Sobhan Babu was an actor who always sizzled on the screen with dual heroines, and he kept this trend to woo women audiences. His female fan following was legendary. Women, irrespective of their marital status would send him love letters or stand before his house to have a glimpse of him. He was counted among the top four Telugu stars of his time and shared laurels with N.T. Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageshwara Rao and Krishna. But he developed a different persona and was credited being style icon in those days for which he became an idol for female audiences. Such was Sobhan Babu’s appeal in those days that an entire generation looked up to the hero who redefined romance with two heroines with his smile. Even his personal life too made headlines. It is said that actress Jayalalithaa was in a relationship with this actor, but they never got married. He had a successful pairing with actresses like Vanishree (28 films) and Sharada (20 films). Later of course, Jayasudha appeared in as many as 31 films together with Shoban Babu. The actor had no easy stardom. His success was initially very slow, but later he became an ultimate romantic star to have featured in some successful films. He was responsible for giving many blockbuster movies that were a great boon to producers in those days. His first film was ‘Daiva Balam’in 1959 with N.T Rama Rao. After which he appeared in meatier roles in many films. However his solo film ‘Veerabhimanyu’(1965) was a super-duper hit. But even then he had to be content in appearing for a supporting role in many films. However, everything changed with the release of ‘Manushulu Marali', a film that ran for 25 weeks and had Sharada as a heroine. That is a reason Sharada was considered always a lucky heroine for him. His notable films include Jeevana Jyothi (1975), Sharada (1973) and Kaalam Maarindi (1972) for which he received state government award ( Nandi Award).
Earlier too, he gave some memorable performances in Telugu cinema with movies such as Khaidi Baabayi, Karthika Deepam, Jeevana Jyothi and Soggadu, and he swept the Film Fare Awards Ceremony by winning best actor for four times. But after 1997, he chose a reclusive life away from media glare and public craze. He never attended any party or function. He even shifted his residence in Chennai for that. After quitting films, he shunned the media and photographers as he felt he did not want his fans to see him as an old man. He always wanted to remain as a young and romantic hero in their mind.
He had a successful career for over three decades in Telugu cinema and even was a recipient of national (Rashtrapati Award) for his performance in ‘Bangaru Panjaram’( 1969). After quitting films, he took an interest in real estate business and pumped all his earnings. This made him grow as one of the wealthiest men. He died in his residence in Chennai on March 20, 2008. He had left worth Rs 4,000 crore assets behind him after his acquaintance in real estate business. Shoban Babu was born as Uppu Shobhana Chalapathi Rao in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh on January 14, 1937. He was married to
Santha Kumar on May 15, 1958, and they had four children.