Tarun Kumar, also known as Tharun, is an Indian film actor who is known for his work in Telugu film industry. While the majority of his work has been in Telugu films, Tarun has also acted in five Tamil movies and two Malayalam films. He was already known in the Telugu film industry as a successful child artist, winning several awards, before returning to the screen after completing his education. However, after a burst of initial success at the box office, his second outing in the Telugu film industry was short-lived. Son to actor parents, Tarun's latest film release was in 2018. In addition to acting, he now also runs a hospitality business.
As Child Actor
Tarun made his debut as a child actor at the age of eight with 'Manasu Mamatha' in 1990. His performance in the movie won him the 'Nandi Award for Best Child Actor'. In the same year, he also appeared in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film 'Anjali' which was India's official entry to the Oscars in 1991. Tarun won the 'National Film Award for Best Child Artist' for his work in 'Anjali' along with his co-actors Shamili and Shruti Vijaykumar. In 1991, he played the role of eight-year-old Vinu, an artistic boy drawn to nature, in the Malayalam movie 'Abhayam' produced by the 'Children's Film Society of India'. The movie won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film and many accolades at international film festivals. It also bagged Tarun the 'Best Child Artist Award' at the 'Furoshiki Film Festival' in Japan. He won another 'Nandi Award for Best Child Actor' in 1992 for his role in 'Teja'. As a child actor, he starred in many other superhits like 'Surya IPS' and 'Aditya 369' in 1991, and Malayalam movies 'My Dear Muthachan' in 1992 and 'Johny' in 1993. Tarun then took a break to concentrate on his studies and complete his education. During this time, he wasn't away from the screen entirely, featuring in some television commercials shot by cinematographer Rajiv Menon.
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As Lead Actor
Tarun made his comeback and debut as a lead actor in 2000 with 'Nuvve Kavali' which was a runaway hit at the box office. Apart from bagging four trophies at the 'Filmfare Awards South', the movie also won the 'National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu'. Meanwhile, Tarun bagged the 'Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut - South'. The movie's golden jubilee celebrations set an all-time record in the Telugu film industry. With many more successful films in the early 2000s like 'Priyamaina Neeku' in 2001, 'Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu' and 'Nuvve Nuvve' in 2002, and 'Ela Cheppanu' and 'Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu' in 2003, Tarun had become Telugu film industry’s favourite chocolate hero. He was most famous for the on-screen chemistry he shared with his actresses.
His foray into Tamil cinema didn't enjoy the same success. 'Punnagai Desam' in 2002 underwhelmed at the box office while 'Enakku 20 Unakku 18' in 2003 barely created ripples. Tarun stuck to Telugu cinema after that, however, being typecast as a romantic hero soon began to work against him. No challenging roles in his kitty and a lack of interest to market his movies are believed to be the reason his career as a lead actor didn't take off after tasting initial success. With the craze for him in Tollywood beginning to fade after 2010, Tarun kept himself away from the limelight and started a hospitality business. He owns a restaurant in Secunderabad and also runs a catering service that supplies food to shoot locations.
Controversies & Scandals
In June 2017, Hyderabad authorities busted a high-profile drug racket. It became sensational after it was found that drugs like LSD and MDMA were being supplied to students of leading private schools and colleges, and several Tollywood personalities. According to media reports, Tarun was grilled for almost 13 hours by officials of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Excise Department in connection with the case. While he confirmed being questioned by the authorities for the case, he released a video message around the time requesting the media to practice discretion in their reporting. With rumours spreading like fire, Tarun appealed to the media not to publish stories before confirming the truth.
Speculation about Tarun participating in Bigg Boss Telugu has repeated for two consecutive years. When the buzz first erupted in 2018, for the second season of the reality show, Tarun cleared the air through a press note. He said he wouldn't be part of something that doesn't interest him and that nobody from the show had reached out to him. Despite this, in 2019, fans again wondered whether the actor would be a part of the reality show's third season.
Family & Personal Life
Tarun Kumar was born on January 8, 1983, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh to S Chakrapani and Roja Ramani. His father is a yesteryear Oriya actor while his mother was a popular Telugu actress of the '70s and '80s. Tarun's mother was a child actor too and won the 'National Film Award for Best Child Artist' for her debut movie 'Bhakta Prahlada'. He has a younger sister named Amulya.
Tarun went to 'Venkata Subbarao Boys High School' in Chennai and then to 1) Barathiya Vidya Bhavan in Hyderabad. He graduated from 'Bangalore University' and also pursued a course in multimedia graphics. Besides acting, Tarun also enjoys cricket. He often participates in the 'Indian Celebrity Cricket League'. Tarun is also the brand ambassador for 'Medak Mavericks', the 'Telangana T20 League' cricket team.