Prakash Rai, better known as Prakash Raj, is an Indian film actor, director, producer and television presenter, who mainly works in the South Indian film industry. He used to act in back-to-back stage shows for Rs. 300 a month in the initial stages of his career when he joined Kalakshetra, Bengaluru and he has 2,000 street theater performances to his credit.
After working in the Kannada television industry and the Kannada Film Industry for a few years, he entered Tamil and Telugu film industries, through the movies Duet of K.Balachander in Tamil and Subha Lagnam in Telugu. In remembrance, he named his production company Duet Movies. Prakash is also doing many Hindi films in Bollywood.
Prakash, besides Kannada his mother tongue, can also speak Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi and English with ease. This makes him the most sought after actor. He has played a variety of roles, most notably as the antagonist and of late, as a character actor. Prakash, as an actor 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 and as a producer has won a National Film Award for Best Feature Film of the year for the Kannada film Puttakkana Highway directed by his long time theater friend B. Suresh in 2011. Prakash was also the host of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, the Tamil game show.