Chiranjeevi (born 22 August 1955 as Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad), is an Indian film actor and politician. He served as the Minister of State with independent charge for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India from 27 October 2012 to 15 May 2014. Before politics, Chiranjeevi had attended the Madras Film Institute and had worked primarily in Telugu cinema in addition to Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi films. He made his acting debut in 1978 with Punadhirallu. However, Pranam Khareedu was released earlier at the box office. Known for his breakdancing skills, Chiranjeevi starred in over 150 feature films. In 1987, he starred in Swayamkrushi which was dubbed into Russian and was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival. Chiranjeevi won the 1988 Indian Express Best Actor Award and the state Nandi Award for Best Actor awards for his performance in the film. In the same year, Chiranjeevi was one of the Indian delegates at the 59th Academy Awards. In 1988, he co-produced Rudraveena which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Chiranjeevi’s 1992 film Gharana Mogudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, is the first Telugu film to gross over ₹10 crore at the box office. The film was screened at the 1993 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. It made Chiranjeevi the highest-paid actor in India at the time catapulting him to the cover pages of national weekly magazines in India. The entertainment magazines Filmfare and India Today named him “Bigger than Bachchan”, a reference to Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan. News magazine The Week hailed him as “the new money machine”. He was paid an of ₹1.25 crore remuneration, the highest for any Indian actor, for the 1992 film Aapadbandhavudu. In 2002, Chiranjeevi was given the Samman Award for the Highest Income Tax Payer for the 1999–2000 assessment year by the Minister of State for Finance. A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in 2006 named Chiranjeevi the most popular star of the Telugu film industry.
In a film career spanning thirty-nine years, he won four state Nandi Awards, including the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, and ten Filmfare Awards South including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South. In 2006, Chiranjeevi was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, for his contributions to Indian cinema and was presented with an honorary doctorate from Andhra University. In 2013, he inaugurated the Incredible India Exhibition, a joint participation of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Chiranjeevi represented Incredible India at the 14th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony held in Macau. In 2013, IBN LIVE named him as one of “the men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema”.
Chiranjeevi was born in Mogalthur, a village in West Godavari. His father worked as a constable and was transferred on a regular basis. He spent his childhood in his native village with his grandparents.
Chiranjeevi did his schooling in Nidadavolu, Gurajala, Bapatla, Ponnuru, Mangalagiri and Mogalthur. He was an NCC cadet and had participated in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi in the early ’70s. He was interested in acting from a young age. He did his Intermediate at C. S. R. Sarma College in Ongole.
After graduating with a degree in commerce from Sri Y N College at Narsapur, Chiranjeevi moved to Chennai and joined the Madras Film Institute in 1976 to pursue a career in acting
On 20 February 1980, Chiranjeevi married Surekha, the daughter of Telugu comic actor Allu Ramalingaiah. They have two daughters, Sushmita and Srija, and a son, Ram Charan, also an actor in Telugu cinema.
Chiranjeevi’s younger brother, Nagendra Babu, is a film producer and actor. His youngest brother, Pawan Kalyan, is an actor-politician who founded Jana Sena, a regional political party.Allu Aravind, his brother-in-law, is a film producer. Chiranjeevi is uncle to the actors Allu Arjun, Allu Sirish, Varun Tej, Niharika and Sai Dharam Tej.