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Prakash Raj, born on March 26, 1965, is a versatile Indian personality known for his roles as an actor, film director, producer, television presenter, and politician. He has left his mark in various film industries including Tamil, English, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi. His exceptional talent has earned him numerous prestigious awards, including five National Film Awards, eight Nandi Awards, eight Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, five Filmfare Awards South, four SIIMA Awards, three CineMAA Awards, and three Vijay Awards.

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South Actor Prakash Raj Biography - Early Life, Education, Parents, Wife, Children, Film Career, and Controversies

South Actor Prakash Raj’s Biography

In addition to his proficiency in his mother tongue Kannada, Prakash Raj’s fluency in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, English, Tulu, and Marathi has established him as one of the most sought-after actors in the Indian film industry.

Prakash Raj’s journey began with stage shows and television work in Kannada before he entered the realm of cinema. His first appearance in Tamil cinema was in the film “Duet” (1994), directed by K. Balachander, which marked the beginning of his successful career as a film star in Tamil cinema. In tribute to his journey, he named his production company Duet Movies.

Renowned for his versatility, Prakash Raj has portrayed a wide range of characters, notably excelling as an antagonist and, more recently, as a character actor. Notably, he received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for his role in Mani Ratnam’s “Iruvar.” He also earned a National Film Award – Special Mention for the Telugu film “Antahpuram,” directed by Krishna Vamsi in the same year. In 2007, he secured another National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in “Kanchivaram,” a Tamil film directed by Priyadarshan.

In the realm of production, Prakash Raj’s achievements include winning the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada for “Puttakkana Highway,” directed by his long-time theater friend B. Suresha in 2011. Additionally, he took on the role of host for the second season of “Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi,” a popular television show.

Early Life and Education

Prakash Raj was born in Bangalore on March 26, 1965, to a Tuluva father and a Kannada mother. His parent’s name is Manjunath Rai and Swarnalatha Rai. He grew up with his brother, Prasad Raj, who is also involved in acting. He completed his schooling at St. Joseph’s Indian High School and later enrolled in St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. It was actress Geetha who introduced Prakash Raj to the renowned Tamil film director K. Balachander.

Upon K. Balachander’s suggestion, Prakash Raj decided to change his surname from ‘Rai’ to ‘Raj’. Interestingly, despite this change, he is still referred to as Prakash Rai in his home state, Karnataka.

In 1994, Prakash Raj tied the knot with actress Lalitha Kumari. The couple welcomed two daughters named Meghana and Pooja, as well as a son named Sidhu. Tragically, Sidhu passed away in 2004. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce in 2009.

Subsequently, Prakash Raj found love again and married choreographer Pony Verma on August 24, 2010. The couple has been blessed with a son named Vedhanth, who was born in 2015.

While Prakash Raj’s father follows Hinduism and his mother practices Roman Catholicism, he personally identifies himself as a non-believer.

Career Details

Initial Stages of Career

Acted in back-to-back stage shows for ₹300 a month.
Joined Kalakshetra, Bengaluru, and performed in 2,000 street theatre performances.

Television Career:

Started with Doordarshan serials including “Bisilu Kudure” (Kannada) and “Guddada Bhootha” (Tulu and Kannada).

Supporting Roles in Kannada Films:

Took up supporting roles in Kannada films like “Ramachari,” “Ranadheera,” “Nishkarsha,” and “Lockup Death.”

Breakthrough Role:

Notable performance in “Harakeya Kuri” directed by K. S. L. Swamy, starring Vishnuvardhan.
Performance was noticed by Geetha, the lead heroine of the film.

Entry into Tamil Cinema:

Introduced to Tamil director K. Balachander, who named him “Prakash Raj.”
Debut Tamil film “Duet” marked his major role.

Return to Kannada Films:

Re-entered Kannada films with “Nagamandala” (1997), directed by T. S. Nagabharana.
Acted in Mani Ratnam’s stage show “Netru, Indru, Naalai.”

National Film Award:

Won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for the Tamil film “Iruvar” (1997), a biopic directed by Mani Ratnam.

Malayalam Film Ventures:

Appeared in various Malayalam films like “The Prince,” “Indraprastham,” “Oru Yathramozhi,” “Pandippada,” “Thekkekara Superfast,” “Keerthichakra,” “Anwar,” “Elecktra,” and “Achayans.”

Telugu Film Contributions:

Acted in Telugu films, including “Antahpuram” (1998), which earned him a National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention.

Venture into Production:

Produced the film “Abhiyum Naanum” (2008) and played an important character in it.
Remade the movie in Kannada as “Naanu Nanna Kanasu.”

Hindi Film Villain Roles:

Became a regular antagonist in Hindi films, starting with “Wanted” (2009).
Appeared in movies like “Singham,” “Dabangg 2,” “Mumbai Mirror” (2013), and “Policegiri.”

Collaboration with Kamal Haasan:

Acted alongside Kamal Haasan in films like “Vasool Raja MBBS” and “Thoongaa Vanam” (2015).

Telugu Movie and Upcoming Project:

Acted in the Telugu film “Bharat Ane Nenu” (2018).
Set to appear in the film “Major,” directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka.

Prakash Raj’s work as a director and film producer:

As a Director:

  1. “Naanu Nanna Kanasu” (2010): Prakash Raj made his directorial debut with this Kannada film, which he also co-produced. The movie was a success, completing 125 days in theaters and becoming the biggest hit of the year. He was nominated for the Filmfare South “Best Director” category for this film.
  2. “Dhoni” (2012): Prakash Raj directed this Telugu and Tamil bilingual film.
  3. “Oggarane” (2014): Directed the Kannada version of this multilingual film, which was a blockbuster hit in Kannada.
  4. “Ulavacharu Biryani” (2014): Directed the Telugu version of the same multilingual film.
  5. “Un Samayal Arayil” (2014): Directed the Tamil version of the same multilingual film.

As a Film Producer:

  1. “Dhaya” (2002): Prakash Raj’s first film as a producer, which starred him and Meena. He received a Special Jury National Award for his performance.
  2. Tamil Productions: Produced several Tamil films, including “Naam” (2003), “Azhagiya Theeye” (2004), “Kanda Naal Mudhal” (2005), “Poi” (2006), “Mozhi” (2007), “Velli Thirai,” and “Abhiyum Naanum” (2008).
  3. “Naanu Nanna Kanasu” (2010): Prakash Raj’s Kannada directorial debut, which he co-produced along with B. Suresha.
  4. “Puttakkana Highway” (2011): Acted in and jointly produced this Kannada film, which won the National Award for Best Regional Film for the year 2010–2011.
  5. “Payanam” (2011): Produced the Tamil version of this bilingual film, starring Nagarjuna Akkineni and himself.
  6. Other Productions: Produced several Tamil films, including “Mayilu” and “Dhoni” in 2012, and “Gouravam” in 2013.
  7. “Oggarane / Ulavacharu Biryani / Un Samayal Arayil” (2014): Produced the multilingual film that became a huge blockbuster in Kannada.

Humanitarian Work: Prakash Raj adopted the villages of Kondareddypalle in Mahabubnagar District, Telangana state, and Bandlarahatti in Chitradurga District, Karnataka state as part of his humanitarian efforts.

Prakash Raj’s political and controversial activities:

Political Career:

Prakash Raj began his active political engagement after the assassination of his friend Gauri Lankesh in September 2017.
He used the hashtag #justasking on social media to raise political questions and concerns.
Contested as an independent candidate in the 2019 Indian general elections for the Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.
Lost the election, securing around 28,906 votes (2.41%).


Prakash Raj has been involved in several controversies throughout his career.
He was banned by the Telugu film producers on six occasions. He defended himself by emphasizing his commitment to his work and his unwillingness to compromise on mediocrity.
Controversy arose over his naked appearance in a sequence in the Telugu film “Ongole Githa.” He explained that he followed the script’s requirements as an actor.
In the film “Singham,” a scene with Prakash Raj’s character featured dialogues perceived as derogatory by some Kannada organizations. The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce demanded the removal of these dialogues due to their potential to hurt sentiments and exacerbate the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute. The issue was resolved after the dialogues were removed and apologies were issued by the film’s team.

Prakash Raj’s Net Worth 2023

The provided information seems to be a comprehensive overview of Prakash Raj’s net worth, career, biography, and other relevant details. It includes his estimated net worth of $7 million (Rs. 50 Crore) as of 2023, along with information about his career as an actor, director, and producer, his political involvement, and personal details such as his age, height, and family.

Information Details
Name Prakash Raj
Father Name Manjunath Rai
Mother Name Swarnalatha Rai
Net Worth (2023) $7 Million
Net Worth (INR) Rs. 50 Crore
Monthly Income 20 Lakhs +
Yearly Income 3 Crore +
Years Active 1986–present
Political Party Bharat Rashtra Samithi
Date of Birth March 26, 1965
Age 58 Yrs
Gender Male
Height 1.75 M (5′ 9″)
Weight 74 kg or 163 lbs
Profession Actor
Nationality Indian
House Location Maharashtra, Chennai
Car Collection Hyundai Verna, Mahindra Scorpio, etc.
Spouses Pony Verma (m. 2010), Lalitha Kumari (m. 1994–2009)
Children Sidhu Rai, Vedhanth, Meghna Rai, Pooja Rai
Social Media (Instagram) Almost 363K Followers
Social Media (Twitter) Almost 2.8M Followers
Social Media (Facebook) Almost 21K Followers
Social Media (YouTube) Almost 34.6K Subscribers

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the Net Worth of Prakash Raj?
Ans: As per the affidavit filed for contesting the Lok Sabha elections, the net worth of Prakash Raj is Rs. 50 Crores.

Q2: Which movie gave him PAN India fame?
Ans: “Wanted” (where he played the antagonist Gani Bhai) and “Singham” (where he played the antagonist Jaikant Shikre) gave him PAN India recognition.

Q3: Has Prakash Raj won the National Award?
Ans: Yes, Prakash Raj has won five National Awards.

Q4: Is Prakash Raj a politician?
Ans: Yes, Prakash Raj is a politician. He contested the 2019 Indian general election as an independent candidate for the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency.

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