Prem Kumar (actor)

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Prem Kumar
Born Karnataka, India.
Nationality Indian
Other names "Nenapirali Prem"
Occupation Actor
Years active 2004–present

Prem Kumar, known mononymously as Prem, is an Indian film actor who works in Kannada films. He made his acting debut in 2004 through the film Praana. However, he earned much recognition and won Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Nenapirali in the year 2005. He is popularly known as Lovely Star in Kannada films.[1]

Early life[edit]

Prem Kumar was born as the eldest son to a power loom weaver. He completed his schooling in Kalyani School, and got himself employed with Indian Telephone Industries Limited, following which he worked as a weaver like his father, for 13 years after schooling. Speaking of his interest in films as a child, he said, "I would spend more than half of my earnings on watching films, buying film-related magazines, books and newspapers. I do not have a film background per se, but I used to watch 150-200 films per year in theatres. Though I started working after school, I would watch 3-4 films a week. Sometimes, I would watch three films a day."[2]

He began working in TV soaps on insistence by a friend, who worked as a car driver to T. N. Seetharam, a popular soap director during the time. Kumar appeared in his soap Manvantara for eight episodes as a junior artist, receiving a remuneration of 300 per episode. He also appeared in one episode of Ardha Satya. This was when he took to acting seriously and auditioned for a role in Praana, which would become his debut film.[2]


Prem debuted in film with the 2004 Kannada film Praana. It was by a team of newcomers: director Prakash, composer Allwyn and the actress Preeti were all new besides Prem. The film did not do well at the box office. But the next year, Prem bounced back with a memorable performance in Rathnaja 's debut film, Nenapirali. The film had him play the role of a young man faking love for a girl, and ultimately falling in love. It hit the pulse of the audience, and catapulted Prem to instant stardom. Prem picked up a Best Actor Filmfare Award for his performance in the film. In 2006, Prem further consolidated his position as a bankable star with his single release Jothe Jotheyali with the actress Ramya. The film was also a love story, directed by the debutant director Dinakar Toogudeep. It was one of the major successes of 2006 25 weeks then he got a name as Lovely star . After the release of the film, Prem promised the public that he would not be seen in a remake film. This move backfired as Prem's original choices sank at the box office one after the other. His next releases Pallakki did well 100 days.Gunavantha average and savi savi nenapu had got very good critics and he done first time double acting

In 2008, Prem teamed up with Rathnaja once more for the film Honganasu. Prem had high hopes on the film and had involved himself heavily in the film, but this too sank without a trace. It was a critical failure as well. After these losses, Prem announced that he was open to act in remake films and promptly signed up to act in Ghauttham, a remake of Tamil film Aahaa in 2009. In 2010, he teamed up with lucky heroine Ramya for the film Jothegara. Other films which he signed are Sihi Muttu alongside Dhyan and Pooja Chopra, Januma Janumadallu with Andrita Ray and a cameo in Shivarajkumar's travel extravaganza Cheluveye Ninne Nodalu and also in Eradane Maduve.[3]

Prem began his 2011 career with a cameo appearance in the multi-starrer film Eradane Maduve which had Ananth Nag and Suhasini in the main lead. Later he starred in I Am Sorry Mathe Banni Preethsona, a film which made news for its controversial kiss scene between the lead pair. The initial release of the film was for very short duration due to the controversies. However, it saw a re-release in the same year and was appreciated for its content. Even after its second release, the film did not do well at the box-office. The other film of the year was Dhan Dhana Dhan opposite Sharmila Mandre which also failed to get the box-office collections.

After a string of flops and no release in the year 2012, Prem had a big release in 2013 beginning with acclaimed director Roopa Iyer for her directorial Chandra, a Tamil - Kannada bilingual project opposite Shriya Saran. The film was marred with controversies which caught up a major scuffle between him and the director.[4] While the Kannada version got a good opening, the Tamil version failed to open even at the box-office. This was followed by R. Chandru's Charminar which found success and his performance was talked about with praising him that "this" could well be considered his best film.[5] He got his second Filmfare Best Actor award for this film. His next release was the two year old long pending project Shatru which featured him don the role of a police officer for the first time. Though he got favorable reviews for his performance, the film failed at the box-office.[6]

His other long pending projects like Shatru and Athi Aparoopa released to a cold response at the box-office in 2014. However, his other 2014 release Fair & Lovely with director Raghuram performed extremely well at the box-office and earned him many accolades and awards.[7] In 2015, Prem re-associated with R. Chandru through the film Male opposite Amulya. The film met with average response both critically and commercially. His next release was a cameo appearance in the all-women crew film Ring Road followed by a lead role in a romantic film Mast Mohabbat in 2016. In 2017, Prem starred as one of the jail inmates in the Dwarakish's 50th production multistarrer film Chowka which went on to become one of the highest grosser films of the year.

The project announced in 2014, Prashant Raj's Dalapathi, is under production as of August 2017 and features Prem opposite Kriti Kharbanda.[8] Also in the making is director Dinakar Thoogudeepa's Life Jothe Ondu Selfie co-starring Prajwal Devaraj and Hariprriya.


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Praana Jeeva
2005 Nenapirali Kishore Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2006 Jothe Jotheyali Prem
2007 Pallakki Lakshmikanth
2007 Gunavantha Gunashekar
2008 Honganasu Sagar
2009 Ghauttham Gautham
2010 Savi Savi Nenapu Prem
2010 Jothegara Vishwas
2010 Cheluveye Ninne Nodalu Prem Cameo appearance
2011 Eradane Maduve Vivek Cameo appearance
2011 I Am Sorry Mathe Banni Preethsona Shyam
2011 Dhan Dhana Dhan Prem
2013 Charminar Mohan Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2013 Chandra Chandrahasa Bilingual film (Kannada, Tamil)
2013 Shatru Vijay Surya
2014 Athi Aparoopa Bharath
2014 Fair & Lovely Manoj ("Manu")
2015 Male Varun
2015 Ring Road Himself Cameo appearance in a song
2016 Mast Mohabbat Sri
2017 Chowka Hakki Gopala
2017 DalapathiFilm has yet to be released Filming
2017 Life Jothe Ondu SelfieFilm has yet to be released Filming


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