Shoban Babu

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Shoban BabuJanuary 14, 1937 - March 20, 2008
Shoban Babu
January 14, 1937 - March 20, 2008

Uppu Shobana Chalapathy Rao (January 14, 1937 - March 20, 2008), popularly known as Shoban Babu is a Tollywood film actor.

He is the son of Uppu Suryanarayana Rao. He has three sisters Dhanaranga, Jhansi and Nirmala, besides a brother Sambasiva Rao.

He had completed his schooling in Kuntamukkula Mylavaram. He pursued his Intermediate in Vijayawada and finished his degree in Vijayawada. Later, he joined law course in Madras, but discontinued it.

He got married to Kanta Kumari on May 15, 1958. He has a son Karuna Seshu and three daughters Mrudula, Prashanti and Nivedita.

Though he was in the glamour field, he did not allow either his sons, daughters, brothers or sisters into the film industry.

He made his debut into films through Daivabalam directed by Vasanthkumar Reddy, but the first film that hit the screen is Bhakta Sabari and his first crush is with L Vijayalakshmi. Chitrapu Narayana Murthy is his first director, while BD Naidu was the first producer. It is Pendyala Nageswara Rao who gave music for his first ever film. His film Manushulu Maarali was run for 25 weeks which was a recording during those days. By the time Sobhanbabu entered, it was black and white era. His first colour film is Kannavari Kalalu. For the first time he went abroad for a film shooting for Ramudu-Parasuramudu. He made a dual role in Potti Pleader for the first time.

During those days Sobhanbabu is the only stylish star. Even if he wears a T-shirt or if he wears a suit, it is perfect fit for him. It is Sobhanbabu who used to wear goggles in song sequences and it is worth watching on screen. He had received Filmfare Awards for four times, Nandi awards for five times, AP Cine Goers Award for eight times of which he bagged the award consecutively for six years from 1970 to 1975. Likewise he had bagged Madras Film Fans award for nine times. Vamsi Berkely Award, AP Film Fans Award, Andhra Patrika Award, Film World Award were only a few to mention. He bagged the Central Govt award for the best classical film hero for Bangaru Panjaram in 1970. Filmalaya, Cine World, Cine Express, Kalasagar, and Kalasravanthi were few more awards that came in his way.

Sobhanbabu had paired up with Sarada for several films and they were said to be a hit pair of all times. It is really a unique combination. Sobhanbabu is known for his glamour and performance for about 30 years in the filmdom and Sarada is known more for her outstanding, performance-oriented roles, especially for sober roles.

He was popularly called as "Andhra Andagadu" meaning, "Most handsome person in Andhra Pradesh". He was honored several Nandi Awards by the state of Andhra Pradesh Government. He probably earned maximum number of awards among any Telugu hero for his diverse roles spanning over 30 years. He was the most popular ladies hero for over 20 years. In fact, he earned so much ladies popularity that even to this day any good ladies family entertainer is referred to as "Shoban Babu type movie" by the telugu movie lovers. He was honored "Natabooshana" title and it became his last name in movie credits.

Though several senior artistes had lost their earnings either by producing films or in some other way, Sobhanbabu had a planned career. He invested all his earnings in real estate business and is leading a peaceful life with a complete happy family with sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law and grandchildren. He acted in films that suits his age all the times. At the fag end of his career, he chose some character artiste roles and finally took retirement from films for a happy and fruitful life. He celebrated his 71st birthday on January 14, 2008. He passed away on 20th March 2008.

Sobhanbabu, one of the senior Telugu film artistes, quietly disappeared from the Telugu film industry. Though some of his contemporaries are still making their presence in films, Sobhanbabu voluntarily opted to stay away from the film industry. Not only in films, he is keeping himself off from any functions or festivals related to the film industry like audio releases, film releases or Nandi award kind of prestigious dos.

Early Days

Shobhan Babu made his debut in the film Daivabalam. After that he acted in many films playing small roles in many films which starred N.T.R or A.N.R. Veerabhimanyu(1965) was his first movie as a 'solo hero'. This movie turned out to be a big hit. However, he still played small roles in many films in order to earn money for his family. After the huge success of "Manushulu Maarali", he regularly acted as a "solo hero" in many films till 1997.


Babu died at his home in Chennai after he suffered a fatal spinal injury when he fell from the staircase.

Shobhan was 71 years old and is survived by four children — three daughters and one son.

  • Film fare Awards 1971 74 76 79
  • Nandi Best Actor Award from AP Govt : 1969 1971 1972 1973 1976
  • AP Cinegoers Award : 1970 71 72 73 74 75 85 89
  • Madras Film Fans Award : 1971 74 75 76 78 79 80 84 85
  • Vamsi Berkely Award : 1978 84 85
  • AP Film Fans Award : 1971 1974
  • Andhrapatrika Award : 1970 1985
  • Film World : 1971 1975
  • Central Govt Award for the best classical film hero award : Bangaru Panjaram 1970
  • Filmalaya : 1975
  • Cine World : 1975
  • Kalasagar : 1975 1986
  • Kalasravanthi : 1992
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