15 Best Telugu Actors of All Time

Telugu Cinema is one of the biggest movie industries in India. Popularly known as Tollywood, the industry is predominantly based in Hyderabad. After the rise of talkies in the early 1940s, Tollywood started developing from its embryonic stage to the ‘Baahubali’ it is today. The industry, periodically, produced many timeless classics like Maya Bazaar, Narthanashala, Adavi Ramudu, and the recent blockbuster, Baahubali: The Conclusion. In a poll conducted by CNN-IBN to mark the centenary of Indian Cinema, the 1957 Telugu classic ‘Maya Bazaar’ was ranked ‘the greatest Indian film of all time’. From days where regional cinema was ignored, to the days it is looked high upon, Telugu Cinema has seen it all. Here is the list of top 15 Telugu actors ever.


15. Allu Arjun

Allu Arjun is one of the few actors in the country to enjoy a pan-Indian appeal. Allu Arjun acted in Sukumar’s love tale, Arya, which is a cult-classic of Telugu Cinema. He is famous for his energy and acting. He is also considered as one of the best dancers in the country. All his movies are commercial successes, making him one of the most successful Telugu actors.

Notable films: Arya, Julayi, Sarrainodu.


14. Prabhas

Prabhas now needs no introduction. Following the mammoth success of Baahubali series, Prabhas is now a Pan-Indian Superstar. He made his debut with the movie, Eshwar, which was a commercial failure. It was the movie ‘Varsham’ that gave him a break. He later acted in a couple of films, of which Prabhas’ acting was acclaimed. However, it was SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus, Baahubali, that brought him global recognition.

Notable films: Varsham, Chatrapati, Baahubali.


13. Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan is the younger brother of Telugu Superstar, Chiranjeevi. One of the biggest movie stars of Telugu cinema, Pawan Kalyan enjoys larger-than-life stature in the general public. He debuted with the movie, Akkada Ammayi Ikkada Abbayi, which was a blockbuster. At the beginning of his career, he acted in a series of movies like Gokulamlo Seetha, Thammudu which were cult-hits among the youth. This catapulted him to superstardom, and made him ‘Powerstar’. Later, for a period of nearly ten years, all his movies bombed at the box-office. However, it was the 2012 movie, Gabbar Singh that brought him commercial success. He is now foraying into politics with his political party, Janasena.

Notable films: Thammudu, Gabbar Singh, Attarintiki Daredi.


12. Balakrishna

Balakrishna is the son of the legendary NT Rama Rao. Balakrishna continued his father’s legacy with a stream of successful films. He debuted with the movie, Tattama Kala. He is famous for his dialogues that are highly entertaining. Known for his faction dramas, Balakrishna has acted in more than hundred films. His latest outing, Gautamaputra Satakarni was critically acclaimed.

Notable films: Legend, Simha, Gautamiputra Satakarni.


11. Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna is the son of the legendary actor, A Nageswara Rao. Nagarjuna debuted with the film, Vikram, a remake of the Hindi film, Hero. Nagarjuna’s first breakthrough film was Maniratnam’s Geetanjali. He later went to act in Ram Gopal Varma’s Siva which was a trendsetter. Siva catapulted Nagarjuna into immediate stardom. It was the devotional movie, Annamayya, that made Nagarjuna, a household name. Annamayya is a cult classic of Telugu Cinema. He is famous for his light-hearted entertainers out of which many are box-office blockbusters.

Notable films: Geetanjali, Siva, Annamayya, Manam

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