Telugu cinema superstar Mahesh Babu celebrated his 41st birthday on 9 August. The actor, who made his debut as a child actor in the 1979 film Needa, won over viewers with his performance in K Raghavendra Rao's 1999 directorial, Raja Kumarudu, opposite Priety Zinta.
Since Raja Kumarudu, Mahesh Babu has acted in 22 films, most of which have been blockbusters at the Box Office. The superstar is now all set to make his Tamil film debut with AR Murugadoss' next.
On Mahesh Babu's 41st birthday, here are 10 reasons why his fans call him the 'prince of Tollywood':
1) Mahesh Babu's real name is Ghatta Maneni. He was born in Chennai to veteran Telugu film actor Krishna and Indira Devi on 9 August 1975.
2) Before bagging his plum lead roles, he acted in nine films as a child artist. He was all of four-years-old when he made his debut in the 1979 film Needa. Nine films later, he decided to take a break from tinsel town in 1990 to focus on his education.
3) His first major lead role, the 1999 Raja Kumarudu, opened to positive reviews. He also won the NANDI Best Male Debut award for his performance.
4) Mahesh Babu delivered his first blockbuster in 2003 with Okkadu. The film went on to become the highest Telugu grosser of the year and was later remade in Tamil, Bengali, Kannada and Hindi.
5) Mahesh Babu wed his Vamshi co-star, Namrata Shirodkar in Mumbai in 2006, after four years of courtship.
6) Tamil superstar Suriya's brother, actor Karthi, was Mahesh Babu's schoolmate at the St Bede's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai. While many fans know this, few know that Mahesh Babu cannot read Telugu as he was taught Tamil during his schooling.
7) Mahesh Babu is often in the news for his charity work. But he doesn't like to talk about it, endearing him to his fans further.
8) He was voted the Times Most Desirable Men in 2013 in an online poll beating the likes of the Bollywood Khans, Kumars and Roshans. In the same year, he was ranked 31st on Forbes India's celebrity 100 list. In 2014, he was ranked 14th among the richest celebrities of India.
9) Of the 22 films with him in the lead, Mahesh Babu has delivered 17 clean hits and five flops. He had also won seven Nandi awards, five Filmfare awards and three SIIMA awards. He is touted to be the second highest paid South Indian actor after Rajinikanth.
10) Not only did his 2006 film, Pokiri, script Telugu cinema history, but it was also remade in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada as well. The Hindi remake of the film, Wanted, gave Bollywood superstar Salman Khan a much-needed hit after a string of flops. His 2015 release, Srimanthudu, is the second all-time highest Telugu grosser after Baahubali: The Beginning and also the second Telugu film to cross the coveted Rs 200 crore worldwide.