Mahesh Babu started his acting career at the age of 4 in 1979 film Needa, his brother Ramesh Babu‘s debut, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. He later acted in many films like Gudachari 117, Bazaar Rowdy etc. as a child artist and performed in Anna Thammudu, Balachandrudu etc. as a teenager.
Mahesh made his re-entry as a commercial hero by K Raghavendra Rao’s Raja Kumarudu opposite Priety Zinta. He won Nandi Award for Best Male Debutant.
Yuvaraju is Mahesh’s second venture directed by Y.V.S Chowdary, the movie did moderately well at the box office.
Later Mahesh did B. Gopal’s Vamsi with Namrata Shirodkar. The chemistry between them has worked out well not just on screen but off screen too. The pair dated for few years and later got married in 2005.
Krishna Vamsi’s Murari is a major breakthrough for Mahesh. The sensuous romantic episodes between Mahesh and Sonali Bendre, the family drama told in a new light, the musical masterpieces and moreover Mahesh’s acting made Murari a hit and got him Nandi Special Jury Award.
People want to see Mahesh in his father’s remarkable role, the cowboy. He essayed the same in Takkari Donga and scored another Nandi Special Jury Award.
Okkadu directed by Gunasekhar opposite Bhumika Chawla was a path-breaking blockbuster for Mahesh.
Mahesh‘s performance in Teja’s Nijam got him Nandi Award for Best Actor.
Later he did SJ Surya’s Nani and Gunashekar’s Arjun which didn’t run well at the box-office.
Trivikram’s Athadu made Mahesh expand his fan-base exponentially. He garnered the attention of whole Telugu audience with his dialogue delivery and action sequences. Also the chemistry with the heroine Trisha and his master performance made it a hit. Even now every time the movie is broadcast in Television, the channel’s TRP ratings spike up to high numbers.
Puri Jagannath’s Pokiri is a milestone in Mahesh’s career. The protagonist ‘Pandu’ played by Mahesh made it a money spinner. It was a huge blockbuster hit and broke all the previous records of Telugu cinema in collections. It ran 100 days in whopping 200 centers across Andhra Pradesh. The film was so successful that it was remade in Tamil with Vijay (Pokkiri) and in Hindi with Salman Khan (Wanted) as well.
Later Mahesh did few films (Athidi, Khaleja) but could not reach to the success of Pokiri.
Mahesh and Puri paired once again with the movie Businessman opposite Kajal Agarwal. It was a hit. It portrayed Mahesh in an angry young man role. His performance got accolades and appreciation.
It was Srinu Vaitla’s Dookudu opposite Samantha that made the cash registers roll non-stop. Mahesh’s magic hit the bull’s eye with this movie. He tapped his comedy potential in this movie and surprised all with comic sense and timing.
Mahesh Babu's career has taken an interesting turn after Seethamma Vaakitlo Sirimalle Chettu. The actor who almost looked invincible and unstoppable till then suddenly bumped in to bitter failure.1-Nenokkadine, a film in which Mahesh tried an out of box subject and Aagadu, a routine mass masala both ended up disasters putting the actor in two minds.