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Telangana, India

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Tanikella Bharani


Tanikella Bharani (born 14 July 1954) is an Indian actor, screenwriter, poet, playwright, and director who works predominantly in Telugu cinema. He has worked as an actor in more than 750 films, including some in Tamil and Hindi; while he was also the screenwriter for 52 films. He has won three Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards.


Tanikella Bharani's ancestors include poets and literary figures of Telugu literature. Diwakarla Venkatavadhani and Viswanatha Satyanarayana were his granduncles. Divakarla Tirupati Sastry, one of the Telugu poet duo Tirupati Venkata Kavulu, was his great-granduncle.


He was born into a Telugu Brahmin family. He is fluent in Telugu, English, Hindi, and Tamil.

He is a religious Hindu who is known for singing devotional songs in praise of Sri Shiva and Devi Parvati, and propagates to his fellow Hindus to not just read the Bhagavad Gita but to follow what it teaches.


Tanikella did stage plays in the mid-70s and during this time he made the acquaintance of Rallapalli, a Tollywood actor. With his help, Tanikella started writing small dialogues and stage scenes. Later, he took a diploma in Theatre arts. Following Rallapalli's advice he moved to Chennai.


He started his career as a dialogue writer for Kanchu Kavachum in 1984 and has written dialogues for various movies like Ladies Tailor (1985), Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe (1987), Varasudochhadu (1988), Chettu Kinda Pleader (1989), Swara Kalpana (1989), Shiva (1989) and Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi (2004). He also penned and sang the lyrics of Gundamma Gaari Manavadu (Bhale Bhaleti Mandu).


He has acted in more than 750 movies starting with Ladies Tailor (1985) & Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe (1987) in which he was seen as Dora Babu.


 In 1989 he appeared in the hit film Shiva, by Ram Gopal Varma, which starred Nagarjuna. With the release of the film Shiva, he received much recognition and his character Nanaji impressed the whole Telugu audience.


He also played a supporting role in the comedy film Bombay Priyudu in 1996. His powerful antagonism in Samudram won him the Nandi award as the Best Villain.


 After 2000, he started playing more mature roles in movies like Manmadhudu (2002), Okariki Okaru (2003), Samba (2004), Malliswari, Godavari (2006), and Happy (2006).


He directed the Telugu Drama film Mithunam in 2012 featuring S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Lakshmi. He received CineMAA Award Special Jury Award for Best Direction for this film.


He wrote seven Telugu devotional songs song for the album "Nee Lona Shivudu Galudu, Na Lona Shivudu Galadu," literally translating as "Lord Shiva in you and Lord Shiva in me can rule the world." He also sang the title song for Nalona sivudu galadu and Shahabash Raa Shankara which were written by him.


He married Durga Bhavani in 1988. The couple has two children, Teja and Soundarya Lahari. They reside in Yousufguda, Hyderabad.


Teja made his debut as an actor in the film Mr Lavangam (2012).


Spy as Jai and Subhash's father


Julayi as Narayana Murthy


Ghilli as Muthupandi's Father