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About Prakash Rai

Male actor Prakash Rai from India, famous due to tollywood

Director and Producer


Prakash Rai Actor Pictures Interview Biography

Prakash Raj (Tulu: ಪ್ರಕಾಶ್ ರೈ) (born Prakash Rai in Mangalore, Karnataka, India) is an Indian actor and producer who primarily works in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu language films.

Personal life

Prakash Raj was born in Mangalore and his mother tongue is Tulu. Now he has shifted his base to Chennai due to numerous offers from Telugu and Tamil films. He was persuaded to change his last name from Rai to Raj by veteran South-Indian director K. Balachander.

Prakash Raj studied in St.Joseph's High School in Bangalore. He won the President's Scout award in 1982. At school he was well known for his talents which brought him and the schools numerous honours, he was also an active member and a good leader. He later joined St. Josephs College of commerce, Brigade road, Bangalore, where he participated in many plays, most of which were in Kannada. He was also good at debates.

Film career

He has acted in Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi films. His original name 'Prakash Rai' in Kannada screen was rechristened to 'Prakash Raj' by K. Balachander for Prakash Raj's debut movie Duet.

Prakash Raj began his acting career with Kannada Doordarshan serials like Bisilu Kudure and Guddada Bhootha. He later took up small supporting roles in Kannada films like Raamachari, Nishkarsha, and Lockup Death and was noticed for his dialogue delivery and histrionics. His breakthrough role came in form of Harakeya Kuri starring Vishnuvardhan and Geetha, directed by K. S. L. Swamy. His performance in the movie was noticed by Geetha and she in turn introduced him to her mentor, the noted director K. Balachander. Prakash Raj re-entered Kannada films with a bang through Nagamandala in 1997, directed by T. S. Naghabarana.

Prakash Raj is a very famous actor in South India for a wide variety of roles he has performed, most notably as a villain and of late, as a character artiste, in Tamil and Telugu. He is considered to be one of the most natural actors in the film industry, and has a good reputation for his acting skills. He is also the highest paid villain in Indian cinema. He was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai.

One of Prakash Rai's greatest hits was his role of villain was in the Telugu film Okkadu, where he plays the role of factionist, a gangster who is in love with the disgusted heroine. The film was a blockbuster in Andhra Pradesh and was eventually remade in Tamil as Ghilli with Joseph Vijay and Trisha Krishnan in the lead roles and Prakash Raj reprising the same role as in Okkadu. His frequent uttering of the word "I love you" became a popular line. After Okkadu and Ghilli, Prakash Raj was flooded with offers. The versatile actor then co-starred with major stars and also acted in movies with newcomers. His 2007 production Mozhi, where he played an important supporting role, was a box office hit and praised by critics proving that he can play a comedy role just as good as playing a negative character. His latest film under his own production is, Abhiyum Naanum, in 2008, where he plays the lead role as a caring father. His other recent films include Venkat Prabhu's Saroja, where he acted as a rich businessman in search of his lost daughter, a box-office hit, and Prabhu Deva's Villu where he again played a rich business man where this time he plays his most appreciated role, the antagonist.


Prakash Raj has also won several awards including two National Film Awards - one for Best Supporting Actor in Iruvar and also a Special Jury aAard for his exemplary performance in Dhaya - his first directorial venture.


Recently he took on the mantle of producer and has produced several movies in Tamil (Kollywood). Most of the movies he produced are box-office hits and also are critically acclaimed. His movies are generally acclaimed by the audience as good quality movies and are also considered as family entertainers. He produced the movie Dhaya in which he acted as the hero with actress Meena which was a hit and earned him a special jury award (a prestigious national award) for his performance. Also as a producer his selection of movies typically have natural storylines. His movie Poi (lie in English) which is directed by his mentor, veteran director K. Balachander, was a non grosser. It has Uday Kiran as the hero. Both the director (K. Balachander) and producer (Prakash Raj) acted in this movie as Good and Bad.

Now he is also very busy as a producer for his 3 forthcoming films. Prakash Raj has danced in a whole song for his forthcoming film Vellithirai, a folk song named "Kanchi Paanaiyin Maela."


In a recent interview to a Tamil Satellite Channel he said he is Agnostic. He dubs for his characters in various languages he plays. He is well versed in Tulu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, English and Telugu. He considers K. Balachander as his Mentor.


Main article: Prakash Rai filmography

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