Raja Babu (born Punyamurthula Appalaraju) (20 October 1937 – 7 February 1983) was an Indian actor and producer in Telugu cinema.
He is one of the most successful comedy actor's of Tollywood. He played many roles with actress Rama Prabha. Rajababu's 9 ft bronze statue was unveiled in his birthplace of Rajahmundry, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.
He was born in Rajamundry, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh to Punyamurthula Umamaheswara Rao and Ramanamma as Appala Raju. His brother is also a noted comedian, Chitti Babu. He passed out Intermediate study and successfully completed Teacher training course. He worked sometime as Telugu teacher. He used to play in dramas during that period like Kukka Pilla Dorikindi, Naalugilla Chaavadi and Alluri Sitarama Raju.
Raja Babu married Lakshmi Ammalu in 1965 and they have two children Nagendra Babu and Mahesh Babu. He has two brother's Chitti Babu Punyamurthula and Ananth Punyamurthula, who are film actors and television artists.
Garikapati Raja Rao invited Babu after seeing his acting skills in dramas. Babu reached Madras in 1960 and initially lived on tuitions. Film Director Addala Narayana Rao gave him a chance to act in his film Samajam in 1960. Babu was known for his slapstick comedy roles. He acted in record 589 movies in less than 20 years.
He has acted as hero in Tata Manavadu, Pichodi Pelli, Thirupathi, Evariki Vare Yamuna Teere, Manishi Rodduna Paddadu. Leela Rani, Prasanna Rani, Gitanjali and Rama Prabha played with him as his female counterparts. But it was Ramaprabha who had a major share in his career playing opposite him and they were considered as the best comedy couple. The Comedy song Vinara Suramma Kooturu Moguda Vishayam Chebutanu featured on the duo in the film Illu Illalu went on to become the highlight of the entire film and heard everywhere.
He portrayed the lead role of Giri, grandson (Manavadu) in the film Tata Manavadu directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and teaches a lesson to his father. The cast included S. V. Ranga Rao and Anjali Devi. He produced a few films under Bob and Bob Productions, including Evariki Vaare Yamuna Teeru and Manishi Rodduna Paddadu.Partial Filmography:
1960 Samajam (debut), 1962 Bhishma, 1962 Chitti Tammudu, 1963 Paruvu Prathishta, 1966 Navarathri, 1966 Paramanandayya Shishyula Katha (Character:Sishya), 1967 Goodachari 116, 1967 Saakshi, 1968 Bandipotu Dongalu, 1968 Bangaru Pichika, 1966 RAJABUAB1968 RanabheriTelugu, 1969 Ekaveera (Character:Bhattu), 1969 Kathanayakudu, 1970 Kodalu Diddina Kapuram, 1971 Bomma Borusa (Character:Appula Appa Rao), 1971 Prem Nagar, 1971 Shrimanthudu, 1972 Badi Panthulu, 1972 Iddaru Ammayilu, 1972 Tata Manavadu (Character:Grandson Giri), 1972 Vichitra Bandham (Character:Babji), 1973 Andala Ramudu (Character:Appa Rao), 1973 Sharada, 1974 Alluri Seetharama Raju, 1974 Andaru Dongale (Character:Dhairyam), 1974 Deeksha, 1974 Evariki Vare Yamuna Theere, 1975 Jeevana Jyothi, 1975 Soggadu (Character:Rajendra Prasad), 1975 Zamindarugari Ammayi, 1976 Alludochhadu, 1976 Mahakavi Kshetrayya, 1977 Adavi Ramudu (Character:Bheemanna), 1978 Dongala Dopidi, 1979 Karthika Deepam, 1979 Tayaramma Bangarayya, 1980 Saradaa Ramudu, 1981 Gadasari Attaha Sosagara Kodalu