Bio: Prakash Raj, born as Prakash Rai (Kannada: ಪ್ರಕಾಶ್ ರಾಜ್, Telugu: ప్రకాశ్ రాజ్, Tamil: பிரகாஷ் ராஜ், Malayalam: പ്രകാശ് രാജ്) on 26 March 1965 in Bengaluru, Karnataka, is an Indian film actor, director, producer and television presenter, who mainly works in the South Indian film industry. After working in the Kannada cinema for a few years, he entered Tamil and Telugu film industries, through the movies Duet (1994) of K.Balachander in Tamil and Subha Lagnam (1994) in Telugu. In remembrance, he named his production company Duet Movies. Prakash Raj is also doing many Hindi films in Bollywood. He has played a variety of roles, most notably as the antagonist and of late, as a character actor. He has won a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for Mani Ratnam's Iruvar and a National Film Award for Best Actor in 2009 for his role in Kanchivaram, a Tamil film directed by Priyadarshan.Prakash Raj is also the host of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi from the game show's second season onwards.
Prakash, whose mother tongue is Kannada confirms in the interviews that his native place is Bengaluru, Karnataka since he was born there on 26 March 1965 in a lower middle class Kannada family to a Kannadiga mother and a Tulu speaking father. He completed schooling at St. Joseph's Boys' High School, Bangalore and later joined St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore. Prakash Rai changed his name to Prakash Raj based on prominent Tamil film director K. Balachander's advice, however he is still called Prakash Rai in his home town Karnataka.Prakash married actress Lalitha Kumari in 1994. They have two daughters—Meghana and Pooja. They also had a son named Sidhu, who died from a fall from the building while flying the kite on March 20, 2004. The couple divorced in 2009. He married choreographer Pony Verma on August 24, 2010.[