Chiranjeevi into one of the most successful combinations in the industry. This duo went on to work together in 23 films in total, most of them being huge box office blockbusters.

He is well versed in Hindi and his performance was appreciated in many Bollywood movies including Prathibandh (1990), Aaj Ka Goonda Raj (1992), The Gentleman (1994) and many more. He also dubbed many of his Telugu films in Hindi.

With several other super hits in the year like Abhilasha apart from Khaidi, Chiranjeevi appeared to be an obvious choice for this position. Indeed, he would occupy this position within the next few years and, as even his competitors agree, he remained there for more than two decades. (Leading Telugu Actor Venkatesh said in an Interview to India Today that Chiranjeevi has been the undisputed No. 1 since 1987) Chiranjeevi continued to enjoy commercial success in the following years with hits like Challenge,Rustum and Jwala.
However, the 1985 released film Adavi Donga was another important movie in his career in that it marked the beginning of his association with another senior director K Raghavendra Rao. Chiranjeevi acted in his direction for most number of films, after A Kodanda Rami Reddy. In '87 release Pasivadi Pranam, Chiranjeevi introduced Break Dance to Indian Cinema, a dance that drove his fans into craziness. While the industry obsessed with break dance for several years, the film has increased his market value hugely. By this time an already number one in the Telugu cinema, Chiranjeevi cemented his place as the undisputed king of Indian box office with super hits like Yamudiki Mogudu, Marana Mrudangam in 1988, and State Rowdi, Attaku Yamudu Ammayiki Mogudu in 1989. During this period, he was promoted with what is now a popular title Megastar in his movies, replacing his old title Supreme Hero. Chiranjeevis mass following continued to grow bigger and bigger with each passing year and so did his remuneration.

His several films were dubbed and remade in Tamil, Hindi & Malayalam. He starred in Aaj Ka Goondaraja Hindi remake of his Gangleader. He also acted in Telugu remakes of Tamil films including Mannan, remade as Gharana Mogudu in Telugu and remade from Telugu as Laadla (with Anil Kapoor in the lead).


Nandi Award-for Best Actor - (Swayam Krushi)
Nandi Award-for Best Actor - (Apadbandhavudu)
Nandi Award-for Best Actor - (Indra)

On 2 October 1998, he founded the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust (CCT), which includes Chiranjeevi Blood and Eye Banks. It is the state's largest recipient of Blood and Eye Donations. The Blood Bank of the CCT helped over 80,000 people and the Eye Bank has helped about 1000 people in the state of Andhra Pradesh since its opening. So far over 300,000 people have pledged their eyes to CCT, giving 1600 people eyesight through the CCT. CCT has also won the "Best Voluntary Blood Bank Award" by the AP State Government for the past 4 years.

Recently CCT has reached one more landmark by crossing the 100,000 mark in collecting the blood and more than 96,000 people were helped with blood by this blood bank.

His political campaign attracted huge crowds and much media attention. He contested two constituencies, Tirupati and Palakollu. He got good support from Nagendra Kunisetty, Ananthapur His Praja Rajyam Party won 18 seats out of 294.He lost from palakollu constituency.

In 2008, Chiranjeevi started Praja Rajyam, a political party in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In the 2009 general elections the party won 18 seats and he was elected a Member of the State Assembly from Tirupati. On 6 Feb 2011, Chiranjeevi merged the 30-month-old Praja Rajyam party with Indian National Congress.

Prepared by: Dr. Susie Pazhavarical