Akkineni Nagarjuna is a veteran Indian actor, TV presenter, and producer, who predominantly worked in the Telugu film and television industry. He was born on August 29, 1959, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in India. He has acted in over 90 films as a lead and supporting actor and has done cameo roles in both Bollywood and Tamil films. The brilliant actor won a total of 2
National Film Awards
, 9 State Nandi Awards, and 3 Filmfare Awards. He is also an acclaimed actor in historical and biographical films.
Akkineni is the son of the prominent actor Nageswara Rao Akkineni, and his mother is Annapoorna Akkineni. When his family moved to Hyderabad, he studied at Hyderabad Public School and later attended the Little Flower Junior College. He took a Bachelor of Engineering at the College of Engineering in Guindy and graduated M.S. in Automobile Engineering at the Eastern Michigan University. Akkineni got married to former actress and dancer,
in the year 1992. His son,
from his first marriage to Lakshmi Ramanaidu Daggubati, is also a Telugu actor. His younger son, Akkineni Akhil is his son with Amala. He is also the brother of the very popular producer, Venkat Akkineni.
Akkineni started as a child artist in the year 1967 through the Telugu film Sudigundalu, where his father acted in the lead role. After some years, he was debuted as a lead actor in V. Madhusudhana Rao’s Vikram in 1986. This film was produced by his brother and became a success, giving him a good start as an actor. In 1987, he was starred in the classical film, Sankeertana; a film that marked the directorial debut of
. After a year, he was featured in the blockbuster Telugu action film,
, where he was paired with Suhasini and Sridevi. Later, Akkineni was starred in another K. Raghavendra Rao’s Telugu film entitled
, together with Vijayashanti in the lead role.
He was starred in Mani Ratnam’s romance film, Geethanjali in the year 1989, opposite . This film met critical and commercial success and even earned the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Soon after, the talented actor met another success in the Telugu action film, Siva in 1989. This film marked the directorial debut of
Ram Gopal Varma
. Akkineni has also done the Hindi remake of the film entitled Shiva. This also marks his debut in Bollywood. Both films saw a huge success at the box-office. In 1991, he acted in the drama film Jaitra Yatra, from where he earned critical reception. This was followed by average success films like Prema Yuddham and Iddharu Iddhare. But Akkineni has proven his mettle and carved his niche in the industry as he appeared in more box-office hits like Neti Siddhartha, Killer, Chaitanya and Nirnayam, helmed by prominent directors like Priyadarshan, Fazil, and Prathap Pothen. He was then acknowledged as the ‘Celluloid Scientist’ as he usually experiments with different genres in films. In the following years, Akkineni appeared in box-office hit films such as President Gari Pellam,
, Varasudu and Allari Alludu.
In the year 1994, Akkineni was starred in a Hindi-Telugu bilingual film, Criminal, helmed by
. For the first time, he acted in a comedy film entitled
. This film was remade in Hindi entitled Judwaa and was also dubbed in Tamil. By the year 1996, he was starred and produced Krishna Vamsi’s Ninne Pelladata; a film that achieved the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu and the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu. In 1997, he acted in a devotional biographical film Annamayya, from which he bagged the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor, Nandi Award and the National Award for Special Mention. Then he donned the films Nuvvu Vastavani, Azad and Ninne Premistha in the year 2000.
Akkineni was also starred in romantic comedy films like Santosham, Shivamani, and Manmadhudu. He produced the Telugu film Satyam in the year 2003, which starred Sumanth, his nephew. In the following year, he acted in Nennanu and the box-office hit film, Mass, which he also produced under his own banner, Annapurna Studios. In 2005, he acted and produced the Telugu heist film, Super, along with
. He was starred in the 2006 blockbuster biographical film,
. In this film, he earned the Nandi Award for Best Actor. In 2007, Akkineni acted in Raghava Lawrence’s Don, following with the action comedy thriller film, King in 2008.
By the year 2010, he was seen in films like Kedi and Ragada. He was also starred in the thriller film, Gaganam. He also donned the historical box-office film, Rajanna in 2011, where he earned the CineMAA Awards for Special Jury and the South Indian International Movie Awards for Special Appreciation. He was seen in Damarukam and Shirdi Sai in 2012. He also donned Greekuveerudu along with Nayantara and Bhai, opposite Richa Gandhopadhyay.
In the year 2014, the talented actor was seen in Vikram Kumar’s blockbuster Telugu drama film, Manam. This film was produced by Akkineni Family under the banner of Annapurna Studios. The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu. He earned the Special Jury Awards for Best Actor at the 5th TSR TV9 National Film Awards and the Best Outstanding Actor at the 11th CineMAA Awards.
He made his debut in the small screen as a TV producer in the drama soap, Yuva in 2009. He is also one of the major shareholders of the Telugu TV channel, MAA TV. He became an anchor for KBC – Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu and won the Entertainment Leader Award from the TV 5 Business Leaders Awards ceremony. Akkineni is one of the owners of the Mumbai Masters of the Indian Badminton League and the Mahi Racing Team India. He is also the endorser of Kalyan Jewellers in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.