Prabhu (actor)

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Prabhu Ganesan
Prabhu In Ooty.jpg
Born Prabhu Ganesan
(1956-12-31) 31 December 1956 (age 57)[1]
Chennai, India
Other names Ilaya Thilagam
Occupation film actor, film producer
Years active 1982–present
Height 5 ft 8 in
Spouse(s) Punitha Prabhu
Children Vikram Prabhu
Aishwarya Prabhu
Parents Sivaji Ganesan
Kamala Ganesan
Relatives Ramkumar Ganesan (brother)

Prabhu (born 31 December 1956) is an Indian film actor and producer who has predominantly appeared in Tamil language films. He is the son of veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan, while his own son Vikram Prabhu is also an upcoming Tamil actor. After making his debut in Sangili (1982), the actor has played a series of leading and supporting roles, earning the Best Actor award recognition by the Tamil Nadu state for his portrayal in Chinna Thambi (1992).


After leaving Bishop Cotton's school in Bangalore, Prabhu got involved in film production as an executive producer and worked alongside his uncle and mentor V. C. Shanmugam, who had insisted that Prabhu learnt the film making process through a disciplined way, giving him general tasks such as pulling up chairs for artistes. Prabhu's father, actor Sivaji Ganesan, had initially expressed reluctance in allow 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.[2][3][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. 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 around thirty films, including nineteen with his father including Santhippu, Mirudhanga Chakravarthy and Neethibathi, 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.[2]

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 Nakshatram with Karthik and P. Vasu's family drama En Thangachi Padichava.[2] 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. 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.[2] 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.[5]

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).[6] 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.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Prabhu was born to actor Sivaji Ganesan and Kamala.[8][9] His elder brother Ramkumar is a film producer and he has two sisters Shanthi and Thenmozhi. He is married to Punitha and has two children Vikram Prabhu and Aishwarya Prabhu, with Vikram making his acting debut in the 2012 film Kumki.[10] There were reports throughout his career linking him with actress Kushbooand in an interview, Kushboo confessed her being in a live-in relationship for four-and-a-half years, with actor Prabhu, they got married on September 12, 1993, and subsequently divorced .[11]


Year Film Role Language Notes
1982 Sangili Tamil
Adhisaya Piravigal Tamil
Lottery Ticket Tamil
Kozhi Koovuthu Tamil
Nalanthaana Tamil
1983 Surappuli Tamil
Ragangal Maaruvathillai Tamil
Muthu Engal Sothu Tamil
Vellai Roja Tamil
Mirudhanga Chakravarthy Tamil
Kannodu Kan Tamil
Kairaasikaaran Radha Tamil
Santhippu Tamil
Soorakkottai Singakutti Tamil
Neethibathi Tamil
1984 Ezhuthatha Sattangal Tamil
Charithra Nayagan Tamil
Tharaasu Tamil
Unga Veettu Pillai Tamil
Nyayam Tamil
Pozhudhu Vidinchachu Tamil
Puthiya Sangamam Tamil
Priyamudan Prabhu Tamil
Raja Veettu Kannukkutty Tamil
Thiruppam Tamil
Simma Soppanam Tamil
Iru Methaigal Tamil
1985 Kanni Rasi Lakshmipathi Tamil
Aduthathu Albert Albert Tamil
Needhiyin Nizhal Tamil
Nambinaar Keduvathillai Tamil
Raja Rishi Tamil
Nermai Tamil
1986 Saadhanai Tamil
Raja Nee Vaazhga Tamil
Paalaivana Rojakkal Tamil
Aruvadai Naal Muthuvel Tamil
Naalellam Pournami Tamil
1987 Chinna Poove Mella Pesu David Tamil
Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi Chinna Thambi Tamil
Kavalan Avan Kovalan Tamil
Anand Anand Tamil
Poopoova Poothirukku Tamil
Megam Karuththirukku Tamil
Vairaakkiyam Tamil
Ivargal Varungala Thoongal Tamil
Mupperum Deviyar Tamil
Anjatha Singam Tamil
1988 Annanagar Mudhal Theru Tamil Guest appearance
Guru Sishyan Babu Tamil First film with Rajinikanth
Urimai Geetham Thiyagu Tamil
En Uyir Kannamma Tamil
En Thangachi Padichava Tamil
Manasukkul Mathappu Shekar Tamil Remake of Malayalam film Thalavattam
Dharmathin Thalaivan Raju Tamil
Agni Nakshatram Gautham Tamil
Raththa Thaanam Tamil
Manamagale Vaa Tamil
Poovizhi Raja Raja Tamil
Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam Tamil
Kaliyugam Tamil
1989 Nalaya Manithan Tamil
Vetri Vizha Vijay Tamil
Ponnu Paaka Poren Tamil
Ninaivu Chinnam Mutthikal Rasu Tamil
Varam Tamil
Pillaikkaagha Tamil
Vetrimel Vetri Tamil
Uthama Purushan Raghu Tamil
Moodu Manthiram Tamil
1990 Kavalukku Kettikaran Dileep Tamil
Raja Kaiya Vacha Raja Tamil
My Dear Marthandan Marthandan Tamil
Arangetra Velai Sivaramakrishnan Tamil
Nalla Kaalam Porandaachu Tamil
Urudhi Mozhi Tamil
Sathya Vaakku Tamil
Anjali Tamil Guest appearance
1991 Thalattu Ketkuthamma Raasaiyaa Tamil
Kumbakarai Thangaiah Thangaiah Tamil
Ayul Kaithi Sekhar Tamil
Vetrikarangal Tamil
Chinna Thambi Chinna Thambi Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor
Kizhakku Karai Murali Tamil
Irumbu Pookkal Tamil Guest appearance
1992 Mannan Himself Tamil Guest appearance
Pandithurai Pandithurai Tamil
Naangal Keerthi Tamil
Chinnavar Muthu Tamil
Naalaya Seidhi Tamil
Senthamizh Pattu Muthu Tamil
1993 Chinna Maapillai Thangavelu Tamil
Uthamaraasa Tamil
Maravan Tamil
Dharmaseelan Thamizh Selvan,
Dharma Seelan
Uzhavan Tamil
1994 Vietnam Colony Venkata Krishnan Tamil Remake of Malayalam film Vietnam Colony
Rajakumaran Rajakumaran Tamil 100th film
Priyanka Arjun Tamil
Duet Gunaa Tamil
Jallikattu Kaalai Gopalakrishnan Tamil
Thalaivanin Arulullam Tamil
1995 Pasumpon Thangapandi Tamil
Mr. Madras Murugan Tamil
Kattumarakaran Muthazhagu Tamil
Chinna Vathiyar Chandramouli/Aravind Tamil
Seethanam Muthu Manikkam Tamil
1996 Parambarai Paramasivam Tamil
Panchalankurichi Kichaa Tamil
Sivasakthi Siva Tamil
Periya Kudumbam Tamil
Kala Pani Mukund Iyengar Malayalam
1997 Mappillai Gounder Tamil
Thedinen Vanthathu Velumani / 'Coimbatore' Gopalakrishnan Tamil
Periya Thambi Siva Tamil
1998 Ponmanam Anandhan Tamil
En Uyir Nee Thaane Tamil
Iniyavale Prabhakar Tamil
1999 Kummi Paattu Tamil
Thirupathi Ezhumalai Venkatesa Venkatesan Tamil
Suyamvaram Aavudayappan Tamil
Manam Virumbuthe Unnai Shanmugam Tamil
2000 Thirunelveli Thulasi Tamil
Thai Porandachu Giri Tamil
Kandha Kadamba Kathir Vela Kandha Tamil
Budget Padmanabhan Padmanabhan Tamil
Vanna Thamizh Pattu Bhoopathy Tamil
2001 Thaalikaatha Kaaliamman Chandrabose Tamil
Middle Class Madhavan Madhavan Tamil
Super Kudumbam Arun Tamil
Mitta Miraasu Chellaiya Tamil
2002 Malayali Mamanu Vanakkam Periyakulam Kannayya Malayalam Dubbed in Tamil as Gounder Veetu Mapillai
Charlie Chaplin Ramakrishnan Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Special Award for Best Actor
2003 War and Love Lt. Col. Sarathchandran Malayalam Dubbed in Tamil as Kalam
Yes Madam Sivaramakrishnan Tamil
Banda Paramasivam Paraman Tamil
2004 Kanninum Kannadikkum Himself Malayalam Guest appearance
Vasool Raja MBBS Vaddi Tamil
2005 Chandramukhi Senthilnathan Tamil
2006 Pasa Kiligal Sethupathy Tamil
Kusthi Jeevanandham Tamil
Unnakum Ennakum Muthupaandi Tamil
2007 Thaamirabharani Saravana Perumal Tamil
Vegam Tamil
Billa Jayaprakash DGP Tamil
2008 Kuselan Senthilnathan Tamil Guest appearance
Silambaattam Muthuvel Tamil
2009 A Aa E Ee Subramaniam Tamil
Ayan Daas Tamil Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil
Malai Malai Pazhanivel Tamil
Kanthasaamy Paranthaman Tamil
2010 Aasal Mirasi Tamil
Thambikku Indha Ooru Kumaraswamy Tamil
Pramani Varkichan Joseph Malayalam Guest appearance
Darling Hanumantha Rao Telugu
Maanja Velu Gautham Ganesh Tamil Guest appearance
Magane En Marumagane Himself Tamil Guest appearance
Raavanan Singarasan Tamil
Thillalangadi Krishna's father Tamil
Best of Luck Vinayaka Naickar Malayalam
Orange Jaanu's father Telugu
2011 Boss Sethunathan Iyer Kannada
Thambikottai Shanmugam Tamil
Aadu Puli Bhagyanathan Tamil
Ponnar Shankar Choza Mannan Tamil
Shakthi Mahadevaraya Telugu
Sankarankoil Tamil
Bejawada Kaali Prasad Telugu
2012 3 Ram's father Tamil
Daruvu Yama Telugu
Uu Kodathara? Ulikki Padathara? Rayudu Telugu
Mirattal Shankar Dhadha Tamil
Tuneega Tuneega Ramaswamy Telugu
Dhenikaina Ready Veera Narasimha Naidu Telugu
2013 Ongole Githa Narayana Telugu
Shadow Telugu
Dracula 2012 Malayalam
All in All Azhagu Raja Muthukrishnan Tamil
2014 Ennamo Nadakkuthu Parthipan Tamil
Yennamo Yedho Chakravarthi Tamil
Uyirukku Uyiraga Rangasamy Tamil
Drishya Panni Rao Kannada
Power Kannada
Ethiri En 3 Tamil Filming
Kaasu Panam Dhuttu Tamil Filming
Taana Tamil Filming


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