On a birthday packed with announcements — Koratala Shiva’s NTR30 getting an identity (‘Devara’) and Hrithik Roshan teasing a possible collaboration — the one that stood out was the confirmation by Mythri Movie Makers that NTR31, to be helmed by ‘KGF’ directdor Prashanth Neel will go on set in March next year.
The popular Tollywood star, Junior NTR, who’s been basking in the success of ‘RRR’, woke up seeing hundreds of delirious fans showing up outside his residence to celebrate his 40th birthday.
Mega Star Chiranjeevi called him a bundle of talent while wishing him on Twitter. “May God bless you with all the success and happiness,” Chiranjeevi said.
Mahesh Babu tweeted: “Happy birthday @tarak9999. Wishing you an epic year ahead!!”
Junior NTR is said to be the only Tollywood actor who has huge craze in Japan. He has been ranked second on the ‘Forbes India’ celebrity list. A recipient of numerous awards, notably two Nandis, Jr NTR is popular in the two Telugu-speaking states as the hero of the masses.
In his 22-year career, he has acted in 29 films. The poster of his 30th movie ‘Devara’ was unveiled on his 40th birthday.
Grandson of legendary actor and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nanadamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Junior NTR was born on May 20, 1983. His real name was Tarak Ram, but on his grandfather’s suggestion, it was changed to Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.
Like his father Nandamuri Harkrishna, Junior NTR also made his debut as a child artiste. He had gone to see the shooting of ‘Major Chandrakanth’ when his grandfather called the makeup man and asked him to get Junior NTR ready for a role.
The thespian announced that Junior NTR would play the role of Bharat in the mythological, ‘Brahmrshi Viswamitra’, which was to be made in Hindi. After a few years, the child artiste was doing a bit part in ‘Ramayanam’.
Thereafter, Junior NTR’s family asked him to focus on studies. After studying at Vidyaranya High School, Hyderabad, he completed his intermediate education at St Mary’s College, also in Hyderabad.
Encouraged by his mother, he took training in Kuchipudi and performed at various places across the country.
It was in 2001 that Junior NTR made his debut as a lead actor with ‘Ninnu Choodalani’. But it was with ‘Student No. 1’ that he established himself in the same year, followed by ‘Aadi’. From there he never looked back.
Junior NTR is married to Lakshmi Pranathi and they have two sons, Abhay and Bhargav. In an interview, he had revealed that he feels the pain of not having a daughter.
He survived a car crash in 2009. He had then that the incident brought a change in his life and he learnt to remain calm and smile during testing times.
The young actor, who lost his father Harikrishna in a road accident in 2018, advises his fans at every film function to drive carefully as their loved ones wait for their return.
The actor is close to many of his co-stars, especially Ram Charan, Mahesh Babu and Allu Arjun. The movie ‘RRR’ highlighted the special bond between NTR and Ram Charan.
They were together with the rest of the ‘RRR’ team at the Oscars, when the superhit dance number ‘Naatu Naatu’ got film its only Oscar — the first for an Indian film made in India.