Prakash Raj is a popular character artist. He was born on 26 March 1965 in Puttur, Karnataka in a Bunt family.
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 and a son, Sidhu. Sidhu died of injuries sustained in a fall in 2004.The couple divorced in 2009.He married choreographer Pony Verma on August 24, 2010
He is 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 film industry, through K. Balachander in his movie Duet (1994). In remembrance, he named his production company Duet Movies. 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 Raj Produced Naanu Nanna Kanasu in Kannada (2010), a remake of his own Tamil production Abhiyum Naanum.His latest directorial venture is a Tamil – Telugu bilingual, sports venture Dhoni named after Indian cricket captain.
He took on the mantle of director and has directed several movies in Tamil (Kollywood). Most of the movies he produced turned out to be box-office hits and were also critically acclaimed.
He produced the movie Dhaya in which he acted as the hero with actress Meena which was a hit and earned him a special jury award for his performance.. He made Puttakkana Highway in Kannada which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada in 2011.