Mahesh Babu born Mahesh Babu Ghattamaneni on 9 August 1974 is an Indian film actor from Telugu Cinema. He started his career as a child actor and later starred in a lead role with the film Rajakumarudu (1999).
He later appeared in blockbusters like Murari (2001), Okkadu (2003), Athadu (2005) and Pokiri (2006). These accomplishments have established him as one of the contemporary lead actors of Tollywood.
He is the Brand Ambassador for Thums Up, Navratna Oil, Univercell, Amrutanjan, Provogue, Idea, Vivel and Jos Alukkas in Andhra Pradesh.
Mahesh Babu was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to Super Star Krishna and Smt. Indira Devi on August 9, 1975. He has four siblings: Ramesh Babu, Padmavathi, Manjula and a younger sister, Priyadarshini. He did his schooling at St Bede’s in Chennai and obtained an Honours Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. Mahesh Babu acted in seven of his father’s films as a child.
Mahesh dated Bollywood actress and former Miss India Universe Namrata Shirodkar for two years. She was his co-star in the movie Vamsi. They got married on February 10, 2005, and have a son named Gautham Krishna.
Child Artist (1979-1990)
He started his acting career by playing a small role in his brother Ramesh Babu‘s debut film, Needa, under Dr. Dasari Narayana Rao‘s direction in 1979, at the tender age of 4. In 1983, at the age of 8, director Kodi Ramakrishna requested him to do a role in the film Poratam since they were having difficulty casting for the role of Krishna’s sibling. This was his first full length feature film and can be considered his debut film as a child artist. Producer / Director Dhoondy, one of the early backers of Krishna in his struggling days, watched a preview of the movie and was stunned to find out he was Krishna’s own son and remarked that there was a spark in him and he would become an excellent artist. True to that prognostication, Mahesh went on to win the hearts of many Telugu film lovers as a child artist through varied roles. In Sankharavam (1987) he faced the cameras with his father directing him for the first time. Veteran director A. Kodandarami Reddy directed him and his brother Ramesh for Bazaar Rowdy (1988), where he overshadowed his own brother and won accolades for jointly carrying the film on his shoulders. Mugguru Kodukulu (1988) saw him again team up with his brother and father, the father directing them all this time. Gudachari 117 (1989) reunited Mahesh with his first film director Kodi Ramakrishna in a James Bond type of flick for which his dad, the lead in the movie, was famous. Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989), directed by Krishna again, had Mahesh in a dual role. Balachandrudu and Anna Tammudu (1990) saw the teenaged Mahesh Babu completing his first innings on celluloid after which he concentrated on his studies and went out of the public eye while letting nature take its course through the awkward adolescent years.
In 1999, Mahesh was re-introduced as a full-fledged hero with the movie Raja Kumarudu (The Prince). Directed by K. Raghavendra Rao and co-starring Priety Zinta as the female lead, this film was a debonair start for his career earning him Nandi award for best male debutant. After the movie was released, both fans and the media started fondly calling him Prince Mahesh. His next release Yuvaraju followed in the year 2000. Directed by Y.V.S Chowdary, the movie did moderately well at the box office completing 100 days in 19 centers all over AP. In the same year, another movie Vamsi under the direction of B.Gopal was released and this movie had Namrata Shirodkar co-starring for the first time with Mahesh. During the movie, the on screen couple Mahesh and Namrata started seeing each other in real life and this relationship later resulted in their beautiful marriage.
In 2001, his successful movie Murari, Directed by Krishna Vamsi and co-starring Sonali Bendre, was released and earned Mahesh plaudits from all sections of audience and from critics. He bagged a Nandi Special Jury Award for his splendid performance in the film. Takkari Donga, produced and directed by Jayant Paranji was released in 2002, where Mahesh essayed the role of a cowboy. The role and the movie were meant to honor the legacy of Superstar Krishna as the first ever Indian cowboy and also the first Indian cowboy movie Mosagallaku Mosagadu. His untiring effort in the movie led to another Nandi Special Jury Award. He had another movie Bobby released in the same year, directed by Sobhan. The movie was a disaster at the box office.
Mahesh’s most memorable film was released in 2003. Okkadu, directed by Gunasekhar, co-starring Bhoomika Chawlaand produced by M.S. Raju remains a landmark film in his career. The movie went on to become the biggest blockbuster of the year. He won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for this movie. On the heels of such a big blockbuster, his next movie Nijam was directed by Teja. Although the movie was a box-office failure Mahesh‘s spellbinding performance acquired him the prestigious Nandi Award for the best actor. In 2004, he worked with director S. J. Suryaah and had paired with Amisha Patel for the movie Naani, produced by his sister Manjula Ghattamaneni. The movie sadly was not well received though Mahesh’s performance was applauded by critics and audience alike. The same year also had Mahesh again collaborating with Gunasekhar for his next movie Arjun which was produced by his brother G. Ramesh Babu. This movie turned in a decent performance at the box office. He received a Nandi Special Jury Award for his emotional performance.
In 2005, Mahesh married Namrata Shirodkar after being in a relationship with her for almost 5 years. The year also saw the first release after his marriage and Trivikram Srinivas’ second directorial venture, Athadu. He was paired alongside with Trisha Krishnan. The movie was made with high technical values and was produced by Murali Mohan. Mahesh once again achieved critical acclaim and earned himself the Nandi Award for Best Actor. The movie became the highest grossing telugu movie for that year. The year 2006 saw the transformation of Mahesh from star to Superstar. Pokiri, produced jointly by his sister Manjula Ghattamaneni and Vaishno Academy and directed by Puri Jagannadh became the biggest blockbuster in his career. The movie saw him paired alongside with Ileana D’Cruz. Re-writing 75 years of Telugu Cinema Industry box office records, Pokiri drew huge crowds everywhere in AP, other states and overseas thus becoming the highest grossing telugu movie ever. The film completed 100 days in as many as 200 centres in Andhra Pradesh (including 17 centers in Hyderabad alone) and completed silver jubilee in a record 63 centres. Mahesh earned his second Filmfare award for this movie.
In 2006, his wife Namrata Shirodkar gave birth to a baby boy making the year very special for Mahesh. The year also saw Mahesh working again with Director Gunasekhar and actress Trisha Krishnan for the movie Sainikudu. The movie failed to reach the high expectations and was declared a flop at the box-office. In 2007, for his next venture Mahesh embraced corporate film making in Telugu Film Industry. He collaborated with UTV and with young director Surender Reddy for Athidi which made him the first corporate hero in Telugu Film Industry. He was paired along side Amrita Rao. The movie did not do well at the box office, though it still managed to draw highest openings in his career. The failure of this movie to maintain its stamina at the box office left Mahesh in a quandary, trying to understand what audiences were really expecting from him. After Athidi, Mahesh devoted more time to family matters with a new toddler to spend time with, supporting and helping Namrata cope with her father’s illness and then his death, followed by Namrata’s mother’s bout with cancer and her passing away. In 2008, Mahesh lent his voice for the film Jalsa, directed by his friend Trivikram Srinivas. In 2009 Mahesh started working on a movie with Trivikram Srinivas as director.
In 2010, After a 3 year long hiatus Mahesh returned to the silver screen with the movie Khaaleja. Directed by his friend Trivikram Srinivas, the movie languished in development hell due to production problems and the telangana agitations. Upon release, the movie received mixed reviews and also became the highest grossing telugu movie in the overseas. The year also saw Mahesh embracing social networking site Twitter to interact with his fans.
In 2011, Mahesh will be seen in the movie Dookudu, directed by Srinu Vaitla and produced under the 14 Reels Entertainment. Samantha Ruth Prabhu co-stars alongside Mahesh for this movie. The movie is scheduled to release on Sep 23, 2011. He also started shooting for another movie The Business Man, directed by Puri Jagannadh and is being produced by RR Movie Makers.