Sobhan Babu

14 Jan 1937
20 Mar 2008
Film Industry
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Shobhan Babu About this sound pronunciation (help·info) (January 14, 1937 – March 20, 2008) was an Indian film actor in Telugu cinema. He made his film debut with Daivabalam, directed by Vasanthkumar Reddy, but Bhakta Shabari was released earlier. In a career spanning two decades, he played versatile roles in various genre. He has garnered five Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards and four Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu). He received the Rashtrapati Award for his performance in the 1969 film Bangaru Panjaram.

He was born to Uppu Suryanarayana Rao, and Babu had 3 sisters Dhanaranga, Jhansi and Nirmala, and a brother, Sambasiva Rao. Babu completed his initial schooling at Kuntamukkula Mylavaram. He pursued his Intermediate in Krishna Dist and finished his degree at Andhra-Christian College in Guntur. Later, he studied law in Chennai, but ultimately discontinued it. He married Santha Kumari on 15 May 1958; they had a son, Karuna Seshu and three daughters: Mrudula, Prashanti and Nivedita.

Shobhan Babu made his debut in the film Daivabalam. After that he acted in many films playing small roles.

Veerabhimanyu (1965) was his first movie as a “solo hero”. This movie turned out to be a big hit. After this, however, he still played small roles in many films in order to earn money for his family. After the huge success of Manushulu Maarali, he acted in films until 1997. His film Manushulu Maarali ran for 25 weeks, which was a record at that time. His first colour film was Kannavari Kalalu. He performed a dual role for the first time in Potti Pleader.

The highlight of Shoban Babu’s career was the three consecutive Filmfare awards he won between 1974-1976 (1974 for Khaidi Babayi, 1975 for Jeevana Jyothi, and 1976 for Soggadu). This was a record for the Telugu film industry. Babu was only the second actor (after Dilip Kumar) to receive three consecutive Filmfare trophies.He was honored with several Nandi Awards by the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was given the honorific “Natabooshana”, which became his last name in movie credits.

His rise in the acting industry was also a boon to producers with Babu’s successive hits including Veerabhimanyu, Manushulu Marali, Kalyana Mandapam, and Tahsildhargaari Ammaayi, which earned Babu a large fan base. Shobhanbabu had paired up with Sharadha for several films and they were a hit pair. It was a unique combination.

Shobhan Babu died on March 20, 2008 due to a heart attack at the age of 71.After quitting films,he invested his entire earnings in real estate in and around chennai which made him one of the wealthiest individual in chennai. Estimates reveal that he is worth inr 4000 crore at the time of his death. Writer and film journalist Akella Raghavendra wrote a book on Shobhan Babu, titled Shobhan Babu Jeevita Charitra-Parugu Aapadam O Kala.

Sobhan Babu was one of the most popular actors of his generation in Telugu Cinema. He was extremely popular among female audiences. Particularly, he had reputation among his fans for making movies with multiple heroines as his love interest. It’s said that he had a love affair with actress and chief minister, Jayalalitha. It is also believed that they had a brief live in relationship but never got married as Sobhan Babu was already married.

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