Uppalapati Venkata Suryanarayana Prabhas Raju ([pɾabʱaːs] born 23 October 1979) is an Indian actor who predominantly works in Telugu language films.[4] One of the highest-paid actors in Indian cinema,[5] Prabhas has featured in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list since 2015[6][7][8] and has received seven Filmfare Awards nominations, a Nandi Award, and a SIIMA Award.

Prabhas
Prabhas in 2023
Born
Uppalapati Venkata Suryanarayana Prabhas Raju[1][2]

(1979-10-23) 23 October 1979 (age 44)[3]
OccupationActor
Years active2002–present
Notable workBaahubali (franchise)
Parent
RelativesKrishnam Raju (uncle)

Prabhas made his acting debut with the 2002 drama Eeswar, and later attained his breakthrough with the action romance Varsham (2004). His notable works include Chatrapathi (2005), Bujjigadu (2008), Billa (2009), Darling (2010), Mr. Perfect (2011), and Mirchi (2013), winning the Nandi Award for Best Actor for his performance in the lattermost.[9][10]

In 2015, Prabhas portrayed the title role in S. S. Rajamouli's action film Baahubali: The Beginning and reprised his role in its sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017). The latter emerged as the second-highest-grossing Indian film at that point, establishing him as a pan-Indian star.[11][12] Commercial success has since varied, with the action thrillers Saaho (2019) and Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire (2023) emerging among his biggest grossers.

Prabhas is the first South Indian actor to receive a wax sculpture at Madame Tussaud's wax museum.[13] Prabhas is the only South Indian actor to have five films that crossed the 100 crore mark in the Hindi film industry.[14][15]

Early life and education

Prabhas was born into a Telugu-speaking family to film producer Uppalapati Surya Narayana Raju and Siva Kumari in Madras, Tamil Nadu. The youngest of three children, he has an elder brother, Prabodh, and elder sister, Pragathi.[3][16][17] He is the nephew of Telugu film actor Krishnam Raju.[3] His family hails from Mogalthur, near Bhimavaram of West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.[18]

Prabhas did his schooling at Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai, and at DNR High School, Bhimavaram.[19] He then completed his intermediate education from Nalanda College, Hyderabad.[20][19] He is also an alumnus of Satyanand Film Institute, Visakhapatnam.[21]

Career

2002–2011: Debut, breakthrough, and commercial success

 
Prabhas (third from left) along with Kangana Ranaut, Allu Arjun, Puri Jagannadh, and Aditya Ram during the film Ek Niranjan's audio release

Prabhas started his film career with Eeswar (2002). In 2003, he was the lead in Raghavendra.

In 2004, he appeared in Varsham and Adavi Raamudu. He received his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his performance in the former.

In 2005, he appeared in Chakram and in the film Chatrapathi, directed by S. S. Rajamouli, in which he portrays the role of a refugee, exploited by goons. It had a 100-day run in 54 centers.[22] Idlebrain.com stated that he had a unique style and macho charm in his screen presence.[23] Chatrapathi earned him his second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu.

Later, he starred in the dance drama Pournami (2006), the action film Yogi (2007) and the action drama Munna (2007). This was followed by the action-comedy Bujjigadu in 2008. In 2009, his two films were Billa and Ek Niranjan. Indiaglitz called Billa "stylish and visually rich".[24] Ek Niranjan earned him his third nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu.

In 2010, he appeared in the romantic comedy Darling which received positive reviews upon release. The Times of India gave a 2.5 star rating explaining "Director Karunakaran extracts good performances from his actors, but can't come up with a refreshing plot. It looks like the director hasn't really come out of his Tholi Prema hangover as he dishes out yet another one-sided love saga but fails to come up with a valid and logical reason to make a GenZ lad to hold back his feelings for his lover until the last moment. However, he compensates it all, by adding loads of fun moments in the film and the screenplay does have its share of some touching moments."[25]

In 2011, he appeared in another romantic comedy Mr. Perfect. The review site GreatAndhra rated the film with three stars and noted "The film comes across as a clean, family entertainer and the intention of the makers must be appreciated.[26] His performance in the film earned him his fourth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu.

2012–2014: Continued career

In 2012, Prabhas starred in Rebel, an action film directed by Raghava Lawrence. Sashidhar from The Times of India stated, "The film belongs to hard-core Prabhas fans as the movie is stylish and visually rich but not much in content".[27] Purnima Ranawat from NDTV said, "Rebel serves up fare for the mass audience. The film will be definitely liked by Prabhas' fans. Watch it for the dancing talent of Tamannaah Bhatia and action skills of Prabhas."[28] Radhika Rajamani from Rediff.com gave the movie 1.5 stars out of five and said, "Working with hardly any storyline, director Raghava Lawrence had made a film that is arduous to watch... Rebel is a movie for the masses and certainly not for the discerning audience."[29] He also rendered voice for a short cameo for the film Denikaina Ready (2012).[30]

In 2013, Prabhas starred in Mirchi. Jeevi of Idlebrain.com gave a rating of 3.25 out of 5, commenting that "First half of Mirchi is decent. Flashback episodes which occupies the lion's share of the second half is good. Climax could have been better. The plus points of the film are Prabhas, music and all-round orientation. On a whole, Mirchi has all the ingredients of a commercial potboiler".[31] Mahesh S Koneru gave his verdict that "At the box office, the film will turn in a good commercial performance", giving the film a score of 3.25/5.[32] Way2movies also gave a rating of 3.25/5, giving the verdict that "Prabhas rocks the show in this decent yet formulaic commercial entertainer".[33] SuperGoodMovies gave the film 3 stars in a scale of 5, reviewing that "Go and Watch Mirchi, It entertains both class and mass. It is a worth watch."[34] His performance in the film earned him his fifth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. He then made his Hindi cinema debut in 2014 in the item number "Punjabi Mast" from the film Action Jackson.[35]

2015–2017: Baahubali and success

 
From left to right: Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia and S. S. Rajamouli at the first look launch of Baahubali: The Conclusion in 2016

In 2015, Prabhas appeared as Shivudu/Mahendra Baahubali and Amarendra Baahubali in S.S. Rajamouli's epic action drama Baahubali: The Beginning which is the fourth-highest-grossing Indian film to date.[36][37][38] The film started a new film movement named pan-India films. Prabhas reprised his role in its sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017), which became the first Indian film ever to gross over 1,000 crore (US$155 million) in all languages in just ten days, and is the second-highest-grossing Indian film to date.[39][40][41] He won the SIIMA Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his performance in The Conclusion.[42] He increased his weight to 105 kg for Baahubali's character.[43] His performance in both film earned him his sixth and seventh nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu.

The success of Baahubali has propelled Prabhas to become a pan-Indian actor, receiving significant following in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages.[44][45]

2018–present: Career fluctuations

In 2019, Prabhas starred alongside Shraddha Kapoor in the Sujeeth-directed action thriller Saaho. It received unfavourable reviews from critics, but went on to gross over 433 crore.[46][47] In 2022, Prabhas starred in the period romance film Radhe Shyam directed by Radha Krishna Kumar which received negative reviews from critics & proved to be a box office bomb.[48][49][50] In 2023, Prabhas starred as Lord Ram in the mythological action film Adipurush, based on the Ramayana.[51] It received negative reviews from the critics and turned out to be another box-office failure for Prabhas.[52] Prabhas then starred in the Prashanth Neel-directed action-drama Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire, which was released in December 2023 to mixed-to-positive reviews and proved to be a comeback film for him.[53][54][55]

As of January 2024, Prabhas has several films under various stages of production.[56] The first is Nag Ashwin's epic mythological sci-fi film, Kalki 2898 AD, in which he is starring alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Deepika Padukone, and Disha Patani. It is scheduled to release on 9 May 2024.[57] He is also starring in The Raja Saab, a horror-comedy film being directed by Maruthi,[58][59] which is also scheduled to release around the Sankranti in 2025.[60] He will also star in the sequel Salaar: Part 2 - Shouryaanga Parvam,[61][62][63] which will release in 2025.[64][65]

Media image and other work

 
Prabhas in 2016

Prabhas is a pan-India star.[66][67][68][69][70][71] Film journalists and analysts, such as Baradwaj Rangan and Vishal Menon, have labelled him as the first of the kind in Indian cinema.[72][73] IndiaTimes considers Prabhas as "a flagbearer of introducing the trend of Pan India films in the nation".[74][75][76][77]

Sometimes informally referred to as "Darling" and "Rebel Star",[78][79] he was ranked second in Times' Most Desirable Men for the year 2017,[80] and twelfth in 2018.[81] He was then added to the Forever Desirable list of Hyderabad Times in 2019.[82][83] He was the most searched actor on Google in Karnataka, for the year 2019.[84] He is the only actor from south cinema to feature in the magazine Eastern Eye's 2019 listing of the 10 Sexiest Asian Men.[85][86] He was also featured in the GQ in their listing of the most influential young Indians of 2017.[87] In September 2020, Prabhas adopted 1650 acres of land in Khazipally Reserve Forest, and made additional donations for the development of the eco-park in the name of his late father.[88]

Prabhas, who has been signed on by Mahindra & Mahindra as brand ambassador for the new Mahindra TUV300 car, has made his debut in the television commercial arena with their new ad in 2015.[89] He generally does not endorse brands frequently.[90] News 18 reported that he rejected brand endorsements worth 150 crore in 2020.[91]

Filmography and awards

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External links