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 became a producer from the Tamil film Dhaya that released in 2002 in which he was seen in the lead role with actress Meena.
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. The first non-Tamil film that he produced was his directorial debut in Kannada Naanu Nanna Kanasu in 2010, a remake of his own Tamil production Abhiyum Naanum for which he was the joint producer with his long-time Bengaluru theatre friend, Kannada director-producer B.Suresh. His first Telugu production was the Tamil-Telugu bilingual Payanam and Gaganam in 2011 starring superstar Nagarjuna Akkineni and himself in the lead role.