by ASJAD NAZIR.
POPULAR actor Nagarajuna will turn a year older this week and celebrate his 59th birthday on August 29. Eastern Eye decided to mark the South Indian superstar’s big day by going through his life to present 20 fun facts that you may not know about him…
- Akkineni Nagarjuna was born in 1960 in Chennai to acclaimed actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and his wife Annapoorna Akkineni. He would appear as a child actor in films starring his father.
- Nagarjuna made his debut as a lead actor in Telugu film Vikram (1986), which was a remake of Bollywood blockbuster Hero (1983).
- His Mani Ratnam-directed multi-award-winning Telugu movie Geetanjali (1989) was dubbed in Tamil and Malayalam along with getting a Bollywood remake. It later won a National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Whol-esome Entertainment.
- The actor’s Telugu language crime drama Siva (1989) marked the directorial debut of famous filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma. The blockbuster hit was remade in Hindi the following year also with Nagarjuna in the lead.
- His 1995 film Criminal was shot in Telugu and Hindi simultaneously with him playing the lead role in both. The action thriller was a remake of 1993 Hollywood hit movie The Fugitive.
- The hit Nagarjuna Telugu action comedy Hello Brother (1994) was remade in Bollywood as Judwaa (1997) with Salman Khan in the lead role.
- The actor’s hit Telugu romance Ninne Pelladata (1996) was dubbed in Tamil and Hindi. It received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu for that year.
- The 15th century biopic Annamayya (1997) won the actor his first Filmfare Best Actor (Telugu) award. He also won a Nandi award for Best Actor and received recognition at the National Film Awards.
- His romantic comedy Santosham (2002) won a Filmfare South and Nandi award for Best Film. It also marked the Telugu debut of Lagaan (2001) leading lady Gracy Singh.
- Nagarjuna’s hit movie Manmadhudu (2002) was later remade in Kannada as Aishwarya (2006), which marked the film debut of Deepika Padukone.
- He produced the film Satyam (2003), which helped turn his nephew Sumanth into a star. It was also the Telugu debut of Genelia D’Souza, who would go on to find success
- His film Sivamani (2003) was partly inspired by Message in a Bottle (1999).
- Sri Ramadasu (2006) earned the actor a Nandi award for Best Actor.
- The plotline for his film King (2008) is loosely based on Telugu classic Aastiparulu (1966) and Hollywood movie Goodbye Lover (1999).
- Nagarjuna made his début as a TV producer in 2009 with the soap opera Yuva and also hosted the Telugu version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
- His film Kedi (2009) went through a series of name changes in production from Rummy to Mayagadu to Mosagadu, before the producers agreed on the final title. A Tamil-dubbed version of the movie was also released with the title Singa Vettai and a dubbed Hindi version released as Gambler No 1.
- His historical home production Rajanna (2011) won six Nandi Awards, which is the highest award ceremony for excellence in Telugu cinema.
- His home production Manam (2014) won a Filmfare award for Best Film (Telugu). Manam was the last film of his father Nageswara Rao, who died on 22 January 2014 during the film’s production phase.
- He starred in comedy-drama Oopiri (2016), which is a remake of record-breaking French film The Intouchables (2011).
- The actor is also one of the major shareholders of Indian television channel Maa TV.