Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy, popularly known as Krishna (May 31, 1943 – November 15, 2022), was a renowned Indian actor, director, and producer, primarily recognized for his contributions to Telugu cinema. Throughout his illustrious career spanning over five decades, he graced the screen in more than 350 films, portraying a diverse range of characters. Affectionately referred to as the “Superstar” in the Telugu media, he received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India in 2009 in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the Indian film industry. In 1989, he was elected as a Member of Parliament representing the Congress party. His remarkable achievements were further acknowledged with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South in 1997, along with an Honorary Doctorate from Andhra University in 2008. Sadly, Krishna passed away on November 15, 2022, due to cardiac arrest.
|Full name||Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy|
|Other names||• Nata Sekhara|
|Name earned||• Superstar Krishna
• Daring and Dashing Hero
• James Bond of Telugu films
|Profession(s)||Actor, Director, Producer, Politician|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 178 cm
in meters– 1.78 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 10”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper (semi-bald)|
|Career (as an actor)|
|Debut||Film (Telugu ; as a supporting actor): Kula Gotralu as bridegroom in the marriage (1961)
Film (Telugu ; lead actor): Thene Manasulu as Basavaraju (1965)
Film (Telugu ; as a producer): Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973)
Film (Telugu ; as a director): Simhasanam (1986)
Film (Hindi ; as a director): Ishq Hai Tumse (2004)
Film (Tamil; as a supporting actor): Kanthaswamy as R. Krishna Rao (2009)
|Last Film||As an actor- Sri Sri as Sripada Srinivasa Rao (2016)
As a director- Pandanti Samsaram (2001)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• 1974: Nandi Award for Best Actor for the film Alluri Sita Rama Raju
• 1997: Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South at the Filmfare Awards South ceremony
• 2008: Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Andhra University
• 2009: India’s third-highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan by the Indian government for his contribution to Indian cinema• 2013: NTR National Award by the government of Andhra Pradesh
• 2015: Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) National Award by the Akkineni International Foundation
• 2017: American Telugu Association ATA’s Lifetime Achievement Award• 2018: Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sakshi Excellence Awards
|Career (as a politician)|
|Political Party||Indian National Congress (INC) (1984-1991)|
|Political Journey||Member of Parliament from Eluru parliamentary constituency (1989-1991)|
|Date of Birth||31 May 1943 (Monday)|
|Birthplace||Burripalem village of Tenali block in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh|
|Date of Death||15 November 2022 (Tuesday)|
|Place of Death||Continental Hospital in Nanakaramguda,Telangana, India|
|Age as in 2023||80 Years as of 2023|
|Death Cause||Cardiac arrest|
|Hometown||Tenali, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh|
|School||Krishna pursued his primary education at Burripallem in Andhra Pradesh. Later, he moved to Tenali and Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh to complete his secondary and intermediate education respectively.|
|College/University||C.R.R. college in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh|
|Educational Qualification||Bachelor of Science|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Widowed|
|Marriage Date||Vijaya Nirmala (second wife) Year, 1969|
|Wife/Spouse||First wife- Indira Devi (homemaker, who passed away after suffering from prolonged health issues on 28 September) (b.1952 ; d.2022)
Second wife- Vijaya Nirmala (Indian actress, director, and producer, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest on 26 June) (b.1946 ; d.2019)
• Ramesh Babu (b.1965 ; d.2022) (Indian actor and film producer who passed away on 8 January after suffering from a prolonged liver infection)• Mahesh Babu (actor and producer) (b.1975)Daughter(s)–
• Padmavathi Ghattamaneni (producer) (b.1969)• Manjula Ghattamaneni (film producer and actress) (b.1970)• Priyadarshini Ghattamaneni (homemaker) (b.1979)
|Parents||Father– Ghattamaneni Raghavaiah Chowdary (farmer)
Mother– Ghattamaneni Nagaratnamma
• Ghattamaneni Adi Seshagiri Rao (film producer)• Ghattamaneni Hanumantha Rao (film producer and screenwriter)Sister(s)-
• Lakshmi Ghattamaneni
|Other Relative||Step son– Naresh Babu (actor and politician) (b.1963)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Krishna
- Krishna was an Indian actor, director, producer, and politician, who predominantly appeared in Telugu films. He rose to fame for playing the role in popular Telugu films like Private Master (1967) as Krishna, Sabash Satyam (1969) as Satyam, Pandanti Kapuram (1970) as Ravi, Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973) as Gopi, Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974) as Alluri Sitarama Raju, Kurukshetram (1977) as Arjuna, and Number One (1994) as Vijay. He took his last breath on 15 November 2022 at the Continental Hospital in Nanakaramguda, Telangana after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
- During his college days, Krishna participated in various cultural events and stage plays. Before beginning his career as an actor, Krishna acted in several theatrical productions with the theatre group Praja Natya Mandali. He decided to pursue his career in acting after he received a magnificent response from the audience after his performance in the play “Cheesina Paapam Kaasiki Velleena.”
- As per some media sources, during his college days, Krishna shared his hostel room with Shoban Babu, an Indian actor and Murali Mohan, an Indian actor, producer, politician, and businessman from the Telugu film industry.
Adurthi Subba Rao, the director of the Telugu film Thene Manasulu, was commercially pressurized to drop Krishna as the lead actor as he was a new face in the film industry, but Adurthi kept the cast and released the film as planned on 31 March 1965. In an interview, Krishna shared his experience of how he was selected to play the lead in the film Thene Manasulu and said,
- In 1966, after Krishna’s debut as a lead actor, he shot to fame with the film Gudhachari 116 in which he played the role of Gopi (Agent 116).
- In the 1970s, he gained recognition for playing the role in the Telugu films like Mosagallaku Mosagadu (1971) as Krishna Prasad, Ganga Manga (1973) as Koti, Devadasu (1974) as Devadas, Bhale Dongalu (1976) as Shekhar, and Samajaniki Saval (1979).
- In 1971, Krishna, along with his brothers, founded Padmalaya Studios, an Indian film production and distribution company based in Hyderabad, which mainly produced and distributed Telugu and Hindi films. In 1972, Krishna, along with his second wife Vijaya Nirmala, launched another production house, Vijaya Krishna movies.
- Krishna created a unique record of appearing in 17 films as an actor in a single year in 1972.
- Krishna was the only actor in India who produced more than 50 films in various languages. Some of the films produced by him in various languages are namely Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973), Kurukshetram (1977), Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989) (in Telugu), Himmatwala (1983), Sooryavansham (1999), Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa (2002) (in Hindi), Vishwaroopam (1980), Thyagi (1982), Maaveeran (1986) (in Tamil), and Amara Jyothi (1985) (in Kannada).
- For his debut film as a lead
- actor, Thene Manasulu, Krishna received a remuneration of Rs 2000.
- Krishna became the first producer to introduce the first cinemascope film Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974) and the first 70 mm film Simhasanam (1986) in the Telugu film industry. In an interview, upon being asked about the challenges he faced while shooting for the film Alluri Seetharama Raju, Krishna replied,
- In an interview, Krishna revealed that N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nagarjuna are one of his favourite actors from the Telugu film industry.
- In 1974, Krishna’s 100th film, Alluri Sita Ramaraju was released in which he played the role of Alluri Sitarama Raju. His 200th film as an actor was Eenadu (1982). Krishna’s 300th film, Telugu Veera Levara, was released in 1995.
- Krishna created a record of appearing in 25 films in a double role and 7 films in a triple role.
- Krishna is known for introducing the Eastman colour grading technology in the Telugu film industry with the film Eenadu in 1982.
He launched the first DTS film (Digital Theatre System) Telugu Veera Levara in 1995.
Krishna introduced the concept of spy action thriller and cowboy/western genre films with Gudachari 116 (1966) and Mosagallaku Mosagadu (1971) respectively.
- Krishna was a loyal supporter of the Indian National Congress and was highly influenced by the sixth prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. He joined the Congress party in 1984 after being invited by the late Rajiv Gandhi. Krishna was elected as a member of parliament from the Eluru parliamentary constituency in 1989. In 1991, he, however, lost the election from the same constituency to Bolla Bulli Ramaiah of the Telugu Desam Party. Krishna quit politics after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, which occurred as a result of a suicide bombing at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991.
- Krishna created a unique record of acting in 48 films with his second wife Vijayanirmala, and 47 films with Jayaprada, an Indian actress and politician.
- In the 1980’s Krishna apeared in some promising Telugu films like Ooruki Monagadu (1981) as Ravi, Agni Parvatam (1985) in a dual role of Chandram and Jamadagni, Khaidi Rudraiah (1986) as Rudramaraju Rudrayya Viswanatha Nayakudu (1987) as Viswanatha Nayak, and Gudachari 117 (1988) as Chandrakanth.
- Krishna directed a few Telugu films like Sankharavam (1987), Mugguru Kodukulu (1988), Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989), Balachandrudu (1990), and Anna Thammudu (1990) in which he cast his son, Mahesh Babu.
- In 2017, after Krishna retired from the film industry, the Australian postal department honoured him by issuing a special stamp, which was referred to as Superstar Krishna.
- After the demise of Krishna’s second wife Vijaya Nirmala in 2019, on the occasion of her 74th birth anniversary, Krishna, along with his family members, inaugurated her bronze statue at his residence in Nanakramguda in Hyderabad in 2020.
- At the request of Green India Challenge founder and politician Joginapally Santosh Kumar, Krishna, on 31 May 2021, on the occasion of his 78th birthday, participated in the Green India Challenge by planting saplings at his residence in Nanakramguda, Hyderabad.
- In an interview, on being asked about his opinion on making a biopic on his father Krishna, Mahesh Babu replied,
- On 5 November 2022, Krishna passed away at Continental Hospital in Hyderabad after he suffered a cardiac arrest. On 14 November 2022, Krishna, after he suffered a heart attack, was immediately taken to the hospital in an unconscious state. The doctors revived him after 20 minutes of CPR, but his condition deteriorated, and he breathed his last at around 4:09 am.
- The Telugu Film Producers Council announced the closure of film-related operations for a day on 16 November 2022 as a gesture of respect to Krishna.