Akkineni Lakshmi VaraPrasada Rao commonly recognized as L. V. Prasad, was an Indian film producer, director, actor, cinematographer, and businessman. He was born on January 17, 1908, in the village of Somavarapadu, in Eluru Taluk in Andhra Pradesh, India. He was one of the trendsetters of the Indian cinema and has received the DadasahebPhalkeAward.He is also the recipient of three
National Film Awards
and two Filmfare Awards. His life is an inspiration for many of the people. He passed away on June 22, 1994.
Akkineni Lakshmi VaraPrasada Rao was the second son to Akkineni Sri ramulu and Akkineni Basavamma. His family was into agriculture, he was a pampered child and was very intelligent but had no interest in studies. The drums of the touring cinemas and drama groups attracted Prasad. Prasad used to rush to watch the deep routed and worn out films shown in ramshackle tents. He started playing small roles in the local dramas.
The passion for acting was the desire that drove his life – the wish to act and the moving image. At a premature age of 17, he got married to his maternal uncle’s daughter, Soundarya Manoharamma. Soon Prasad was blessed with a baby girl. He also has two sons namely Ramesh Prasad and Anand Rao Prasad. Prasad’s father was going through mounting debts; the family was facing financial problems and humiliation. Prasad left the village with a 100 rupee note in his pocket to make his career into cinemas.
L. V. Prasad worked as a task boy for Venus Film Company. He joined India Pictures as a task boy where Akthar Nawaz cast him in a small role for the film Star of the East. Prasad acted in India's first movie in 1931, Alam Ara, employed through Venus Film Company which were followed by other small roles.
Imperial films made these movies, through which he happened to meet H. M. Reddy. Reddy gave Prasad a small part in Kalidas, the first Tamil movie, and then in Bhakta Prahlada, the first Telugu movie. Prasad by coincidence got a role as an assistant director in Kamar-Al–Zaman, directed by Ali Shah. During this time his name was reduced from Akkineni Lakshmi Vara Prasad Rao to L. V. Prasad.
The nameL.V.Prasad stuck with him subsequently. Tantra Subrahmanyam gave him a job as a production supervisor and assistant director for the film KashtaJeevi. After shooting three reels the film was uninhibited. Prasad did not want to leave now, and he got a job as assistant director in other films. At this time he used his connections with
and joined Prithvi Theatres and was thus satisfied in his acting passion. During this period he met
, the hero of Hindi production Sharada.
In 1943, Gruha Pravesam gave Prasad the opportunity to be his assistant director. Due to conditions, he became the director of the film and then he was chosen to be the lead in this film. The film released in 1946 and was a classic on the forties. After this in 1949, Prasad directed Mana Desam and in which he introduced N.T.Rama Rao, in a minor role which later became a legend in Telugu films.
In the year 1950, L. V. Prasad was established as a director by Vijaya Pictures in their first film Shavukaru. The two legends of Telugu film industry – N.T.Rama Rao and AkkineniNageswara Rao were brought together in Samsaram - a social drama which created records wherever it was released.
This film was a model for later filmmakers. And still today it is a model and theme relevant and popular amongst filmmakers. He directed some outstanding films in the fifties and all of them known for their drama and humor. He went to Bombay again for a Hindi film Rani. After which he was engaged to direct the Magnum Opus Manohara by Jupiter Films in which Sivaji Ganeshan starred the movie in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.
In the year 1955, he assigned D. Yoganand to direct his first production Ilavelpu in Telugu under the banner Lakshmi Productions. In1956, he won his 1st National Award for the Best feature film in Tamil for the film MangayarThilakam. he also won a National Award for the best feature film in 1962 for the movie BharyaBhartalu.
But he has more goals to achieve. Prasad Productions was established by L.V. Prasad, soon after this in 1956. His second son Ramesh made Prasad Film Labs in Chennai in 1974 after returning from the United States wherein he obtained his B.E.M.S degree.
Prasad Productions had many box office hits including Milan, Khilona, Sasural, and EkDuujeKeLiye. He won the Best Film in Filmfare Awards for Khilona. In the establishment of L. V. Prasad EyeInstitute in Hyderabad, L.V. Prasad donated 5 acres of land and Rs. 10 million. The founder, Gullapalli Nageswara Rao named the institute L.V. Prasad Eye Institute due to the generous donation by L.V.Prasad.