Super Star Krishna Telugu Film Actor
Siva Rama Krishna Ghattamaneni popularly known as Superstar Krishna, is an Indian film actor, director and producer known for his works in Telugu Cinema. He acted in more than 350 films in his career spanning over five decades and was one of the leading actors in the early 80's of the Telugu film industry. In 2008, he got an honorary doctorate by Andhra University. In 2009, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his contributions to Indian Cinema. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Congress party in 1989.
In the early years of his film career, he was starred in films like saakshi which won critical acclaim at the 'Tashkent film festival' in 1968. He is a versatile actor and essayed roles across different genres includes mythological, drama, social, cowboy, western classic, folklore, action and historical.
He is credited with producing many technological firsts in Telugu film Industry like the first eastman color film Mosagallaku Mosagadu (1971), the first cinemascope film (Alluri Seetharama Raju), first 70mm film (Simhasanam), first DTS film (Telugu Veera Levara) (1988) and introducing cowboy and James Bond styles to the Telugu screen.
He has directed 17 feature films and produced many films under Padmalaya Film Studio, a production house owned by him. Krishna collaborated with several ace directors of the time like Adurthi Subba Rao, V. Madhusudhana Rao, K. Viswanath, Bapu, Dasari Narayana Rao and K. Raghavendra Rao. He also has the record of pairing up with same actress for more than 50 films with Vijayanirmala and 47 films with Jayaprada. In December 2012, at the age of 69, Krishna announced his retirement from movies and politics.
Superstar Krishna was born on May 31, 1943 in Burripalem village, Tenali mandal, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh to Ghattamaneni Ragavaiah Chowdary and Ghatttamaneni Nagaratnamma.
Krishna with his two sons Mahesh Babu (right) and Ramesh Babu (left) in the 1988 film Mugguru Kodukulu
Film career from 1962–1965
His career began with minor roles in films such as Padandi Mundhuku, Kulagothralu and Paruvu Prathishta. He was then cast in Tene Manasulu as one of the male leads. Despite commercial pressure being placed on Adurthi Subba Rao, the film director, to drop Krishna, the film was released as originally planned. It was a success and Adurthi repeated the cast for his next film, Kannemanasulu.
Breakthrough:1966 to 1977
Superstar Krishna was also selected to play the lead role in Sunderlal Nehta and Doondee's Gudachaari 116. Though action films were his forte, Krishna also acted in Popular films such as Marapurani Katha, Mayadari Malligadu, Atthagaaru Kotthakodalu, Neramu Siksha, Asadhyudu, Illu Illallu and Undamma Bottu Pedathaa.
At this time, Krishna established his own production house, Padmalaya Films and produced several high budget films, such as Mosagallaku Mosagadu, Pandanti Kapuram, Devudu Chesina Manushulu and Alluri Seetharama Raju and Agnipariksha. With Vijaya Nirmala, Krishna also set up another production house called Vijaya Krishna movies, and produced some critically acclaimed films, including Meena and Devadasu.
His Portrayal of 'Alluri Seetharama Raju' in 1974 won him accolades and the film remains one of the all time classics amongst Telugu Films.
In 1975, Except for Cheekati Velugulu, none of his films of this time made any impact at the box-office as people were reluctant to watch him in softer roles after his portrayal of Alluri Seethaa Rama Raju in the eponymous film.
By Acting as Hero in Trendsetting films like Gudhachari 116 and Mosagallaki Mosagadu,He earned titles such as 'Andhra James Bond' in this period. This Period gave him a special place in the Youth and Families of the time due to the fact that Action movies and Speed came big time into Tollywood with Krishna's films.
He Became the fastest actor to act in 100 Films as a Hero by 1974 and he had an average of at least 1 release per month which makes Krishna's career incomparable to any other Top hero in Telugu Film History.
Due to the Fact that he was acting in almost 1 Movie per Month during the 70s and 80s, his film running's have to be seen on a different scale when compared with any other Top hero film runnings as no other Big star came close to Superstar Krishna in terms of the Release Rate of Movies. Lot of times in Krishna's career where his own movies used to compete for theaters between themselves.
Krishna as Alluri Seetharama Raju in the 1974 award winning film, Alluri Sita Rama Raju
Krishna bounced back with his lavishly made home production Paadi Pantalu in 1976. The film, which dealt with several contemporary agrarian issues, was a runaway hit at the box-office. His performance in Raja Rajeswari Coffee Vilas Club - his second film under the Vijaya banner - was also successful. A third film produced by Krishna in that year was the moderately successful Rama Rajyamloo Raktha Paasam. He also acted in Kolleti Kapuram, and Bhalee Dongalu. While Kolleti Kapuram was critically acclaimed for its thought-provoking dialogues and for capturing the serenity of Kolleru Lake in West Godavari district, Bhalee Dongalu - a re-make of the Hindi film Chor Machaayee Shoor - hit the bull's eye.
N.T. Ramarao's Daana Veera Soora Karna and Krishna's Kurukshethram both of which were based on the Mahabharata Epic released at the same time in 1977 and both opened well. Duryodhana's dialogues in the former became popular. Krishna's good run at the box-office continued in 1977 with Saavaasagallu and the actor further penetrated into the urban mass segment with the super-hit film Dongalaku Donga.
Superstar Krishna's stardom reached greater heights between the years 1978 and 1986. In 1978, Krishna acted in several hit films like Anna Dammula Sawaal, Kumara Raja and Agent Gopi and other successful films like Indradanassu and Allari Bulloodu.
Six of his films fared very well in 1979, While Viyyalavaari Kayyaalu, Mandeegundelu, Hema-Heemeelu and Kottha Alludu, Burripalem Bulloodu were other successful films in Krishna's repertoire.
Krishna and Sridevi became a hit-pair in 1980 and the two acted together in Gharana Donga, Maama Allulla Sawaal, Chuttaalunnaaru Jagrattha, and Ram Robert Rahim.
Krishna scored big against his competitors when his Ooriki Monagaadu became the biggest hit among all films released during Sankranthi in 1981.
1982 was another eventful year in his life and he started it with the super-hit film Bangaaru Bhoomi, which was an improvisation of his Paadipantalu. Towards the end of the year, Krishna became the fastest to complete 200 films in a lead role. He also became a studio owner and produced his sensational 200th movie Eeenaadu with a Political Anti establishment backdrop. Dialogues of this movie became very popular.
A string of successful films like Mundhadugu, Kiraayi Kotigaadu, Adavi Simhaalu, Sakthi and Prajaarajyam helped him continue at the top position in 1983.
Krishna's reign at the box-office continued in 1984 with films like Iddharu Dongalu, Bangaaru Kaapuram, Mukyamanthri and the lavishly made Kanchukaagada.
Krishna's career was at its pinnacle in 1985. He acted in swash buckling hits like Agniparvatham, Palnati Simham, Vajrayudham in this year. Krishna's fantastic portrayal of the larger than life characters created by the writer duo Paruchuri Brothers helped these films have spectacular runs at the box-office. He also acted in other hit films like Suryachandra,Pacchani Kapuram and Mahasangramam with his peer Sobhan Babu.
Krishna started 1986 on a low key as audience turned down both his early releases Krishnagaaradi and Brahmasthram. He then produced his maiden directorial venture Simhaasanam. which created a huge sensation. Khaidhi Rudrayya was another smash musical hit in his career and the film created several records at the box-office.
In 1987, The Superstar continued his slugfest against his political beliefs by satirizing some of the policies of Telugu Desam Party in his home production Naa Pilupee Prabhanjanam. Disgruntled supporters and leaders of this regional Party protested against screening of this film in several places. But their ruckus, ironically, generated more publicity and helped the film succeed. Krishna starred in the record breaking Muddayi, and in other hits like Dongodocchaadu and Thandri Kodukula Challenge.
His elder son Ramesh Babu debuted as a full fledged actor with Samraat on October 2. 1988 was another mediocre year in his professional life because only four Kaliyuga Karnudu, Aswaddhama, Rowdy No 1 and Mugguru Kodukulu of his ten releases had average runs. The next year, however, he has acted in successful films like Koduku Diddina Kapuram, Saahasame naa Oopiri, Gudachaari 117 and Goondaarajyam.
The years 1990–1992 can be termed as the darkest period in his life because nothing went right for him during this period. None of his films, barring Nagaasthram, fared well at the box-office and the actor took his longest break from work after Raktha Tharpanam, his last directorial venture in Telugu, tanked at the marquee. Ramesh's failure to capitalize on his blockbuster Bazaar Rowdy would have presumably upset him further during those unsettling times.
In 1993, he came back strongly with the unexpected super success of Pacchani Samsaaram. But it was Vaaraasudu, his second release in the year, which made him the cynosure of the film fraternity again. With the film Number 1, and Amma Dongaa! (1995) was another thumping success.
Krishna also directed the Bollywood film, Ishq Hai Tumse produced by Padmalaya Tele films, starring Dino Morea and Bipasa Basu in lead roles which is the remake of the Telugu film "Sampangi" in the year 2004.