Jagapathi Babu; (born Veeramachaneni Jagapathi Chowdary) is an Indian film actor known for his works predominantly in Telugu Cinema in addition to a few Tamil and Malayalam films. In a career spanning 31 years, Babu has starred in over 120 feature films, and has received 4 Filmfare Awards and 7 state Nandi Awards. He also received the Kala Bhushana Award, for his contribution to cinema, by TSR Lalitha kala Parishat.
He has worked with noted directors like S.V. Krishna Reddy, Ram Gopal Varma, Krishna Vamsi, E. V. V. Satyanarayana, Guna Sekhar, Chandra Sekhar Yeleti, A. M. Rathnam, K. Raghavendra Rao, Radha Mohan, M. Raja, and J. D. Chakravarthy.
Babu made his debut in Telugu with the movie Simha Swapnam (1989) which was produced by his father and directed by V. Madhusudhan Rao. His first commercial success came with Peddarikam released in 1992. He had his breakthrough in the form of Gaayam directed by Ram Gopal Varma in the year 1993. In 1994, with the super hit film Subha Lagnam, he reached family audience and also established his star status. He won the Nandi Award for Best Actor in 1996 for his role in the movie Maavichiguru directed by S V Krishna Reddy. 1997 saw runway hit films like Subhakankshalu & Pelli Pandiri. In 1998, he won the Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Antahpuram. In 2000, he won the Nandi Best Actor Award for his performance in the thriller Manoharam. In 2003–05, he did runway hit films like Kabaddi Kabaddi, Athade Oka Sainyam, Pedababu and Anukokunda Oka Roju. In 2006 he appeared in Samanyudu and Pellaina Kothalo. He received the Nandi Best Supporting Actor Award for the second time in the year 2007 for his role in the movie Lakshyam & he won Filmfare also.
His first Tamil was Madrasi, and in 2012, he appeared as the antagonist in Tamil film Thaandavam. Subsequently, he played the lead role in Jai Bolo Telangana, which won five Nandi Awards. In 2012, he debuted in the Kannada film Bachchan as a cop, which featured Sudeep in the lead role. In 2013, Babu returned to the Tamil film industry with Puthagam.
Since 2014, Babu took a complete turn-around in his choice of roles, in what he terms a “second-innings.” Babu, who until then was a lead actor, decided to play antagonistic and supporting roles to maintain his career graph. The first of which is the Nandamuri Balakrishna-starrer Legend (2014), where played an antagonist for the first time. His performance as Jitendra, a ruthless don was praised and also won many accolades. In the same year, he played a negative role opposite Rajinikanth in Lingaa. In 2015, he played Mahesh Babu’s father in Srimanthudu. In 2016, Babu played a London-based billionaire in Sukumar-directed Nannaku Prematho starring Jr NTR was also appreciated.He played antagonist in Ism and Jaguar. He also played opposite Mohanlal in Malayalam film, Pulimurugan. In 2017, he played Naga Chaitanya’s father in Rarandoi Veduka Chudham.
In 2018, Rangasthalam, also directed by Sukumar, Babu played an oppressive president of the eponymous village. Grossing more than ₹2 billion, Rangasthalam was the highest grossing Telugu of that year. Alongside this, he played a Bangladeshi-terrorist in Goodachari, which became a sleeper hit. His role Trivikram Srinivas-directed Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava (2018) is termed as one of finest performances of his career. In 2019, His notable works were Maharshi along with a crucial role in Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.