Nagabushanam was born on 19th March 1922 in Anakarlapudi village in Nellore district. He studied upto matriculation in Nellore, but could not continue beyond Intermediate due to family’s poor economic condition. He learnt tire retreading and pursued this business for sometime until he got a job in Indian Railways in 1942.
He got himself transferred to Vijayawada to pursue his interest in Telugu theater. It was during this time that he translated a Tamil drama as Rakta Kanneeru. This drama brought him immense popularity and eventually he came to be known as Rakta Kanneru Nagabhushanam. Rakta Kanneeru was staged 5432 times across India under the banner Ravi Art Theaters providing employment to about 300 artistes over 25 years. Telugu actresses Sarada and Vani Sree (another Nellore actor) became popular during these shows.
He debuted in Telugu cinema with Palleturu in 1951, He won president’s award for his heroic role in Amara Sandesam. His acted in nearly 395 films as character artiste. His mannerisms, dialogue delivery, comic timing were quite versatile and well admired in those days. He has also produced few films like Natakala Rayudu and Oke Kutumbam.
He was the president of Andhra Praja Natya Mandali from 1974 to 1993. Bhushan of Padaharella Vayasu (2009) is the grandson of Nagabhushanam.
SV Krishna Reddy’s movie ‘Number One’ with Krishna and Soundarya as the lead pair was Nagabhushanam’s last film.He breathed his last on 5th May 1995.