Andhra Pradesh

Giri Babu: Man with many hats

Giri Babu.   | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

Some people don’t seem to age. Yesteryear Telugu film actor Giri Babu is among those who have not allowed age to mess their looks.

At 74, he looks much younger and attributes his youthfulness to his genes. Basking in a sense of contentment after experiencing it all — acting, producing and directing — in his 42-year-long stint in Telugu film industry, Mr. Giri Babu is completely at peace with himself.

The veteran actor, with his son Raghu Babu in tow, walked into The Hindu office on his way to attend a private function, springing a surprise to the staff. Not much has changed in his physical appearance. The on-screen and off-screen resemblance in a gap of four decades is so much that his on-screen image of a villain with a cackling laughter instantly comes to the mind.

Seshagiri Rao Yerra was a young lad from Ravinuthala village in Prakasam district, crazy about Telugu cinema . His undying passion for films grew with him as years passed by and one fine day, he left the village to chase his dreams in Madras.

Dejected by a series of failures, at one point, he returned to his village and decided never to look back at Madras. But after a gap, the news that a film director was enquiring about him, gave him the courage to try for ‘one last time’ and in the next couple of hours he once again boarded a Madras-bound truck laden with coriander seeds as he did not have money for train ticket.

After a prolonged struggle, he finally got a break and gradually became popular as Giri Babu, the name he had embraced in the industry. Mr. Giri Babu started his career with the role of a protagonist but gradually drifted towards villainy. Intermittently portraying the main hero, he also straddled in comedy.

Hailing from a middle class agricultural family, he was married at the age of 20.

It was his indomitable spirit that saw him through the difficult phase and his first successful film got him a remuneration of ₹2,500. Roles of villain started coming his way after he acted in Jagame Maya, a 1973 film in which he portrayed a role with negative shades.

He later produced and directed a few films. Life has come a full circle for this versatile actor who now prefers to spend quality time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren in his native village Ravinuthala.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 12:39:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Giri-Babu-Man-with-many-hats/article17195973.ece

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