Allu-Konidela, Akkineni-Daggubati and Nandamuri: Most influential families in Tollywood
Besides being actors and directors, they are equally in the movie business as producers and distributors.
There is no denying nepotism exists in every industry. Yes, it does even in the Telugu film industry- one of the biggest movie business markets. With new actors and directors stepping in every day, the industry is equally being ruled by a few prominent families since decades now.
The most influential families in Tollywood are- The Allu-Chiranjeevi family and the Akkineni-Daggubati. Besides being actors and directors, they are equally in the movie business as producers and distributors.
Here's a look at these families who are equally connected through marriages.
- The Allu-Konidela family
Allu Ramalingaiah, born in 1922, appeared in over 1000 Telugu films. A Padma Shri recipient is known for his epic comic roles in films like Maya Bazaar, Missyamma, Muthyala Muggu, Sankarabaranam, and many more.
Ramalingaiah had 4 children- Allu Aravind, Surekha Konidela, Vasantha Lakshmi, and Nava Bharathi. While Vasantha and Bharathi always kept themselves away from the limelight, daughter Surekha married megastar Chiranjeevi, making her a part of the Allu and Konidela family. Chiranjeevi and Surekha together have 3 kids- Ram Charan, Sreeja, and Susmitha. Ram Charan is the biggest actor in the industry and is married to Upasana Kamineni, a granddaughter of businessman Prathap C. Reddy.
Megastar of the industry, Chiranjeevi has two brothers- Nagendra Babu and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan. Nagendra Babu's children are Varun Tej and Niharika Konidela, both are established actors in the film industry.
Pawan Kalyan is married thrice and has 2 kids- Akira Nandan and Aadhya from his second marriage with actress Renu Desai and two more children—Polena Anjana Pawanovna and Mark Shankar Pawanovich with his current wife, Anna Lezhneva.
On the other hand, Allu Aravind, Ramalingaiah's son, is one of the biggest film producers. Aravind and his wife Nirmala have three children - Venkatesh, Arjun, and Sirish. Allu Arjun, a Pan-India star after the release of Pushpa, is married to Sneha Reddy and they have 2 kids, Ayaan and Arha.
- Akkineni-Daggubati family
Daggubati–Akkineni family, is one of the most influential families in the Telugu industry. Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Daggubati Ramanaidu are the prominent heads of both families.
Akkineni Nageswara Rao, actor and producer, known as ANR featured in 100s of films in his 75-year-long career. He was addressed as one of the two pillars of Telugu Cinema along with N. T. Rama Rao. In the 1960s, he, along with others moved the Telugu cinema industry from Madras to Hyderabad.
He married to Annapurna Kollipara (Annapurna Studios is named after her) in 1949. The couple had 5 children: Akkineni Nagarjuna, Akkineni Venkat Rathnam, Naga Susheela Akkineni, Saroja Akkineni, and Sathyavathi Akkineni.
- Nagarjuna, one of the biggest stars of the Telugu industry married Lakshmi Daggubati (daughter of D. Ramanaidu). Naga Chaitanya is the son of Nagarjuna and his ex-wife, Daggubati Lakshmi. Nag and Lakshmi parted ways in 1992 and the actor is now married to actress Amala and Lakshmi is married to Sharath Vijay Raghavan, a corporate executive. Nagarjuna and Amala together have a son, Akhil Akkineni (actor).
- Venkat Rathnam is a film producer and married to Akkineni Jyothsna.
- Saroja is the daughter of Nageswara Rao and Annapurna.
- Sathyavathia is married to Surendra Yarlagadda and they together have a son, Sumanth Kumar Yarlagadda, also an actor.
- Naga Susheela is one of the directors with brother Venkat at Annapurna Studios.
Talking about the Daggubati family, Padma Bhushan recipient Ramanaidu, the founder of Suresh Productions worked in more than 150 films before making his mark in politics. Known for his social works and for contributing a major part of his earnings to the charitable trust, Daggubati Ramanaidu got married in 1958 and had three children- elder son D. Suresh Babu, younger son Venkatesh and daughter Lakshmi (ex-wife of Nagarjuna).
Venkatesh Daggubati is an established and big name in the Tollywood industry. 5-time winner of Nandi Awards for Best Actor, Venky now co-owns Suresh Productions along with brother Suresh Babu.
As far as the business is concerned, Daggubati-family-owned Suresh Productions and Akkineni-owned Annapurna Studios have made enough headlines for their annual profits and losses. Nevertheless, they are at the top of their game in the movie business.
- Nandamuri family
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, popularly known as NTR, featured in over 300 films. The actor-politician founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982 and served three terms as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1995.
His younger brother Trivikram Rao was also in the same business, also the co-owner of National Art Theatre, Madras a production house under which he has co-produced 40 feature films alongside N T Rama Rao. The other 2 sons, Jayakrishna and Mohanakrishna are cinematographers.
At the age of 20, Rao married Basava Rama Tarakam, the daughter of his maternal uncle and they together, had eight sons and four daughters. In an unfortunate incident, his eldest son, Nandamuri Ramakrishna Sr., passed away in 1962, soon after NTR completed the shooting of Irugu Porugu. In his eldest son's memory, the legendary actor founded the film studio Ramakrishna Studios in Nacharam.
His 3rd son Nandamuri Saikrishna, a theatre owner passed away in 2004 following diabetic complications and 4th son, Nandamuri Harikrishna, died in a car accident on 29 August 2018.
The Telugu actor's 6th son, Nandamuri Balakrishna is currently one of the leading actors in Tollywood.
NTR's daughter Bhuvaneswari married N Chandrababu Naidu and her second daughter, Daggubati Purandeswari entered politics.
Meanwhile, the next generation kids of the film, Nandamuri Kalyan Ram and N. T. Rama Rao Jr, sons of Harikrishna are also a part of the film industry while daughter Nandamuri Suhasini is a popular Indian businesswoman and a political personality. Jr NTR, last seen in RRR is currently busy with 2 big-ticket movies- NTR30 and NTR31. The third son Janakiram with his wife Shalini was a film producer. He passed away in a road accident in 2014.