Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad or popularly known as Chiranjeevi, is a former politician and an Indian actor, mostly known for his work in the Telugu film industry. The Megastar has starred in over 150 Telugu feature films, and some in Kannada, Hindi, and Tamil.
Let’s have a look at some interesting facts about the Telugu megastar:
1. His stage name, Chiranjeevi, which means ‘immortal’, was suggested by his mother as a result of their religious belief in the Hindu deity Anjaneya, or Lord Hanuman. The meaning of the name ( “immortal” or “live forever) is a direct reference to Lord Hanuman, who is immortal.
2. The megastar in 1999 was cast to star in a Hollywood film titled, ” The Return of the Thief of Baghdad”, which unfortunately came to a halt due to undisclosed reasons.
3. Chiranjeevi has won over 3 Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards and Nine Filmfare Awards South. In 2006, The Megastar was honored with a Padma Bhushan and was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Andhra University for his contributions to Indian Cinema.
4. Originally, The Megastar was to make his debut in the Telugu film industry with Punadhirallu, but due to delays in the film’s release, made his debut with the 1978 film Pranam Khareedu.
5. Chiranjeevi took to politics when he started a political party, Praja Rajyam, and was elected as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Tirupati in the 2009 general elections. He soon went on to merge his party with the Indian National Congress and served as the Minister of Tourism and was also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
6. In 1976, The megastar joined the Madras Film Institute after completing his graduation from the Sri YN College, Narsapur.
7. After getting paid a sum of 1.25 crore INR for his role in Aapad Bandhavudu Chiranjeevi surpassed Amitabh Bachchan who during the same period used to demand a sum of 1 crore INR for a film. In the early 90s, Chiranjeevi was one of the highest-paid actors in India.
8. Gharana Mogudu, a film directed by K Raghavendra that featured Chiranjeevi and Nagma, broke the record for being the first Tollywood film to cross 10 crore INR when it was released IN 1992. The film also went on to win the Best Telugu Film in the Filmfare Award.
9. Tanguturi Anjaiah, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh gave Chiranjeevi the nickname, T Nata Kishore.
10. In 1987, Chiranjeevi was invited to attend the Oscar Awards Presentation and hence became the first-ever South Indian actor to be invited to the Oscars.