Prakash Raj better known as Prakash Rai. He was born on 26 March 1965 in Bengaluru. His father Manjunath Rai and a Kannadiga mother Swarnalatha in a lower-middle-class Kannada speaking family. His brother is Prasad Raj who is also an actor. He completed schooling at St. Joseph's Boys' High School, Bangalore and joined St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore. He married actress Lalitha Kumari in 1994. They have two daughters, Meghana and Pooja, and a son Sidhu. The couple divorced in 2009. He married choreographer Pony Verma on 24 August 2010. He is a polyglot Indian film actor, film director, producer, thespian and television presenter who is known for his works in the South Indian film industry, and a few Bollywood films.
He made his debut in Tamil cinema through Duet (1994) by K. Balachander and has since been a commercially successful film star in Tamil. His mother tongue Kannada, Prakash's fluency in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi and English has placed him among the most sought after actors in Indian cinema. He acted in many Telugu films, including 1998's Antahpuram which earned him National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention. He took on the mantle of director with Naanu Nanna Kanasu in Kannada in 2010 for which he was the joint producer. The film completed 125 days successfully in the theatres across Karnataka becoming the biggest hit of the year. He then directed the Telugu and Tamil bilingual film Dhoni. Then he produced films in Tamil like Naam in 2003, Azhagiya Theeye in 2004, Kanda Naal Mudhal in 2005, Poi in 2006 (starring Uday Kiran, his mentor K. Balachander and himself), Mozhi in 2007, Velli Thirai and Abhiyum Naanum that won many Tamil Nadu State Awards in 2008 and Inidhu Inidhu in 2010. Prakash Raj adopted Kondareddipalle village in Mahabubnagar District located in Telangana state.
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