Friday, March 21, 2008

Telugu actor Shobhan Babu is dead

Veteran Telugu actor Shobhan Babu, 70, died on Thursday following a cardiac arrest, hospital sources said.

"The patient had apparently suffered a massive heart attack before he was brought here at 10.52 a.m. Doctors tried to revive him but could not," said a spokesperson of Apollo Hospital.

Born on Jan 14, 1937 as Uppu Shobana Chalapathi Rao, Babu entered films in 1961 by playing walk-in parts.

He got his big break as a hero in the 1965 Telugu classic Veerabhimanyu. Babu and actress Sharada were a hit pair for over 15 years.

In a career spanning 32 years till 1997 when he retired, Babu won the coveted best actor awards from the Andhra Pradesh government five times and from Filmfare magazine on four occasions.

He bagged the central government's award for the best classical film hero for Bangaru Panjaram in 1970.

Born in Mylavaram near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Babu was an arts graduate.

He is survived by wife Kanta Kumari, son Karuna Seshu and three daughters Mrudula, Prashanti and Nivedita.

The matinee idol did not allow any of his offspring to start a career in showbiz.

Babu's fans hailed him as "Andhra Andagadu" (Mr Style of Andhra) since the icon was always seen in designer clothes and a pair of premier brand sunglasses.

The matinee idol was also said to be romantically linked to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha, though Babu never confirmed or denied it.

Babu's body was taken to his residence in a western suburb for the Telugu film industry to pay its homage.

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