The top 5 films of Sarath Babu — across South film industries

Sarath Baburose to prominence with the film Sagara Sangamam (1983), in which he played the role of Kamal Haasan's friend.

ByY Krishna Jyothi | Shashiprasad S M

Published May 23, 2023 | 8:30 AM Updated Aug 10, 2023 | 4:10 PM

Sarath Babu

One of the most talented actors in the South Indian film industry, Sarath Babu had more than 200 films to his credit in multiple languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi.

Born as Sathyam Babu Dixithulu, who later attained stardom with the screen name Sarath Babu, he made his acting debut with the Telugu film Rama Rajyam (Ram’s Kingdom, 1973).

However, he got his break in renowned director K Balachander’s Tamil film Pattina Pravesam (Entering a City, 1977). Thereafter, there was no looking back for the actor.

Sarath Babu first played a negative role in the movie Nomu in 1974. Later, the antagonist roles kept knocking at his door. However, he didn’t like playing grey roles as he was interested in playing lead characters.

The actor rose to prominence with the film Sagara Sangamam (Meeting of River and Sea, 1983), in which he played the role of Kamal Haasan’s friend.

Here are the five most memorable roles — of the towering figure with a gentle aura — on the big screen from different languages.

Also read: As Mohanlal turns 63, here is a glimpse into his 5 best films

Telugu

Sarath Babu in Samsaram oka Chadarangam

Sarath Babu in ‘Samsaram oka Chadarangam’. (Supplied)

Of the many, Sarath Babu’s role in the SP Muthuraman-directed Samsaram Oka Chadarangam (Family, a Chess Game) earned him a lot of appreciation.

Released in 1987, the film saw him portray Prakash, the eldest son, in a family drama.

To some extent, his character as a business-minded person represented the middle class and their mentality.

It was the age when nuclear families were on the rise, and the film reflected the generation gap.

In one of the scenes, he counts the number of milk boxes his infant son consumed in a month and wonders how much his expenses have grown after the delivery.

The film went on to win three Nandi awards, including Best Story, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Child Artist.

Tamil

Sarath Babu in Annamalai

Sarath Babu in ‘Annamalai’. (Supplied)

While K Balachander’s film Pattina Pravesam gave Sarath Babu a break in Tamil films, it is Rajinikanth-starrer Annaamalai, directed by Suresh Krishna in 1992, that stands on top in terms of his performance in Kollywood.

Ashok, the character he portrayed, was a five-star hotel owner, and his friendship with Annaamalai, a milkman played by Rajinikanth, became a huge success.

As Ashok, he plays a person who, unaware of his father’s plans to create a rift between the two friends, misunderstands and loses his kindhearted best friend Annaamalai.

He learns his lessons though, in the end, but only to realise that he fell for his father’s politics to swindle Annaamalai’s ancestral property

The film’s success led to Sarath acting in several movies starring alongside Superstar Rajinikanth.

Kannada

Sarath Babu in Amruthavarshini

Sarath Babu in ‘Amruthavarshini’. (Supplied)

Sarath Babu acted in more than a dozen of films in the Kannada language.

His most popular one remains Amruthavarshini (Rain of Immortal Nectar, 1997), directed by Dinesh Baboo.

His character — a loving and devoted husband to his wife, played by Suhashini — is one of the highlights of the film.

With composer Deva’s melodious songs, the film is considered one of the classics in Kannada on modern romantic drama.

Sarath’s character Hemanth symbolises unconditional love, and as a human being with the highest morals, but becomes victim to an obsessed lover played by Ramesh.

Malayalam

Sarath BabuThe veteran actor starred in Malayalam films like Sarapancharam (Bed of Arrows, 1979), Dhanya (1981), Poonilamazha (Sunflower, 1997), and Kanyakumariyil Oru Kavitha (A Poem in Kanyakumari, 1993). His roles in Daisy (1988) and Sarapancharam are the noted ones.

Across all languages, Sarath Babu is also remembered for his impressive performances which include David, the ruthless brother of the heroine, in Seetakoka Chiluka (Butterfly,1981), Raghupathi — a true friend of Balu (Kamal Haasan) in Sagara Sangamam, and Chandra — a debt-ridden zamindar who values his prestige more than his life — in Sitaara (Star, 1984).

Also, Dr Pratap — the wicked doctor and a friend of Dr Ajay (Nagarjuna) who gets the latter’s wife killed for investigating his illegal organ donation and smuggling activities — in Criminal (1994) deserves a special mention.