Raja Babu (actor)

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Raja Babu
Telugu Comedian Raja Babu.jpg
Punyamurthula Appalaraju

(1937-10-20)20 October 1937
Died14 February 1983(1983-02-14) (aged 45)
OccupationHero, Actor, Comedian
Spouse(s)Lakshmi Ammalu Punyamurthula
ChildrenNagendra (Nagi) Babu Punyamurthula
Mahesh Babu Punyamurthula
Parent(s)Punyamurthula Umamaheswara Rao
AwardsFilmfare Awards South
Nandi Awards
Honorary doctorate

Raja Babu (born Punyamurthula Appalaraju; 20 October 1937 – 14 February 1983) was an Indian film hero, actor, comedian known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. Noted as one of the finest Indian comedians, a 9 ft bronze statue of Rajababu was unveiled in his birthplace of Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.[1][2]

Early life[edit | edit source]

He was born in Rajamundry, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh to Punyamurthula Umamaheswara Rao and Ramanamma as Appala Raju. His brothers are also noted comedians, Chitti Babu Punyamurthula[3] and Ananth Babu.[4][5] He completed his Intermediate (10+2) education and successfully completed Teacher Training Course. He worked for sometime as a Telugu teacher after that. During that period, he used to act in dramas like Kukka Pilla Dorikindi, Naalugilla Chaavadi and Alluri Sitarama Raju.

Career[edit | edit source]

Garikapati Raja Rao invited Babu after seeing his acting skills in dramas who worked for Mr. Gayudu. Babu reached Madras in 1960 and initially lived on tuitions. Film Director Addala Narayana Rao gave him a chance to act in his film Samajam in 1960. Babu was known for his slapstick comedy roles. He acted in record 589 movies in less than 20 years.[6]

He has acted as the hero in Tata Manavadu, Pichodi Pelli, Thirupathi, Evariki Vare Yamuna Teere, Manishi Rodduna Paddadu. Leela Rani, Prasanna Rani, Gitanjali and Rama Prabha played with him as his female counterparts. But it was Ramaprabha who had a major share in his career playing opposite him and they were considered as the best comedy duo.

The comedy song Vinara Suramma Kooturu Moguda Vishayam Chebutanu featured by the duo in the film Illu Illalu went on to become the highlight of the entire film and was heard everywhere.

He portrayed the lead role of Giri, grandson (Manavadu) in the film Tata Manavadu directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and teaches a lesson to his father. The cast included S. V. Ranga Rao and Anjali Devi. He produced a few films under Bob and Bob Productions, including Evariki Vaare Yamuna Teeru and Manishi Rodduna Paddadu.[7]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Raja Babu married Lakshmi Ammalu (sister-in-law of writer Sri Sri) in 1965 and they have two children: Nagendra Babu and Mahesh Babu. He has four brothers, among them Chitti Babu and Ananth Babu, who are film actors and television artists. He has five sisters. Raja Babu gave in to drinking heavily and died of cancer.

Partial filmography[edit | edit source]

Year Film Language Character
1960 Samajam (debut) Telugu
1962 Bhishma Telugu
1962 Chitti Tammudu Telugu
1963 Paruvu Prathishta Telugu
1964 Manchi Manishi Telugu
1966 Navarathri Telugu
1966 Pidugu Ramudu Telugu
1966 Paramanandayya Shishyula Katha Telugu Sishya
1967 Goodachari 116 Telugu
1967 Saakshi Telugu Ramu
1968 Bandipotu Dongalu Telugu
1968 Bangaru Pichika Telugu
1968 Manishi Rodduna Paddadu Telugu Hero
1966 Raja Babu Telugu
1968 Ranabheri Telugu
1969 Ekaveera Telugu Bhattu
1969 Kathanayakudu Telugu
1970 Kodalu Diddina Kapuram Telugu
1971 Bomma Borusa Telugu Appula Appa Rao
1971 Prem Nagar Telugu
1971 Shrimanthudu Telugu
1972 Badi Panthulu Telugu
1972 Iddaru Ammayilu Telugu
1972 Tata Manavadu Telugu Grandson Giri
1972 Vichitra Bandham Telugu Babji
1973 Andala Ramudu Telugu Appa Rao
1973 Sharada Telugu
1974 Alluri Seetharama Raju Telugu
1974 Andaru Dongale Telugu Dhairyam
1974 Deeksha Telugu
1974 Evariki Vare Yamuna Theere Telugu
1975 Jeevana Jyothi Telugu
1975 Soggadu Telugu Rajendra Prasad
1975 Zamindarugari Ammayi Telugu
1976 Alludochhadu Telugu
1976 Secretary Telugu
1976 Mahakavi Kshetrayya Telugu
1977 Adavi Ramudu Telugu Bheemanna
1978 Karunamayudu Telugu
1978 Dongala Dopidi Telugu
1979 Karthika Deepam Telugu
1979 Tayaramma Bangarayya Telugu
1980 Sarada Ramudu Telugu
1981 Gadasari Attaha Sogasari Kodalu Telugu

Awards[edit | edit source]

Nandi Awards
  • Ten awards for Best Comedian
Filmfare Awards South
  • Fifteen Filmfare awards for Best Actor in a Comic Role

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Andhra Pradesh / Rajahmundry News : Rajababu statue unveiled". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. "Raj Babu Punyamurthula :: Haasya Nata Chakravarthi". Rajbabu.crosscity.com. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  3. Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (16 September 2012). "Art imitates life". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  4. "Ananth Babu". archive.is. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. "Best Comedians Of Tollywood 1 - Business of Tollywood". Business of Tollywood. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013.
  6. Staff Reporter. "Rajababu statue unveiled". The Hindu.
  7. y. sunita chowdhary. "Art imitates life". The Hindu.