Telugu superstar and politician Chiranjeevi celebrates his 63rd birthday today. 'Chiru', as he is fondly addressed by his fans, is all set to make a spectacular appearance in Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, the teaser of which released recently while the film releases next year.
As Chiranjeevi turns a year older, here's a pictorial look at his journey so far.
Born on August 22, 1955 as Siva Sankara Vara Prasad Konidala, Chiranjeevi was a student at the Madras Film Institute and an amateur stage actor.
Chiranjeevi made his big screen debut with the Telugu drama Punadhirallu (1979). Directed by Rajkumar, it won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film.
Chiranjeevi's first big hit as a hero was in Kodi Ramakrishna's Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya (1982), opposite Madhavi. The same year, Chiranjeevi won his first Telugu Filmfare Award for his role in Subhalekha directed by K Viswanath.
Chiranjeevi's successful run at the box-office continued with films such as Khaidi (1983), based on the Sylvester Stallone blockbuster Rambo: First Blood.
The movie gave him a macho action-hero image and was a milestone in Chiranjeevi's long career.
The cash registers continued to ring with films such as Manthri Gari Viyyankudu (1983), Goonda (1984), Challenge (1984), Donga (1985), Jwala (1985), Kondaveeti Raja (1986) and Donga Mogudu (1987).
In 1985, he acted in Donga opposite Radha. Though the film was not a blockbuster it gave Chiranjeevi his key to international fame with the song Golimaar. The song's video, which borrowed heavily from Michael Jackson's Thriller became a viral hit and is known famous as the 'Indian Thriller'.
The same year, Chiranjeevi scored his second Telugu Filmfare Award for Vijetha. 1987's Pasivadi Pranam, another blockbuster, earned him praise for being innovative.
Chiranjeevi received his first Nandi Award for Best Actor for Swayam Krushi (1987) directed by K Viswanath.
His next big film was Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari (1990), which co-starred Sridevi. Directed by the prolific K Raghavendra Rao, the film was a raging blockbuster, featuring scintillating music by Ilaiyaraaja.
1990 was a terrific year for Chiranjeevi, as two of his films turned out to be blockbusters at the box office. Kondaveeti Donga, directed by A Kondandarami Reddy, was a massive hit. As was Raja Vikramarka opposite Radhika.
In 1991, he starred in Gang Leader, directed by Vijay Bapineedu. The film, which was a huge blockbuster earned Chiranjeevi the epithet of 'the boss of Telugu cinema'.
Chiranjeevi's next film, Gharana Mogudu (1992) co-starring Nagma as his love interest, became the first ever Telugu film to gross over Rs 10 crores at the box office.
Next came Aapathbandhavudu, which was released in 1992. It won him great critical acclaim and along with this came his second Nandi Award for Best Actor.
Chiranjeevi's star dimmed a little in the mid-90s, with films like Mechanic Alludu (1993), S P Parshuram (1994), Big Boss (1995) and Rikshavodu (1995) flopping miserably.
Even during this lean period, Chiranjeevi's Muta Mesthri (1993) won him his fifth Telugu Filmfare Award.
In the '90s, Chiranjeevi also starred in some Hindi films, notably Pratibandh with Juhi Chawla and Aaj Ka Goondaraj with Meenakshi Seshadri.
Critics stopped writing him off in 1997 when he set the box office on fire with Hitler, which was a smash hit.
Hitler was a remake of the Malayalam film of the same name. The film was directed by Siddique, who went on to direct the smash hit Bodyguard, starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
Chiranjeevi returned to form with hits like Master, Bavagaru Bagunnara, Choodalani Vundi, Sneham Kosam - for which he received his sixth Telugu Filmfare Award for Best Actor, and Annayya.
2002's Indra eclipsed all previous achievements. It became the first Telugu film to gross over Rs 20 crores and had an uninterrupted run of 175 days in over 30 centres.
The film co-starred Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre opposite Chiranjeevi.
After films like Tagore and Anji, Chiranjeevi was seen in full-fledged lead roles in Shankar Dada MBBS in 2004 and then in Shankar Dada Zindabad in 2007. It received lukewarm reviews and was only a moderate success at the box office. The film was a remake of the Bollywood super hit Lage Raho Munnabhai which had featured Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi.
Chiranjeevi had a cameo appearance opposite Ram Charan Teja in 2009's Telugu film Magadheera, after which he headlined Khaidi No. 150 in 2015, which was celebrated as his comeback film.
Chiranjeevi is currently awaiting the release of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, which is expected to hit screens next year. The film is based on the story of one of India's earliest freedom fighters Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, who rebelled against the British rule 10 years before than the First War of Independence of 1857. Chiranjeevi plays the titular role in the film.
In 2006, Chiranjeevi was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
Chiranjeevi made his political debut by forming a regional party called Praja Rajyam Party in Andhra Pradesh in 2008. He contested elections in 2009 from his hometowns Palakollu and Tirupati.
However, unlike his blockbuster movies, his electoral debut proved to be a disaster and in 2011, Chiranjeevi merged the Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress. He was subsequently nominated to Rajya Sabha and was made a minister at the centre.
Chiranjeevi is married to Surekha, who is the daughter of celebrated comedian Allu Rama Langaiah. The couple have two daughters, Sushmita and Sreeja, and a son, Ram Charan Teja, who is also a successful Telugu actor. Surekha's brother Allu Aravind is a celebrated Telugu film producer and their sons Allu Arjun and Allu Sirish are also actors.
Chiranjeevi's own brother Pawan Kalyan is also a Telugu matinee idol with many major commercial superhits under his belt.
In 2017, Chiranjeevi made a comeback as the lead actor after a decade with film Khaidi No 1. The film, produced by Chiranjeevi's son Ram Charan, broke multiple box office records.
The teaser of Chiranjeevi's Sye Raa Narssimha Reddy released in August 2019 and trended for several days for its ensemble cast, which include Amitabh Bachchan, Tamannaah, Kichcha Sudeep, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Jagapathi Babu and Niharika.
We wish Chiranjeevi a very happy birthday and great times ahead!