He used to be the executive director of his father owned furniture business in Vishakapatnam but ended up as a bad businessman. He never had interest in films till then but when people around him started advising him to try his luck in films, he was slowly tempted towards the glam world.
Jagapathi Babu made his debut with Simha Swapnam in 1989. He played a dual role in the movie, probably the first time ever for a debutant. He later took one and half year gap. He went on to make 6 straight flops and finally got his big break with Gaayam directed by Ram Gopal Varma. His father produced two films with him, Simha Swapanam and Adavilo Abhimanyudu both dented his pocket heavily and he had to even sell his house to clear the debts.
Initially, his voice became a problem for him but later people accepted it. Jagapathi Babu slowly realized that his huge female following will be an asset for him at the box office and started working in that direction. Movies like Peddarikam, Subhalagnam, Maavichiguru, Subhakankshalu, Hanuman Junction, Dongata, Budget Padmanabham, Kabaddi Kabaddi worked wonders with family audience and went on to reap huge profits for the producers. However, the actor did not only confine himself to family movies, he tried hands in mass genre too. Movies like Antahpuram, Samudram, Gaayam, Manoharam, Samanyudu, Anukokunda Oka Roju did extremely well and remained as a testimony for a good actor in him.
Jagapathi Babu’s honeymoon as hero mostly ended with Pellaina Kothalo which released in 2006. After that movie, he went on to do more than 20 films including Thandavam alongside Rajinikanth, but except for Lakshyam (alongside Gopichand) none of them worked in his favour. It is told that he is in a financial mess during this period and went on to accept all the films that came his way. Due to this, several of his movies even found it tough for release.
Jagapathi Babu finally began a new innings after he agreed to play the role of villain in Legend starring Nandamuri Balakrishna directed by Boyapati Srinu. He revealed that he is open to do more such roles in the future.