Nagarjuna started off as a child actor, in the 1967 Telugu film Sudigundalu directed by veteran Adurthi Subbarao. He was then starred in his debut film Vikram, which was released on 24 May 1986. In 1988, he was starred in Aakhari Poratam directed by K. Raghavendra Rao. In 1989, he was starred in Geethanjali, a love tale directed by Maniratnam. The film cemented his status as a star. In the same year, Nagarjuna acted in Shiva, an action blockbuster film directed by Ram Gopal Varma and has been described as a trendsetter. The film earned him Filmfare Best Actor Award.He subsequently made his Bollywood debut with the Hindi remake of the same film Shiva.
He followed it up with action films like Killer, Chaithanya and Nirnayam (1991 film) directed by Priyadarshan. President Gari Pellam was released in 1993. He followed it up with films like Varasudu, Gharana Bullodu, and Allari Alludu. Criminal (1994) directed by Mahesh Bhatt was released as a bilingual. In 1994, he ventured into comedy for the first time with Hello Brother. It was later remade into Hindi as Judwaa. Hello Brother was also dubbed into Tamil. In 1996, Nagarjuna starred in & produced Ninne Pelladatha, which was directed by Krishna Vamsi. Later, Nagarjuna portrayed Annamacharya, the 15th-century Telugu singer and poet, in Annamayya (film) which won him his third Filmfare Best Actor Award and his first Nandi Award for Best Actor. In 2000, Nagarjuna starred in Nuvvu Vastavani. His subsequent films that year were Ninne Premistha and Azad (film). He starred in the romantic comedies Santhosham, Manmadhudu, and Shivamani as well. He produced Satyam in 2003, starring his nephew Sumanth.
In 2004, Nagarjuna had two releases- Nennunnanu and Mass. The latter was produced by Nagarjuna and directed by choreographer Lawrence Raghavendra. In 2005, Nagarjuna acted in and produced Super. In 2006, Nag starred in Sri Ramadasu, his second period film based on the 18th-century Telugu composer of the same name.Nagarjuna received the Nandi Award for best actor. In December 2007 he appeared in Don. An year later, he appeared in King alongside Trisha Krishnan & Srihari. In February 2010, he appeared as Rummy in Kedi and in December 2010 he appeared in Ragada. His latest film Gaganam was released on February 11 2011. Its Tamil version was titled Payanam. In 2011 Nagarjuana signed 3 movies in a row. They are Rajanna,Damarukam and Shridi Sai