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.