Prabhu (actor)

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Prabhu at Wagah Audio Launch.jpg
Prabhu Manrayar Ganesamoorthy

(1956-12-25) 25 December 1956 (age 66) [1]
Alma mater Loyola College, Chennai
Occupation(s)Actor, film producer
Years active1982–present
(m. 1982)
ChildrenAishwarya Prabhu
Vikram Prabhu
Parent(s) Sivaji Ganesan (father)
Kamala (mother)
Relatives Ramkumar Ganesan (brother)
Dushyanth Ramkumar (nephew)

Prabhu Manrayar Ganesamoorthy (born 25 December 1956), known professionally as Prabhu, is an Indian actor, businessman and film producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema. He is the son of veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan. He is popularly known as Ilaya Thilagam. He has worked in more than 215 films in lead and supporting roles in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films.


After making his debut in Sangili (1982), Prabhu played various leading and supporting roles, earning the Best Actor award recognition by the Tamil Nadu State for his portrayal in Chinna Thambi (1991).

Early life

Prabhu was born to veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan and Kamala on 25 December 1956. [2] [3] His elder brother Ramkumar is a film producer and he has two sisters Shanthi and Thenmozhi.


After leaving Bishop Cotton Boys' School in Bangalore, Prabhu got involved in film production as an executive producer and worked alongside his uncle and mentor V. C. Shanmugam, who insisted that Prabhu learn the film making process in a disciplined way, giving him general tasks such as pulling up chairs for artistes. [4] [5] Prabhu's father, actor Sivaji Ganesan, had initially expressed reluctance in allowing Prabhu to pursue an acting career, but through his work in the industry, he began to receive offers from film-makers to feature in their films. [6] [7] [4]

He subsequently made his acting debut in C. V. Rajendran's Sangili (1982), a remake of the Hindi film Kalicharan , where he was cast in a supporting role. [4] By the time Sangili released, Prabhu was working on six films, including Charuhasan's Pudhiya Sangamam and Gangai Amaren's romantic film Kozhi Koovuthu , which became his first commercially successful venture. After featuring in about thirty films, including nineteen with his father including Neethibathi (1983), Sandhippu (1983) and Miruthanga Chakravarthi (1983), Prabhu's career graph registered a drop and he began to reconsider the type of films he had signed. He opted against featuring in films co-starring his father and consciously began to choose subjects rather than accept as many offers as possible.

Among the first films he signed after taking the break included G. M. Kumar's Aruvadai Naal (1986) and Manivannan's Paalaivana Rojakkal , alongside Sathyaraj, both proving successful. Subsequently, the following period saw a series of commercial successes in 1988 for the actor, notably S. P. Muthuraman's Guru Sishyan with Rajinikanth, Mani Ratnam's Agni Natchathiram with Karthik and P. Vasu's family drama En Thangachi Padichava . [6] The success of the latter film prompted more successful collaborations in the same genre between Prabhu and Vasu with Chinna Thambi (1991) and Senthamizh Pattu (1992) also receiving a similar reception, with the actor earning the Best Actor award recognition by the Tamil Nadu state. [8]

He subsequently worked in his hundredth film R. V. Udayakumar's Rajakumaran , before portraying well received roles in K. Balachander's romantic film Duet (1994) and Priyadarshan's Malayalam period film Kaalapani (1996) alongside Mohanlal. Prabhu went through another barren spell in the late 1990s, when several films after the success of Panchalankurichi failed to do well, prompting another image change away from his village do-gooder roles. [6] Moving away from action films, Prabhu selected scripts which would appeal to family audiences in the early 2000s and collaborated with film-makers including Rama Narayanan and T. P. Gajendran, working in a series of "minimum guarantee" return films. [9]

Prabhu then made another career change and began accepting film offers in which he would play a supporting rather than the leading role and featured alongside Kamal Haasan and then Rajinikanth in two big budget ventures Vasool Raja MBBS (2004) and his home production Chandramukhi (2005). [10] Since then, he has gained acclaim portraying characters including a caring guardian in Unakkum Enakkum , Thaamirabharani and Ayan , while he has also been seen in detective roles in action films, notably Billa (2007) and then Kanthaswamy (2009). He has also played other acclaimed supporting roles in Mani Ratnam's Raavanan (2010) and Aishwarya Dhanush's 3 (2012), while he has ventured into playing similar roles in Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films. [11] In 2016, Prabhu featured in his 200th film, the romantic comedy Meen Kuzhambum Mann Paanaiyum produced by his nephew, Dushyanth Ramkumar. [12]

The director Sakthi Chidambaram has attempted a sequel Charlie Chaplin 2 (2019) sixteen years later which has nothing in common with the original including comedy excepting for the two male leads. [13]

Personal life

Prabhu is married to Punitha in 1982 and has two children Aishwarya Prabhu (born 1984) and Vikram Prabhu (born 1986), who is also an actor made his acting debut in the 2012 film Kumki . [14]

While still married to Punitha, Prabhu had a live-in relationship with actress Khushbu, and got married on September 12, 1993. The pair subsequently decided to split four months later. [15] [16]



Cinema Express Awards

1988 Manasukkul Mathappu Best Actor Won

Filmfare Awards South

Prabhu was nominated six times at the Filmfare Awards South

1986 Aruvadai Naal Best Actor Nominated
1988 Agni Natchathiram Nominated
1991 Chinna Thambi Nominated
1994 Duet Nominated
2002 Charlie Chaplin Nominated
2005 Chandramukhi Best Film Nominated
2009 Ayan Best Supporting Actor Nominated

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards

1991 Chinna Thambi Best Actor Won
2002 Charlie Chaplin Special Prize Won
2005 Chandramukhi Best Film Won

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