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Priya Vasudev Mani Iyer (born 4 June 1984), professionally credited as Priyamani, is an Indian multilingual film actress and former model, who works in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi language films. She has established a career in regional Indian films, and is the recipient of a National Film Award for Best Actress and three Filmfare Awards in different-language films.

Priyamani at Filmfare Awards South (cropped).jpg
Priyamani at 62nd Filmfare Awards South (2015)
Priya Vasudev Mani Iyer

(1984-06-04) 4 June 1984 (age 35)[1][2][3]
OccupationActress, model
Years active2003–present
Spouse(s)Mustafa Raj (m. 2017)
RelativesSee Priyamani family

Priyamani, born and raised in Bangalore, worked as a model before pursuing a career in films. In 2002, she made her acting debut with a leading role in the Telugu film Evare Atagaadu (2003), a box-office flop. She gained widespread recognition for her role as village girl Muththazhagu in the Tamil romantic drama Paruthiveeran in 2007, receiving a National Film Award for Best Actress and a Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil for her performance. During the same year, she achieved commercial success in Telugu cinema with S. S. Rajamouli-directed fantasy-action comedy Yamadonga.[4] In 2008, Priyamani received further critical acclaim for her role as Malavika in the Malayalam romance Thirakkatha–and won a Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam.[4] Her first role in the Kannada film came the following year, with the romantic comedy Raam, which proved to be a major critical and commercial success. Priyamani made her Hindi film debut through Mani Ratnam's bilingual in Tamil and Hindi epic adventure films, titled Raavan and Raavanan respectively. In 2012, her portrayal of conjoined twins in the multilingual film Chaarulatha, based on the Thai film Alone, gained critical praise and a third Best Actress award at Filmfare. She received further success for her role in the Telugu thriller film Mana Oori Ramayanam (2016), which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at Filmfare. Currently she is active on South Indian Television shows , she has judged several dance reality shows .

Early lifeEdit

Priyamani was born into Palakkad, Kerala.[5] She modelled for Kancheepuram silks, Erode silks and Lakshmi silks during her school years. When she was in the 12th Standard, Tamil Director, Bharathiraja, introduced her to the film industry. Her father, Vasudev Mani, who hails from Palakkad from a Tamil family, owns a plantation business and her mother, former national level badminton player, Lathamani, who hails from Thiruvananthapuram, was a bank manager at Union Bank of India. She has an elder brother, Vishakh, who is in the plantation business with her father. While at school, she actively participated in extracurricular activities and in sports.[6] She is the granddaughter of Carnatic vocalist, Kamala Kailas.[7] She is the cousin of film actress, Vidya Balan and the niece of playback singer, Malgudi Shubha.[8][9]

Priyamani did her schooling at Sri Aurobindo Memorial School and attended Bishop Cotton Women's christian College in J C Road.[5][10] After completing her schooling, Priyamani modeled for print advertisements. Priyamani pursued a degree in Bachelor of Arts in psychology through correspondence.[11]


Early careerEdit

Priyamani made her debut with Telugu film, Evare Atagaadu. She then made her debut in the Malayalam Film Industry with Sathyam, but this film performed poorly at the box office.[7] She was signed by Tamil film director and cinematographer Balu Mahendra to act in the 2005 drama Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam. Before release, Babith said "Priyamani has come up with an excellent performance in the movie. Her performance would be widely acclaimed."[12] Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam was critically acclaimed but failed at the box office.[13] However, she won acclaim for her performance in the film.[14][15] In 2006, Priyamani starred in the Telugu film Pellaina Kothalo. The film was a super hit and got her three Telugu films.[7][16][17]


Priyamani during the filming of Rakta Charitra

Priyamani managed to prove her acting credentials and commercial appeal with 2007's Paruthiveeran, directed by Ameer Sultan, in which she was co-starred with debutant Karthi Sivakumar. A rural subject which told the story of a notorious young villager in Madurai, the film won critical acclaim and became a surprise box-office blockbuster.[18][19][20] Priyamani's performance was unanimously praised by the critics.[21][22] She went on to win the National Film Award,[23] followed by South Filmfare Award,[24] Tamil Nadu State Film Award and an award at the Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema.[25]

She had another commercially successful film in Telugu, in the 2007 film Yamadonga[26][27][28] and in the Tamil film Malaikottai.[29][30][31] She again received critical acclaim in 2008 for her role in the Malayalam film Thirakkatha, in which she played a role based on the turbulent real-life story of late film actress Srividya.[32] She won another Filmfare Award for her performance.[33] In Tamil, she had a single release in 2008: Thotta.

In 2009 she had two Tamil releases, the masala film Arumugam and the remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Classmates,[34][35] titled Ninaithale Inikkum.[36] The former was a commercial failure:[37][38] Her Kannada debut film Raam was also a commercial success.[39][40][41][42] All three of her Telugu releases that year, however, (Drona, Mitrudu, Pravarakhyudu) did not do well at the box office.[43][44][45] In 2010 she acted in the satirical film Pranchiyettan & the Saint which became the longest-running Malayalam film since 2005.[46] She won a Filmfare nomination for her role as a Mumbai-based interior decorator in the film.

She was subsequently signed by director Mani Ratnam for his bilingual film, titled Raavanan and Raavan in Tamil and Hindi respectively.[47] Soon after, she was roped in by Bollywood director-producer Ram Gopal Varma for his trilingual film Rakht Charitra. Varma decided to cast her after seeing her National Award-winning performance in Paruthiveeran.[48] Her Kannada film Vishnuvardhana became a blockbuster hit[49][50] and later she starred in Anna Bond.[51] Although the film was poorly received by critics and featured on Rediff's "Most Disappointing Kannada Films of 2012" list,[52] it went on to become a successful venture at the box office.[53] She appeared in an item number in the Bollywood film Chennai Express.[54] She has completed shooting for a Malayalam film, The True Story and the Telugu film, Chandee, in which she plays Ganga the granddaughter of a freedom fighter, who seeks revenge for the problems her family had to face.[55] She was cast opposite Darshan in the Kannada film Ambareesha in (2014).[56][57]

In 2014, she posed for a PETA ad campaign, asking the public to boycott zoos that feature caged tigers.[58][59][60]

Personal lifeEdit

Priyamani married Mustafa Raj, an events organizer, in a private ceremony on 23 August 2017. [61] She is a polyglot and can speak Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, English, Telugu and Kannada fluently.



Priyamani is amongst the few film actors, besides Kamal Haasan, Sridevi, Prakash Raj, Nassar, Soundarya, Asin and Nithya Menen, to have appeared in the five of the major film industries of India: Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada.

Year Film Role Language Notes
1 2003 Ullam Kavitha Tamil Direct-to-television
2 Evare Atagaadu Priyamani Telugu
3 2004 Satyam Sona Malayalam
4 Kangalal Kaidhu Sei Vidya Sadagoppan Tamil
5 2005 Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam Thulasi
6 Otta Nanayam Reshma Malayalam
7 2006 Pellaina Kothalo Lakshmi Telugu
8 Madhu Mercy Tamil
9 2007 Paruthiveeran Muthazhagu National Film Award for Best Actress (2006)
10 Toss Naina Telugu
11 Yamadonga Maheswari
12 Nava Vasantham Anjali
13 Malaikottai Malar Tamil
14 2008 Thotta Nalina
15 Thirakkatha Malavika Malayalam
16 Hare Ram Anjali Telugu
King Unknown Special appearance in song "Nuvvu Ready Nenu Ready"
17 2009 Drona Indhu
18 Mitrudu
19 Puthiya Mukham Anjana Malayalam
20 Arumugam Yamini Tamil
21 Ninaithale Inikkum Meera
22 Pravarakhyudu Sailaja Telugu
23 Raam Pooja Kannada
24 2010 Shambo Shiva Shambo Munimma Telugu
25 Sadhyam Suhani
26 Golimaar Pavithra
27 Raavanan Venilla Tamil
28 Raavan Jamuni Hindi
29 Pranchiyettan and the Saint Padmashree Malayalam
30 Eno Onthara Madhumathi Kannada
31 Rakta Charitra II Bhawani Hindi
32 Ragada Ashtalakshmi Telugu
33 2011 Raaj Mythili
34 Kshetram Naga Penchalamma/
Sohini Aggarwal
35 Vishnuvardhana Meera Kannada
36 2012 Ko Ko Cauvery
37 Anna Bond Meera
38 Grandmaster Deepthi Malayalam
39 Chaarulatha Chaaru/Latha Tamil
Kannada Bilingual
40 2013 Lakshmi Priya
Chennai Express Unknown Hindi Special appearance in the song "1 2 3 4 Get on the Dance Floor"
41 Chandee Ganga/Chandee Telugu
42 2014 Alice: A True Story Alice/Uma Malayalam
43 Njangalude Veettile Athidhikal Bhavana
44 Ambareesha Smitha Kannada
45 2016 Kathe Chitrakathe Nirdeshana Puttanna Geethanjali
46 Kalpana 2 Kalpana
47 Dana Kayonu Jhummi
48 Idolle Ramayana Susheela
Mana Oori Ramayanam Telugu
49 2017 Chowka Mariea D Souza Kannada
50 2018 Dhwaja Ramya
51 Ashiq Vanna Divasam Shyni Malayalam
52 2019 Pathinettam Padi Gowri Vasudev
53 Nanna Prakara Dr. Amrutha Kannada
54 Dr.56  TBA Filming
55 Sirivenela  TBA Telugu Post Production
56 Virataparvam 1992  TBA Filming

Brand EndorsementsEdit

  • Aachi Masala
  • RS brothers textiles
  • Saravana stores
  • Bhima and brother
  • Durga daily
  • G Kumar's
  • Vaseline
  • Indulekha
  • Everyday
  • Lazza Icecreams
  • Uncle John Icecreams
  • Nolta


Reality Show as Judge
Year Program Language Channel Notes
2014 D 4 Dance Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama
2015 D2 - D 4 Dance
Dancing Star 2 Kannada ETV Kannada
2016 Dancing Star Juniors
Kings of Dance Tamil Star Vijay
D3 - D 4 Dance Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama Asiavision Television Award for Best Celebrity Judge
Dancing Star 3 Kannada Colors Kannada
2017 D4 junior v/s seniors Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama
Dance Jodi Dance 2 Tamil Zee Tamil
Dhee 10 Telugu ETV Telugu
2018-2019 Dhee 11 ETV Telugu
2018 Master Dancer Kannada Colors Kannada Celebrity Judge
2018-2019 Dance Kerala Dance Malayalam Zee Keralam
2019 Teas best partner Mazhavil Manorama
Kerala Dance League Amrita TV Celebrity judge
Other shows
Year Program Role Language Channel Notes
2009 Onasallapam Herself Malayalam ACV Guest
2013 Prematho Mee Lakshmi Telugu ETV Telugu
EN Malayalam Asianet News
2014 Big Screen Kairali TV Guest
2015 Bigg Boss 3 Kannada Colors Kannada
Dancing Talkies
2016 I personally Malayalam Kappa TV Guest appearance
Majaa Talkies Kannada Colors Kannada
Badai Bungalow Malayalam Asianet
JB Junction Kairali TV
Get Set Chat Kaumudy TV
Laughing Villa Surya TV
Comedy Super Night 2 Flowers TV
Onnum Onnum Moonu Mazhavil Manorama
Alitho Saradaga Telugu ETV Telugu
2017 Weekend With Ramesh Kannada Zee Kannada Guest appearance
Hand of God Eleena Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama Short film
2018 Majaa Talkies Guest appearance Kannada Colors Super
Sadhanimmondigge Udaya TV
2019 Famously Filmfare Anchor Malayalam MX Player
White Blind lady Hindi short film
The Family Man Suchitra Prime Video Web series


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External linksEdit