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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 Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi language films. She has established a career in regional Indian films, and is the recipient of a National Film Award 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 34)[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.


Early lifeEdit

Priyamani was born into a Tamil speaking family in 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 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. Priyamani later said that despite marrying a Muslim, she still practices Hinduism and is a moderately religious person.[61]



Priyamani is amongst the few film actors, besides Prakash Raj, Nassar, Soundarya and Asin, to have appeared in the major film industries of India; Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada.

Year Film Role Language Notes
2003 Ullam Kavitha Tamil Direct-to-television
Evare Atagaadu Priyamani Telugu
2004 Satyam Sona Malayalam
Kangalal Kaidhu Sei Vidya Sadagoppan Tamil
2005 Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam Thulasi
Otta Nanayam Reshma Malayalam
2006 Pellaina Kothalo Lakshmi Telugu
Madhu Mercy Tamil
2007 Paruthiveeran Muthazhagu
Toss Naina Telugu
Yamadonga Maheswari
Nava Vasantham Anjali
Malaikottai Malar Tamil
2008 Thotta Nalina
Thirakkatha Malavika Malayalam
Hare Ram Anjali Telugu
King Unknown Special appearance in song "Nuvvu Ready Nenu Ready"
2009 Drona Indhu
Puthiya Mukham Anjana Malayalam
Arumugam Yamini Tamil
Ninaithale Inikkum Meera
Pravarakhyudu Sailaja Telugu
Raam Pooja Kannada
2010 Shambo Shiva Shambo Munimma Telugu
Sadhyam Suhani
Golimaar Pavithra
Raavanan Venilla Tamil
Raavan Jamuni Hindi
Pranchiyettan and the Saint Padmashree Malayalam
Eno Onthara Madhumathi Kannada
Rakta Charitra II Bhawani Hindi
Ragada Ashtalakshmi Telugu
2011 Raaj Mythili
Kshetram Naga Penchalamma/
Sohini Aggarwal
Vishnuvardhana Meera Kannada
2012 Ko Ko Cauvery
Anna Bond Meera
Grandmaster Deepthi Malayalam
Chaarulatha Chaaru/Latha Tamil
2013 Lakshmi Priya
Chennai Express Unknown Hindi Special appearance in the song "1 2 3 4 Get on the Dance Floor"
Chandee Ganga/Chandee Telugu
2014 Alice: A True Story Alice/Uma Malayalam
Njangalude Veettile Athidhikal Bhavana
Ambareesha Smitha Kannada
2016 Kathe Chitrakathe Nirdeshana Puttanna Geethanjali
Kalpana 2 Kalpana
Dana Kayonu Jhummi
Idolle Ramayana Susheela
Mana Oori Ramayanam Telugu
2017 Chowka Mariea D Souza Kannada
2018 Dwaja Ramya
Ashiq Vanna Divasam Shyni Malayalam
2019 Nanna Prakara TBA Kannada Filming
Dr.56 CBI officer Filming
Kuttrapayirchi TBA Tamil Filming[62]
Sirivenella TBA Telugu Filming
2020 RRR 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 Dhee 11 ETV Telugu
2018-Present Dance Kerala Dance Malayalam Zee Keralam
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 Herself Kairali TV Guest
2015 Bigg Boss 3 Kannada Colors Kannada
Dancing Talkies
2016 I personally Herself 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 Herself Kannada Zee Kannada Guest appearance
Hand of God Eleena Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama Short film
2018 Master Dancer Herself Kannada Colors Super celebrity judge
Majaa Talkies Guest appearance
Sadhanimmondigge Udaya TV


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  4. ^ a b "Southern hottie Priyamani". Retrieved 19 April 2016.
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  6. ^ "പ്രിയമാണ്‌ എനിക്ക്‌ പ്രണയം..." Retrieved 17 June 2015.
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External linksEdit