In 1976, Sridevi got her first big break as heroine in K. Balachander's Moondru Mudichu, where she starred opposite rising stars, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. She then followed with a succession of films with both Haasan and Rajnikanth. With the former, she was in movies such as Guru, Sankarlal, Sigappu Rojakkal, Thaayillamal Naan Illai, Meendum Kokila, Vazhvey Maayam, Varumayin Niram Sivappu, Neela Malargal, Moondram Pirai and 16 Vayathinile and with Rajnikanth, she appeared in movies such as Gayathri, Dharma Yuddham, Priya, Johnny, Ranuva Veeran, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Adutha Varisu and Naan Adimai Illai.
At the same time, Sridevi started acting in Telugu movies, a number of which were made by K. Raghavendra Rao. With N. T. Rama Rao, she acted in movies such as Konda Veeti Simham, Vetagadu, Sardar Paparayudu and Bobbili Puli. With A. Nageswara Rao, she appeared in movies such as Mudulla Koduku, Premabhishekham, Bangaru Kanku and Premakanuka. With Krishna, she acted in movies such as Kanchu Kagada, Kalavari Samsaram, Krishnavatharam, Burripalem Bolludu, and Khaidi Rudrayya.She acted in more than 30 films with Telugu actor Krishna (Father of South Indian Actor Mahesh Babu)