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Happy Birthday Chiranjeevi! 10 interesting facts about the megastar of Telugu cinema

Sree Prasad Nair | Updated on: 22 August 2016, 12:30 IST

Telugu superstar​ and​ ​Congress leader Chiranjeevi turned 61-years-old on 22 August.

​Chiranjeevi began his 38-year-old acting career with Pranam Khareedu​ (1978), followed by Punadhirall​u (1979). The superstar took a break from the big screen after his 2007 release, Shankar Dada Zindabad​ - the Telugu remake of Bollywood film Munnabhai MBBS.

Chiranjeevi is all set to make his comeback with his 150th film, titled Khaidi No 1. The much-anticipated film is a remake of Tamil blockbuster, Ilyathalapathy Vijay-starrer Kaththi. Chiranjeevi has bagged a sum of Rs 30 crore for his Tollywood comeback.

On his 61st birthday, here is a quick look at the life and times of the superstar:

1) Chiranjeevi's real name is Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad. Chiranjeevi is the stage name he chose while entering the film industry. The actor is a devotee of Anjaneya, a Hindu deity, and his mother advised him to adopt the screen name Chiranjeevi - which means immortal.

2) Interestingly, Chiranjeevi's first nickname was T Nata Kishore and it was the former Chief Minitser of Andhra Pradesh, Tanguturi Anjaiah, who gave him that name. Over the years he was fondly referred to as Nata Bhaskar, Daring Dashing Dynamic Hero and Supreme Hero before he bagged the nickname, Megastar.

3) Chiranjeevi is the only actor after the late NTR to have scored back-to-back blockbusters in Telugu cinema. In the late 80s and early 90s, he was called the undisputed king of Tollywood film industry.

Chiranjeevi with Ram Charan

4) Chiranjeevi was one of the highest paid actors of India in early 90s. In 1992, he was paid a whopping Rs 1.25 crore for his film Aapad Bandhavudu, surpassing Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan who used to charge Rs 1 crore per film during the same period. In 1992, his film Gharana Mogadu became the first Telugu film to cross the Rs 10 crore mark at the Box Office.

5) Chiranjeevi has won 10 Filmfare South awards, 3 Nandi awards and 2 SIIMA awards. In 2006, Chiranjeevi received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in India. In the same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Andhra University.

6) He was the first Indian actor to have a website of his own. He was also the first actor from South India to be invited to attend the Oscars in 1987.

Chiranjeevi with Salman Khan

7) Thirty two of his 149 releases have had a 100+ days theatrical run in Hyderabad. Chiranjeevi's old blockbuster films are given to distributors and exhibitors for free whenever they lose money on his new movies.

8) Chiranjeevi's upcoming film Khaidi No 1 - which marks the end of his nine-year-long hiatus - is important for his career as his 1983 film Khaidi was his first-ever blockbuster.

9) Videos of the songs from his films still hold the record for the most-viewed Telugu videos on YouTube.

Chiranjeevi Family

10) He is also the only Telugu actor to hold single, double and triple role movie records for 100 days. Two of his films, Swayam Krushi and Pasivadi Pranam were later dubbed into Russian.

First published: 22 August 2016, 12:30 IST