Ghattamaneni Mahesh Babu was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to prominent Telugu Cinema Actor Krishna Ghattamaneni and Smt. Indira Devi on August 9, 1975. He is the younger brother of actor turned producer Ramesh Babu Ghattamaneni. He also has two elder sisters, Padmavathi and actress-producer Manjula Ghattamaneni and one younger sister Priyadarshini. Mahesh’s childhood was spent mostly in Madras under the care of his paternal grandmother Smt. Durgamma and the rest of his family. Mahesh studied at St. Bede’s School in Chennai while continuing to attend his dad’s filming during holidays. Mahesh obtained an Honours Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. He started his acting career by playing a small role in his brother Ramesh Babu’s debut film, Needa (1979), at the age of 4. He was later seen in films such as Poratam (1983), Sankharavam (1987), Bazaar Rowdy (1988), Mugguru Kodukulu (1988), Gudachari 117, Koduku Diddina Kapuram (1989), Balachandrudu (1990) and Anna Tammudu (1990). Mahesh Babu acted in seven of his father’s films as a child actor.
In 1999, Mahesh made his comeback as a lead actor with the movie Raja Kumarudu (1999) followed by Yuvaraju (2000) and Vamsi (2000). For his acting in Murari (2001), he bagged a Nandi Special Jury Award. Mahesh essayed the role of a cowboy in Takkari Donga (2002), which won him another Nandi Special Jury Award. He was also seen in Bobby (2002). His next film Okkadu (2003) remains as a landmark film in his career. He won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for this movie and his next movie Nijam (2003) won him the prestigious Nandi Award for Best Actor. He was then seen in Naani (2004) produced by his sister Manjula and Arjun (2004) produced by his brother Ramesh Babu. He received a Nandi Special Jury Award for his emotional performance in Arjun (2004). In 2005, Mahesh married Namrata Shirodkar after being in a relationship with her for almost 5 years. He also was seen in Athadu (2005) which once again won him the Nandi Award for Best Actor. His next movie, Pokiri (2006) was the highest grossing Telugu film in 75 Years and he earned his second Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for this movie. The movie was followed by Sainikudu (2006), Athidi (2007) and [[Khaleja]] (2010). Mahesh also lent his voice for the film Jalsa (2008). His next release was Dookudu (2011) which broke several records in the Telugu film industry. The film took the largest worldwide opening and had set a box office record for the Telugu cinema by collecting a gross of more than one billion rupees. He was seen next in Business Man (2012) which similar to his previous release, took the largest worldwide opening.
After the big successes of Dookudu and Business Man, Mahesh emerged as the highest paid actor in South India after Rajnikanth. He was listed 5th in the Times survey of the 50 Most Desirable Men in India, becoming the only South Indian to have been done so. He climbed to the 2nd position of the same list the following year, beating the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan.In January 2013, Mahesh was ranked 31st on business magazine Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list. Based on recorded earnings between September 2011 and October 2012, Forbes listed Mahesh 15th among India’s highest earning celebrities.With earnings of over INR422.5 million (US$6.8 million), he was the highest earning South Indian celebrity in 2012.
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