Early Life of Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj was born on 26th March 1965 in Bengaluru, Karnataka to a Kannadiga mother and a Tulu speaking father. He did his schooling from St. Joseph's Boys' High School, Bengaluru and completed his higher education from St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bengaluru. He was born as Prakash Rai but later changed his name to Prakash Raj on the advice of popular Tamil film director K. Balachander.
Career of Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj started his career as an actor with Doordarshan serials such as Guddada Bhootha and Bisilu Kudure. Afterwards he played supporting roles in Kannada films including Lockup Death, Nishkarsha, Ranadheera and Raamachari. His histrionics and dialogue delivery in the movies were noticed and subsequently he received his break through role with the film Harakeya Kuri under the direction of K. S. L. Swamy. Geetha, the lead actress of the movie spotted him as a potent actor and introduced him to her mentor, a Tamil film director, K. Balachander. Prakash Raj got his first major role in his debut Tamil film Duet. In the year 1997, he re-entered Kannada films with the movie Nagamandala under the direction of T.S. Nagabharana. The movie was also selected in the International Film Festival 1997, for Indian panorama. He also participated in Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai. His performance in the Mani Ratnam's biopic film Iruvar earned him the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also received National Film Award for Best Actor (Special Jury) for his acting in the Telugu movie Anththapuram. Prakash Raj also ventured in Bollywood and acted in several Hindi movies such as Wanted, Singham, Dabangg 2, Mumbai Mirror, Policegiri and many others.
Prakash Raj made his directional debut in the year 2010 with the Kannada movie Naanu Nanna Kanasu. He was also a joint producer for the movie which proved to be the biggest hit of the year. Subsequently he directed Telugu and Tamil bilingual film Dhoni. He also received appreciations for his direction of various other Kannada, Telugu and Tamil movies.
In the year 2002 Prakash Raj became a producer and produced the Tamil film Dhaya. He himself acted in the lead role and gained a special jury National Award for his performance. Afterwards, he produced various other Tamil films like Kanda Naal Mudhal, Azhagiya Theeye, Naam, Poi etc. Some of his films won several Tamil Nadu State Awards. His Kannada film Puttakkana Highway won him the National Award for Best Regional Film for the year 2010-2011 and an award in 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival 2011. Apart form these, he produced several other South Indian films.
Achievements of Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj received several accolades for his contribution in the film industry including 5 Filmfare Awards South, 1 Apsara Film and Television Producers Guild Awards, 1 International Indian Film Academy Awards, 1 International Tamil Film Awards, 6 Nandi Awards, 5 National Film Awards, 1 Santosham Film Awards, 4 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, 3 Vijay Awards, 1 Zee Cine Awards, 3 CineMAA Awards and 1 South Indian International Movie Awards.
Personal Life of Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj was married to actress Lalitha Kumari since 1994 but got divorced in 2009. The couple has two daughters namely Meghana and Pooja and a son Sidhu. Later on 24th August 2010 Prakash Raj married choreographer Pony Verma.