Mohan Babu (born Manchu Bhakthavatsalam Naidu on 19 March 1950) is an Indian film actor, director, and producer, known for his works predominantly in Telugu Cinema. An alumnus of the Madras Film Institute, Mohan Babu has acted in more than five hundred and seventy five(575) feature films in lead, supporting and a variety of roles. He produced eighty(80) feature films under his banner, Sree Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures.
Mohan Babu at SVET Tirupati, August 2014
Manchu Bhakthavatsalam Naidu
19 March 1950
|Residence||Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Chennai, Tamil nadu, India
|Other names||Collection King|
|Alma mater||Madras Film Institute|
YMCA College of Physical Education
|Years active||1975 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Manchu Vidya Devi (late)|
Manchu Nirmala Devi
|Parent(s)||Manchu Narayanaswamy Naidu|
|Awards||Padma Shri 2007|
In 1995, he received Filmfare Best Actor Award for his work in the multi-starrer Pedarayudu, which also starred Rajinikanth in a pivotal role. In 2007, he received the CineMAA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Yamadonga. Mohan Babu was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley for his contribution to the field of cinema and education. He is the co-owner of production companies such as Sree Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures, 24 Frames Factory and Manchu Entertainment. In 2016, he garnered the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South. In 2017, he received the "Special Appreciation Award" for completing "forty years in cinema" at the 6th South Indian International Movie Awards.
A former Physical Education Instructor, Mohan Babu is a noted educationalist, and operates Sri Vidya Niketan Educational Institutions, and is the founder of Sree Vidyanikethan Educational Trust. In the year 2007, he received the Padma Shri for his contribution to the field of Arts and education. He is a former Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh after being elected in the year 1995. He was a Deputy for the Italy-based International Parliament for Safety and Peace. He is referred to in the media as Dialogue King, Collection King, Nataprapoorna, and Natavachaspathi.
In 1980, he starred in the Tamil film Guru, alongside Kamal Hassan. In the same year he portrayed a British commanding officer in Sardar Papa Rayudu, alongside N. T. Rama Rao. He received critical reception for his antagonist roles in films such as Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974), Swargam Narakam (1975), Gorantha Deepam (1978), Sivaranjani (1978), Padaharella Vayasu (1978), Driver Ramudu (1979), Satyam Shivam (1981), Premabhishekam (1981), Chattaniki Kallu Levu (1981),Gruha Pravesam (1982), Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu (1982), Grihalakshmi (1984), Adavi Donga (1985), Khaidi No.786, alongsideChiranjeevi. (1988), Janaki Ramudu (1988), Lankeshwarudu (1989), alongside Chiranjeevi.Kodama Simham (1990), alongside Chiranjeevi. Kondaveeti Donga (1990), alongside Chiranjeevi.Annamayya (1997), and Sri Jagadguru Aadi Sankara (2013).
On the other hand, he starred in blockbusters such as Alludugaru (1990) alongside Shobhana, Assembly Rowdy (1991) alongside Divya Bharti, Allari Mogudu (1992) alongside Ramya Krishna and Meena, Major Chandrakanth (1993) alongside Ramya Krishna and Nagma, pedarayudu (1995) alongside Soundarya, Veedevadandi Babu (1997) alongside Shilpa Shetty, Pandavulu Pandavulu Thummeda (2014) alongside Raveena Tandon, and Rowdy (2014) alongside Jaya Sudha.
Mohan Babu was born to Manchu Narayanaswamy Naidu and Manchu Lakshmamma in the Modhugulapalem village near the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. Mohan Babu grew up with his three younger brothers, Manchu Ranganatha Chowdary, Manchu Ramachandra Chowdary, Manchu Krishna and his sister Vijaya. After finishing primary schooling from Yerpedu village, he attended the S.P.J.N.M High School in Tirupati. As a child, Mohan Babu developed an interest in the stage and actively appeared in school plays from the age of 14. His father, a headmaster, was keen on his son pursuing an academic career. It was during this time that Mohan Babu moved to Chennai and acquired a degree in Physical education from the YMCA College of Physical Education.
Mohan Babu began his career as a Physical education instructor at the YMCA college of physical education for many years. Drawn to arts as a child and convinced that the film industry was the place meant for him, Mohan Babu started traveling to many studios based in Chennai in search of opportunities. Finally, in the year 1969, he received an opportunity to work with director Lakshmi Deepak as an apprentice, marking his entry into the film industry. He spent many years behind the camera until his thirst for acting and expression brought him on the screen with the 1974 films Kannavari Kalalu and Alluri Seetha Rama Raju as an actor.
During this time, Mohan Babu was introduced to Dasari Narayana Rao who was then a script writer in Tollywood. This would pan out to become the most significant event of his career. Mohan Babu's first major breakthrough as an actor came with the 1975 film Swargam Narakam, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. Dasari cast him as a villain in the movie and went on to achieve great success. It was after this movie that his birth name Bakthavatsalam Naidu was changed to Mohan Babu. After appearing in many films as a comedy-villain, he proceeded to star as the leading actor in Khadi Kalidasu, Ketugadu, Gruhapravesham, Assembly Rowdy, Allari mogudu and many more. After receiving success in Telugu Cinema, Mohan Babu as a lover of arts was also drawn to the happenings of Tamil Cinema. After being initiated into the Tamil Film Industry by Sivaji Ganesan, he went on to appear in over 20 Tamil films with a multitude of roles to his credit.
Starting out in the late 70s and early 80s, Mohan Babu quickly established himself as the finest actor of his generation. In his initial films, he's no different from many of his contemporaries. It is a known fact that late veteran director Dasari Narayana Rao noticed something unique about him and professed that Mohan Babu had a fire to succeed in his eyes. He was given a negative role in the film Swargam Narakam, where he played a rich kid and Mohan Babu's career kicked off. He portrayed villain roles alongside some of the leading actors of Telugu cinema in that period such as NTR, ANR, etc. He started to appear in more villainous roles and it was in the 80's people realized something unique about Mohan Babu. Once established in Tollywood, he became the goody for playing the hero of numerous films.
Tectonic Shift (Big Break)
A shift in Mohan Babu's career took place in 1978 with Sivaranjani, a blockbuster hit at the box office. The movie heralded the 'villain' and also came out with many of the mannerisms. He had an outstanding mentor in the form of Dasari Narayana Rao, who guided him in the right direction and gave him the initial foundation substratum he required to do well. Mohan Babu followed this success by portraying a variety of roles in his next films such as Simha Garjana (1978), Simha Baludu (1978), Ramakrishnulu (1978), Padaharella Vayasu (1978), Nayudu Bava (1978), Shokilla Rayudu (1979) and Ramude Ravanudaithe (1979). His roles in Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu (1982), Billa Ranga (1978), Dharma Poratam (1983), Padmavyooham (1973), Bhale Ramudu (1984) and Sanchalanam (1985), showed a diverse range, despite often playing the villain.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Mohan Babu achieved moderate success in such films as Trilok Sundari (1980), Sita Ramulu (1980), Taxi Driver (1981), Sawaal (1982), Pralaya Garjana (1983), Seethamma Pelli (1984), Tirugubotu (1985), Viswanatha Nayakudu (1987), Atmakatha (1988), Black Tiger (1989) and Prananiki Pranam (1990). Mohan Babu continued to take on a variety of comedic roles, starring in such films as Detective Narada (1992), Veedevadandi Babu (1997), Tappu Chesi Pappu Koodu (2002) and Pandavulu Pandavulu Tummeda (2013).
By 1990, Mohan Babu was a big topic in the film industry. Assembly Rowdy (1991) propelled him into the superstar status. He always analyzes himself and focuses on his strengths to invent himself, which allowed his stardom to further rise. Films such as Alludugaru (1990) and Assembly Rowdy (1991) from the mid 90’s onwards projected him as a dialogue king, who could say difficult dialogues perfectly, while Mohan Babu defined his targeted audience by playing a variety of roles in films such as Rowdy Gari Pellam (1991), Allari Mogudu (1992) and Pedarayudu (1995), which promoted him as the collection king in the film industry.
The versatile actor has scored some massive hits in Telugu cinema. He is a Legend in Indian Film History who acted more than 500 movies. His high energy acting in films such as Kodama Simham, Brahma, Chittemma Mogudu, M Dharmaraju M.A, Adavilo Anna, Lankeswarudu and Collector Garu brought him mass attention. In 1995, he portrayed Raja in Major Chandrakanth, appearing alongside N.T. Rama Rao. The patriotic-drama was a tremendous hit and earned huge appreciation for his role. The actor went on to earn notable roles in Detective Narada (1994), Soggadi Pellam (1996), Annamayya (film) (1997), Rayudu (1998), Sri Ramulayya (1998) and Postman (2000).
2000 – Present
He followed with Rayalaseema Ramanna Chowdary (2000), Adhipathi (2001), Shiva Shankar (2004), Political Rowdy (2005), Game (2006), Yamadonga (2007), Krishnarjuna (2008), Bujjigadu (2008), Raju Maharaju (2009), Saleem (2009), Jhummandi Naadam (2010), Rowdy (2014), Yamaleela 2 (2014) and Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu (2015).
Family sentiment movie 'Gayatri' was released on 9 February 2018. Mohan Babu's high voltage performance in dual role is reviewed by the critics as major highlight of this widely acclaimed movie. In this movie, which is Mohan Babu's own production, his Son Vishnu Manchu played the character of young Mohan Babu, and he fit the bill very well in enacting the histrionics of his father.
Mohan Babu did a special role in Mahanati, Nadigaiyar Thilagam in Tamil, biographical film based on the life of actress Savitri released on 9 May 2018. He portrayed the role of legendary S. V. Ranga Rao in the movie .
Though not announced officially, Mohan Babu declared that his next films would be ambitious mythological film 'Ravana Brahma' and prestigious historical film 'Bhakta Kannappa', which is one of the most awaited projects in the South Indian Cinema.
Mohan Babu continued his foray into the film industry by wanting to seize opportunities to experiment with his acting skills. In the year 1982, Mohan Babu established Sree Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures. Named after his daughter Lakshmi Manchu, the movie house released Pratigna. The film was very successful and went on to be showcased in theaters for 100 days. Under his production company SLPP, Mohan Babu produced eighty(80) feature films which include blockbusters like Assembly Rowdy, Rowdygari Pellam, Alludu Garu, Major Chandrakanth, Pedarayudu, Rayalaseema Ramanna Chowdary and many more.
As an ardent admirer of N.T. Rama Rao, in the year 1993, Mohan Babu produced Major Chandrakanth, starring N.T. Rama Rao and himself in the lead roles. The movie was directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, and went on to become a major blockbuster. The movie also celebrated its silver jubilee and stands as the last movie in N.T. Rama Rao's film career.
Known for his long association with the late N.T. Rama Rao, Mohan Babu ardently campaigned for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), when it was led by N.T. Rama Rao and consequently joined the party in 1982. While he was making his political presence felt, Mohan Babu received a nomination for Rajya Sabha as a member of parliament representing Andhra Pradesh in the year 1995. During his six-year tenure with the Rajya Sabha, Mohan Babu undertook various projects to develop the Chittoor district including laying roads, providing clean water, developing sanitation and hygiene.
While serving his tenure in the Rajya Sabha, he was also a member of the Committee on Human Resource Development from 1996 to 1997, the committee on Urban and Rural Development and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. As part of the Social Forestry programme, he took charge of extensive sapling plantation in scores of villages with the help of villagers and the Vana Samrakshana Samithis. He also initiated programmes on health, nutrition and education on a large scale for the rural populace.
During the Ralayaseema drought, he toured to many villages extensively to address the plight of the agrarian community and offer solutions for disaster management including crop preservation. During these visits, he also worked towards tackling the shortage of drinking water in many villages.
After leaving the TDP, Mohan Babu continued with his career in the film industry. While in the midst of producing a movie titled Sri Ramuliah, he narrowly escaped a bomb blast which killed 23 people and injuring 35 others in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.
Mohan Babu is also known to have actively participated in improving the living standards of many underprivileged artists in the South Indian Film Industry.
With the intention of imparting quality education to the people of the Rayalaseema region, Dr. Mohan Babu established the Sree Vidyanikethan Educational Trust in 1992. In a short span of time, the educational organization has achieved its reputation. The popular educational organization consists of two international schools and five colleges, which specialise in diverse fields including Engineering, Nursing, Business Administrations and Pharmacy. Over 10000 students are receiving education per year and over 1800 teachers and lecturers are working as staff.
Dr. Mohan Babu, who always has a desire to do something for the society and environment, is not only an actor but also a great humanitarian. He is always in the support of many character artists and junior artists to improve their standard of living and in the film industry. When it comes to quality education at minimal cost, Sree Vidyanikethan Educational Trust, founded by him, tops the list. Dr Mohan Babu, who has always believed in giving back to society, is doing a great job in helping out the underprivileged kids with free education and bringing about social change.
Due to severe drought, the Rayalaseema people and agrarian community were cut off from necessary food supplies. Due to the event, plenty of people suffered from starvation. During his tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Mohan Babu visited the drought hit region and created some solutions to help the victims of famine.
Mohan Babu developed his love of acting and passed it along to his children, with three kids following his footsteps into the film and education sector and carrying on his legacy. His daughter Lakshmi Manchu was appointed as the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by the Prime Minister of India. Manchu Vishnu and Manchu Manoj have undertaken many initiatives to improve the condition of underprivileged children who were flood victims in the past.
Contributions to education
Mohan Babu established the Sree Vidyanikethan Educational Trust in 1993. Today, Sree Vidyanikethan runs the Sree Vidyanikethan International School, Sree Vidyanikethan degree College, Sree Vidyanikethan Engineering College, Sree Vidyanikethan College of Pharmacy, Sree Vidyanikethan College of Nursing, The Sree Vidyanikethan College of Management and the Sree Vidyanikethan College for Post Graduation Studies.
Babu was married to Vidya Devi with whom he has a son Manchu Vishnu and a daughter Manchu Lakshmi Prasanna – both actors in the film industry. After her death, he married her sister, Nirmala Devi, with whom he has a son Manchu Manoj, also an actor.
Awards and Accolades
Mohan Babu won several highly esteemed awards for his work.
Filmfare Awards South
Mohan Babu won the Best Actor Award for his role in the movie Pedarayudu (1995), in which he portrayed a kind-hearted and disciplined village head who gives solutions and punishments to the wrong-doers. His role in Yamadonga won him the CineMAA Awards for Best Actor in 2008.
- He also was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South (2016).
- Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) – Peddarayudu (1995)
- South Indian International Movie Awards
- SIIMA Special Appreciation Award (2017) 
- CineMAA Award for Best Supporting Actor – Yamadonga (2008)
In a career spanning four decades, the versatile actor has been nominated for numerous awards and has also won many awards. The renowned actor was conferred with an honorary doctorate at the 26th convocation of Dr. MGR University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 5 October 2017. He was bestowed with the award for his notable contribution to the Telugu film industry. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who took additional charge of the governor of Tamil Nadu, presented the PhD degree to the actor.
- TSR Kalaparishath honoured him with the title Natavachaspathi for his valuable contribution to the Telugu cinema.
- He was bestowed The Glory of India International Award.
- He received the Special Appreciation Award from SIIMA in 2017.
As he has completed 40 years in the film industry, the actor's popular dialogues have been compiled in a book, named "Dialogue Book", was launched in the House of Commons, British Parliament, on 11 May 2016. This book launch event was hosted by Asian Lite, in association with Bob Blackman (politician), Member of Parliament. This was the first time that a Telugu film personality got honoured in the House of Commons, British Parliament.
Viswa Nata Sarvabhouma
Dr. M Mohan Babu was conferred the prestigious ‘Viswa Nata Sarvabhouma’ title at Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad by Former Union Minister and filmmaker T. Subbarami Reddy. The ceremony, which was held on 17 January 2018, was organized by TSR Kakatiya Lalitha Kala Parishath. T Subbarami Reddy presented him a citation, shawl, and Saraswati Veena, and Bracelet Kankanam.
Below is the selected filmography of Mohan Babu.
- 1975: Swargam as Rajesh
- 1978: Sivaranjani
- 1978: Padaharella Vayasu as Simhachalam
- 1979: Driver Ramudu as Kamal Babu
- 1980: Sardar Papa Rayudu
- 1980: Guru as Ramesh
- 1981: Premabhishekam as Chakravarthy
- 1981: Kondaveeti Simham as Ravi
- 1982: Gruha Pravesam
- 1982: Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu
- 1986: Tandra Paparayudu as Vijaya Ramaraju
- 1987: Srinivasa Kalyanam as Bokka Lambodharam
- 1988: Varasudochhadu as Ambagi Rao
- 1988: Brahma Puthrudu as Ranjith
- 1988: Murali Krishnudu
- 1988: Khaidi No.786 as Asirayya
- 1990: Kodama Simham as Sudigaali
- 1990: Kondaveeti Donga
- 1990: Alludugaru
- 1991: Assembly Rowdy
- 1991: Rowdy Gaari Pellam
- 1992: Allari Mogudu
- 1992: Brahma
- 1993: Major Chandrakanth
- 1995: Pedarayudu as Pedarayudu/Raja
- 1996: Collector Gaaru
- 1997: Adavilo Anna
- 1997: Annamayya as Saluva Narasimha Rayalu
- 1999: Sri Ramulayya
- 2000: Rayalaseema Ramanna Chowdary
- 2007: Yamadonga as Yama Dharma Raja
- 2010: Jhummandi Naadam as Captain Rao
- 2014: Pandavulu Pandavulu Tummeda as Naidu/Graha Raj
- 2014: Rowdy as Anna
- 2014: Yamaleela 2 as Yama
- 2015: Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu
- 2018: Gayatri
- 2018: Mahanati
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- 23 killed as Mohan Babu survives car bomb attack. Rediff.com
- "MULTI-FACETED PERSONALITY: Politician provided solution to drought hit Rayalaseema regions". MohanBabu.
- "Lakshmi Manchu appointed brand ambassador for Swachh Bharat's Telangana chapter". Times of India.
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- "Collection King Mohan Babu: The Glory of India International Award" – via RoyalChowdarys.
- "Mohan Babu Dialogue Book Launch in London" – via Ragalahari.
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