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Krishna in 2014
Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy

(1943-05-31)31 May 1943
Died15 November 2022(2022-11-15) (aged 79)
Other namesNata Sekharudu, Superstar Krishna
  • Actor
  • producer
  • director
  • politician
Children5, including Ramesh Babu, Manjula, and Mahesh Babu

Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy[1] (31 May 1943 – 15 November 2022), known mononymously as Krishna, was an Indian actor, director and producer known for his work predominantly in Telugu cinema.[2] In a career spanning more than five decades, he starred in over 350 films in a variety of roles.[3] He is referred to as "Superstar" in the Telugu media.[4] In 2009, the government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his contributions to Indian cinema.[5][6] He was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Congress party in 1989.[7] In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South in addition to Honorary doctorate from Andhra University in 2008. He died on 15 November 2022 due to cardiac arrest.[8][9]

Krishna began his film career with minor roles in films such as Kula Gothralu (1961), Padandi Mundhuku (1962), and Paruvu Prathishta (1963). He debuted as a lead actor with the 1965 film Thene Manasulu and went on to star in films such as Sakshi (1967), which won critical acclaim at the Tashkent film festival in 1968.[10] In 1972, he starred in Pandanti Kapuram, which garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu for that year. He has essayed roles across different genres including mythological, drama, western, fantasy, action, spy and historical films.[11]

Krishna was credited with producing many technological firsts in the Telugu film industry such as the first Cinemascope film – Alluri Seetarama Raju (1974), the first Eastmancolor film – Eenadu (1982), the first 70mm filmSimhasanam (1986), the first DTS film – Telugu Veera Levara (1995) and introducing the cowboy genre to the Telugu screen. He uniquely starred in the spy films Gudachari 116 (1966), James Bond 777 (1971), Agent Gopi (1978), Rahasya Gudachari (1981) and Gudachari 117 (1989). Krishna directed Sankharavam (1987), Mugguru Kodukulu (1988), Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989), Bala Chandrudu (1990) and Anna Thammudu (1990), casting his son Mahesh Babu in pivotal roles. Krishna directed 17 feature films and produced many films under his Padmalaya Studios production company along with his brothers Adiseshagiri Rao and Hanumantha Rao. Krishna was one of the highest-paid Telugu actors during his time.[12]

Krishna collaborated with several notable directors of the time such as Adurthi Subba Rao, V. Madhusudhana Rao, K. Viswanath, Bapu, Dasari Narayana Rao and K. Raghavendra Rao. He also holds the record of co starring with the same actress – 48 films with Vijaya Nirmala and 47 films with Jaya Prada.[3] In December 2012, at the age of 69, Krishna announced his retirement from politics.[13]

Early and personal life

Krishna was born on 31 May 1943 in Burripalem, Guntur district of present-day Andhra Pradesh.[4][14] His parents are Ghattamaneni Nagaratnamma, Veeraraghavayya Chowdary.[15]

Krishna was married twice, first to Indira Devi and subsequently to Vijaya Nirmala. He had five children in his first marriage: two sons, film producer Ramesh Babu and actor Mahesh Babu, and three daughters, Padmavathi, Manjula Ghattamaneni, and Priyadarshini.[16] Krishna met Vijaya Nirmala on the sets of Sakshi (1967).[17] The pair worked together in over 40 films.[18]

Film career

Early work: 1962–1965

His career began with minor roles in films such as Kula Gothralu (1961), Padandi Mundhuku (1962), and Paruvu Prathishta (1963). He was then cast in Thene Manasulu (1965) as one of the male leads.[19] Despite commercial pressure being placed on Adurthi Subba Rao, the film director, to drop Krishna, the film was released as originally planned. It was a success and Adurthi repeated the cast for his next film Kanne Manasulu (1966).

Breakthrough: 1966–1975

Krishna was also selected to play the lead role in Doondi and Sunderlal Nehta's hit movie Gudachaari 116 (1966), which brought the spy genre of films to the forefront in Telugu cinema. Though action films were his standard, Krishna also acted in films such as Marapurani Katha (1967), Atthagaaru Kotthakodalu (1968), and Undamma Bottu Pedatha (1968). He also worked with more established actors, such as N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao, in films such as Stree Janma (1967), Niluvu Dopidi (1968), Manchi Kutumbam (1968), Vichithra Kutumbam (1969), Akka Chellellu (1970) during this period.

At this time, Krishna established his own production house, Padmalaya Films and produced several big-budget films such as Agni Pariksha (1970), Mosagallaku Mosagadu (1971), Pandanti Kapuram (1972), Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973), Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974). With his second wife Vijaya Nirmala, Krishna also set up another production house called Vijaya Krishna movies, and produced some critically acclaimed films, including Meena and Devadasu (1974). Mosagallaki Mosagadu, which brought the Cowboy genre of films in 1971 and Alluri Seetharamaraju, which released in 1974 were sensational in many ways. In 1975, except for Cheekati Velugulu, none of his films of this time made any impact at the box office as people were reluctant to watch him in softer roles after his portrayal of Alluri Seetharama Raju in the eponymous film. He suffered 14 consecutive flops (Devadasu also one of them) after the release of Alluri Seetarama Raju.

Continued success: 1976–1989

In 1976, he produced Paadi Pantalu, written by Maharadhi Tripuraneni, Raja Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club, and Rama Rajyamloo Raktha Paasam. He also appeared as an actor in Kolleti Kapuram, Bhalee Dongalu and Devudee Gelichaadu.

In the 1977 film Kurukshethram, based on the Mahabharata epic, he appeared as Arjuna. Between 1978 and 1986, he acted in films such as Anna Dammula Sawaal, Kumara Raja, Agent Gopi, Indradanassu, Allari Bulloodu, Sakthi and Agni Parvatam. In 1986, he directed two films, Simhaasanam and Shankharavam.[20]

In Naa Pilupee Prabhanjanam, he satirised the political party Telugu Desam Party, which led to protests by party officials against screening the film.[when?][citation needed]

Later work: 1990–2016

1990 started with average fares; Nagaasthram and Anna Thammudu. Krishna took his longest break from work after Raktha Tharpanam, his last directorial venture in Telugu, tanked at the marquee. Ramesh's failure to capitalize on his blockbuster Bazaar Rowdy would have presumably upset him further during those unsettling times. In 1993, he came back strongly with the unexpected super-success of Pacchani Samsaaram. But it was Varasudu, his second release in the year, which made him the cynosure of the film fraternity again. With the films Number 1 (1994) and Amma Donga (1995) he had other thumping successes. Krishna also directed the Hindi film Ishq Hai Tumse (2004) produced by Padmalaya Tele films, starring Dino Morea and Bipasa Basu, which is the remake of the Telugu film Sampangi in the year 2004.[21]

Andhra University felicitated Mr. Krishna with an honorary doctorate in 2008. For the recognition of his contribution to Telugu film industry as an actor, director, producer, writer government of India gave him Padma Bhushan in 2009.[22]

Political career

Krishna joined the Congress Party under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi. He ran in the 1989 elections from the Parliament constituency in Eluru and won the seat. At the same time, NTR was leading the National Front and was at the pinnacle of his political career. By a margin of 71,000 votes, he defeated Bolla Bulliramaiah, the TDP's incumbent MP. However, Krishna was defeated by Bulliramaiah in the ensuing 1991 election by a margin of 47,000 votes.[23]

He was a staunch supporter of Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy.


On 14 November 2022, Krishna suffered from a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital in Hyderabad. His health started deteriorating and was on a ventilator. He died during the early hours on 15 November 2022, at the age of 79.[24][25][26][27] On 16 November 2022, Krishna was cremated with full state honours.[28]


Main article: Krishna filmography


Civilian Honors
Nandi Awards
NTR National Award
Filmfare Awards South


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  2. ^ "Superstar Krishna bids goodbye to films & politics". 123 Telugu. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Krishna retires from acting, politics". Sify. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b K., Janani (31 May 2020). "Superstar Krishna turns 77: Son Mahesh Babu and Chiranjeevi share heartwarming posts on birthday". India Today. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Awards for 5 persons from State". The Hindu. 26 January 2009. Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Australian stamp in honour of Krishna". The Times of India. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Actor Krishna to campaign for Congress –". Sify. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ Gabbeta Ranjith Kumar (15 November 2022). "Krishna: An icon whose contribution to Telugu cinema is unparalleled". Indian Express.
  9. ^ "Veteran Telugu actor Krishna passes away". The Hindu. 15 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ andhraheadlines. "Andhraheadlines: Breaking News, Latest Andhra News, Telangana News, Politics, Entertainment, Sports, World, Video News". Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Happy Birthday Ghattamaneni Krishna: Interesting facts about the super star of Tollywood". The Times of India. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  13. ^ Pasupulate, Karthik. "Super Star Krishna retires from movies". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  14. ^ Jonathan, P. Samuel (18 March 2016). "At Burripalem, Namratha hogs the limelight". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Happy Birthday Ghattamaneni Krishna: Interesting facts about the super star of Tollywood". The Times of India. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  16. ^ "సుదీర్ఘ సినీ ప్రస్థానం.. ఎన్నెన్నో మలుపులు.. తెలుగు సినీ చరిత్రలో!!". Samayam Telugu (in Telugu). Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  17. ^ Y, Sunita Chowdhary (4 August 2007). "Bestowed with bliss". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  18. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (27 June 2019). "Vijaya Nirmala: A full life, in retrospect". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  19. ^ Kavirayani, Suresh (1 May 2014). "Krishna's best movie till date". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  20. ^ "World Telugu Federation felicitates actor Krishna". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Rare honour to Superstar". 8 January 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Tollywood Movie Actor Krishna Ghattamaneni Biography, News, Photos, Videos".
  23. ^ "Krishna-A-Daring-Hero-In-Politics-Too".
  24. ^ "Super Star Krishna: సూపర్‌ స్టార్ కృష్ణ కన్నుమూత". Hindustan Times Telugu. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Krishna: దివికేగిన బుర్రిపాలెం బుల్లోడు.. 'సూపర్‌స్టార్‌' కృష్ణ ఇకలేరు". EENADU (in Telugu). Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Mahesh Babu's father superstar Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna passes away". The Times of India. 15 November 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  27. ^ "Superstar Krishna passes away: The late legendary actor to be cremated with full state honors tomorrow". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Superstar Krishna to be cremated with full state honours on November 16". India Today. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  29. ^ "Ilayaraja, Ambarish, Krishna get NTR award". Hyderabad: The Hindu, Business Line. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2012.