Prakash Raj, born on 26th of March, 1965, as Prakash Rai, in Bangalore, is an actor, director, and producer. He is also a television presenter and has worked in films of many languages. He is best known for his work in the film industry of South India, and for playing roles of a villain in quite a few Bollywood films. He hails from a Tulu and Kannada-speaking household and is fluent in various other languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. He also has an actor brother named Prasad Raj. He studied at St. Joseph’s Boy’s School, and subsequently, at St. Joseph’s College of Commerce. Both institutions are in Bangalore. Prakash has three children, Meghana, Pooja, and Sidhu, from his earlier marriage to the actress Lalitha Kumari. His son, unfortunately, passed away in the year 2004. He is currently married to the choreographer Pony Verma. In the first few years of his career, he worked in Kannada Doordarshan, doing serials like Guddada Bhootha, and he also acted in supporting roles in Kannada movies like Nishkarsha.
He gained immense recognition from the movie, Harakeya Kuri, starring alongside actors Vishnuvardhan and Geetha. He has also done many stage shows like Netru, Indru, Naalai, and biopic films like Iruvar. The Indian Government felicitated him with the National Film Award for the Best Supporting Actor, for the movie, “Iruvar”, and the National Film Award for Best Actor for the Tamil movie, “Kanchivaram”. In the form of a tribute to his first movie gaining lot of success, he kept his production company name as “Duet Movies”. He earned commercial success with movies like “Naanu Nanna Kanasu”, which he also directed, and “Poi” He has won many other National Awards too. He has been acting in Bollywood since the year 2000, mostly for dubbing some for his films in Hindi. As a debutant Bollywood actor, he worked in the movie “Shakti-The Power”, in the year 2001. He has also acted in Hindi films like “Buddha Hoga Tera Baap”, “Singham” and “Wanted”.