Shobhan Babu (January 14, 1937 – March 20, 2008) was an Indian film actor in Telugu cinema. He made his film debut with Daivabalam directed by Vasanthkumar Reddy, but Bhakta Shabari released earlier at the box office. In a career spanning two decades, He has done versatile roles in various genre. He has garnered five Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards and four Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu). He received the Rashtrapati Award for his performance in the 1969 classical film Bangaru Panjaram.
He was born to Uppu Suryanarayana Rao, Babu had three sisters Dhanaranga, Jhansi and Nirmala, and a brother, Sambasiva Rao. Babu completed his initial schooling at Kuntamukkula Mylavaram. He pursued his Intermediate in Vijayawada and finished his degree at Andhra-Christian College in Guntur. Later, he studied law in Chennai, but ultimately discontinued it. He married Santha Kumari on 15 May 1958; they had a son, Karuna Seshu and three daughters: Mrudula, Prashanti and Nivedita.
Shobhan Babu made his debut in the film Daivabalam. After that he acted in many films playing small roles.
Veerabhimanyu (1965) was his first movie as a "solo hero". This movie turned out to be a big hit. After this, 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 acted in films until 1997. His film Manushulu Maarali ran for 25 weeks, which was a record at that time. His first colour film was Kannavari Kalalu. He performed a dual role for the first time in Potti Pleader.
The highlight of Shoban Babu's career was the three consecutive Filmfare awards he won between 1974-1976 (1974 for Khaidi Babayi, 1975 for Jeevana Jyothi, and 1976 for Soggadu). This was a record for the Telugu film industry. Babu was only the second actor (after Dilip Kumar) to receive three consecutive Filmfare trophies. He was honored with several Nandi Awards by the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was given the honorific "Natabooshana", which became his last name in movie credits.
His rise in the acting industry was also a boon to producers with Babu's successive hits including Veerabhimanyu, Manushulu Marali, Kalyana Mandapam, and Tahsildhargaari Ammaayi, which earned Babu a large fan base. Shobhanbabu had paired up with Sharadha for several films and they were a hit pair. It was a unique combination.
Shobhan Babu died on March 20, 2008 due to a heart attack at the age of 71. After quitting films, he invested his entire earnings in real estate in and around chennai which made him one of the wealthiest individual in chennai. Estimates reveal that he is worth inr 4000 crore at the time of his death. Writer and film journalist Akella Raghavendra wrote a book on Shobhan Babu, titled Shobhan Babu Jeevita Charitra-Parugu Aapadam O Kala.
To mark the 75th birth Anniversary of legendary actor Shobhan Babu Platinum Jubilee celebration were held in Hyderabad in July 2012 by his movie Fans. It was graced by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh along with the film celebrities. Souvenir was released on the event. Website Sobhanbabu.com has been started as mark of respect for the veteran actor.
Shoban Babu was one of the popular actors of his generation in Telugu Cinema. Hence he was extremely popular among the women audience. Particularly he got reputation among his fans as acting along with more than one heroine in many of his movies.
Rashtrapati Award in acting
Bangaru Panjaram (1969)
Filmfare Awards South
Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu - Khaidi Baabayi (1974)
Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu - Jeevana Jyothi (1975)
Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu - Soggadu (1976)
Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu - Karthika Deepam (1979)
Nandi Award for Best Actor
Jeevana Jyothi (1975)
Kaalam Maarindi (1972)
8 AP Cinegoers Awards: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1985, 1989
9 Madras Film Fans Awards: 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985
3 Vamsi Berkely Awards: 1978, 1984, 1985
2 AP Film Fans Awards: 1971, 1974
2 Andhrapatrika Awards: 1970, 1985
2 Film World Awards: 1971, 1975
1 Filmalaya Award: 1975
1 Cine World Award: 1975
2 Kalasagar Awards: 1975, 1986
1 Kalasravanthi Award: 1992