Prakash Raj, happy birthday!

The National Film Award-winning actor-producer-director turns 48 today

Prakash Raj was born on March 26, 1965. This versatile and hugely talented actor has acted in close to 300 films, since his debut first in Kannada cinema and getting a break in K Balachander’s Duet in 1994.

He’s grown as a performer with every film, covering the gamut from menacing, but subtle villain to endearing character roles in films such as Abhiyum Naanum, which he also produced. Prakash Raj’s talent for comedy is also remarkable and was showcased to best effect in movies like Mozhi.

Proof of his amazing ability as a natural actor are the many awards that line his shelves. He 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, directed by Priyadarshan.

His roles in the Telugu films like Anthapuram, Khadgam, Nuvve Nuvve, Gangotri, Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi, Tagore and Bommarilu have won him various awards. In Tamil cinema, his award-winning performances have been in Vaanavil, Anniyan, Ghilli and Sivakasi, among others.

In Bollywood, he has played the baddie in movies like Singham, Dabangg 2 and Wanted. His upcoming films include Zanjeer and Singh Saheb The Great.

Prakash Raj has also established his credentials as a director with the Kannada movie Naanu Nanna Kanasu and Dhoni in Tamil. He’s also working on Un Samayal Arayil and Ulavacharu Biryani in Tollywood. As a producer, Prakash Raj has made a dozen films, including Mozhi and Payanam.

At present, he’s also working on Madha Gaja Raja, Boologam and the Hindi-Telugu bilingual, Zanjeer. You’d think that’ll keep him fully tied up, but Prakash Raj is also currently hosting Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, the Tamil version of KBC.

Here’s wishing this super actor-director a very happy birthday!