Samantha Akkineni is an Indian actress and model, known for her works in the Tamil and Telugu film industries. She began working as a model while she was pursuing her studies. Soon, she started receiving offers for roles in cinema. She made her debut in Gautham Menon’s Telugu romance film ‘Ya Maaya Chesave’. Her performance won her the Filmfare Award for ‘Best Debut Actress’. She gained popularity in 2012 for her work in the fantasy film ‘Eega, and won the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for her work. A much-decorated actress, she is also the recipient of several other prestigious awards. As a popular actress, she is also known for endorsing numerous brands and products. In 2012, she started her own NGO named ‘Pratyusha Support’, to provide medical support for needy women and children. A major part of her earnings is donated to her foundation.
Childhood & Early Life
Samantha Akkineni was born as Samantha Ruth Prabhu on 28th April 1987, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. She has a Telugu father, Prabhu, and a Malayali mother Ninette. She was brought up in Pallavaram, Chennai. Despite her mixed regional background, she identifies herself as a Tamilian.
She studied at Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, after which she attended Stella Maris College, Chennai, to obtain a degree in economics. She got involved in modeling towards the end of her college years, and soon started appearing in films.
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Samantha Akkineni made her film debut in the 2010 romantic drama ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’ (What Magic Have You Done). Directed by Gautham Menon, the film was a commercial success, earning Rs 20 crore on a Rs 12 crore budget. Akkineni won the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Actress for her performance. She was also nominated for the Filmfare Awards South Best Actress - Telugu.
In 2011, she was seen in two movies: ‘Nadunisi Naaygal’ and ‘Dookudu’. For the latter, she was nominated for another Filmfare Award in the Telugu Best Actress category.
She came to international popularity after she appeared in the 2012 bilingual fantasy film ‘Eega’ (The Fly). Directed by SS Rajamouli, the film was a huge success commercially, and was also praised by most critics.
She appeared in the Tamil romance film ‘Neethaane En Ponvasantham’ (2012), where she played the female lead. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil. She continued to appear in several films over the years, such as ‘Ramayya Vasthavayya’, (2013), ‘Autonagar Surya’ (2014), ‘Kaththi’, (2014) and ‘Thanga Magan’ (2015).
She won her fourth Filmfare Award, in the Best Actress - Telugu category, in 2016, for her role in the romantic comedy ‘A Aa’. Directed by Trivikram Srinivas, the film did well commercially, earning Rs 75 crores on a budget of Rs 35 crores.
In 2016, she was also seen in other films such as ‘24’, which was a commercial success, and also won multiple awards. For her roles in ‘24’ and ‘Theri’, she was nominated for two other Filmfare Awards, in the ‘Best Actress - Tamil’ category.
Some of her latest films are ‘Raju Gari Gadhi 2’ (2017), ‘Mahanati’ (2018), ‘Irumbu Thirai’ (2018), ‘U Turn’ (2018), and ‘Super Deluxe’ (2019).
Samantha Akkineni came to popularity for her role in the fantasy film ‘Eega’. The film revolves around a young man, who reincarnates as a housefly, and tries to avenge his own death in his previous life and protect his lover. Directed by SS Rajamouli, the film did very well commercially, becoming a hit not just in India, but also worldwide. Reviews from critics were also mostly positive.
Another one of her important works is the 2016 sci-fi action film ‘24’, which was directed by Vikram Kumar. Along with Samantha, the film featured actor Suriya in three different roles. The movie also featured Nithya Menen, Saranya Ponvannan and Girish Karnad. The film was a commercial success, and won several awards and nominations.
She starred in the Tamil black comedy film ‘Super Deluxe,’ directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja. The film also featured actors, such as Vijay Sethupathi, Ramya Krishnan, Fahadh Faasil and Gayathrie. The movie, which was released on March 2019, was mostly appreciated by the critics.
Family & Personal Life
Samantha Akkineni married Naga Chaitanya in 2017, after dating for around two years.
Apart from acting, she is also widely known for her philanthropic works. In 2012, she started her own charitable trust named Pratyusha Support.