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Priyamani at SIIMA Awards in 2013
Born Priya Vasudev Mani Iyer
(1984-06-04) 4 June 1984 (age 33)[1][2][3]
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2010–present
Relatives See Priyamani family vidya balan cousin

Priya Vasudev Mani Iyer (born 4 June 1984), known by her stage name Priyamani, is an Indian 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, 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 (2023), a box-office flop. Priyamani gained widespread recognition for her role as village girl Muththazhagu in the Tamil film Paruthiveeran in 2007, receiving National Film Award for Best Actress and 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 Yamadonga.[4] In 2008, Priyamani received further critical acclaim for her role as Malavika in the Malayalam film Thirakkatha–and won a Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam.[4] The following year, she made her Kannada film debut in Raam which proved to be a commercial and critical success. Priyamani made her Hindi film debut through Mani Ratnam's bilingual in Tamil and Hindi, 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.

Early life[edit]

Priyamani was born into a Tamil speaking family in Bangalore to Vasudeva Mani Iyer and Latha Mani Iyer.[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, who hails from Palakkad from a Tamil Iyer family owns a plantation business, and her mother, former national 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 is currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Arts in psychology.[11]


Early career[edit]

She started her film career with her debut film in Kollywood called Kangalal Kaithu Sei alongside actor Vaseegaran. The film was a flop at the box-office and she moved on to Malayalam and Telugu films owing to a lack of offers in Tamil films. She made her Telugu debut in Pellaina Kothalo with Jagapati Babu. Priyamani rose to fame with this film. Priyamani has made her Tamil comeback with the internationally acclaimed Tamil film Paruthiveeran helmed by Ameer Sultan, starring debutant Karthik Sivakumar. She has also signed on for another Tamil film in which she plays the lead role with actor Jeevan.. 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]

In 2014, she posed for a PETA ad campaign, asking the public to boycott zoos that feature caged tigers.[57][58][59]

Personal life[edit]

She got engaged on 27 May 2016 to Mustafa Raj in a private ceremony.[60]



Year Film Role Language Notes
2003 Ullam Kavitha Tamil direct-to-television
Evare Atagaadu Priyamani Telugu
2004 Kangalal Kaidhu Sei Vidya Sadagoppan Tamil
Satyam Sona Malayalam
2005 Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam Thulasi Tamil
Otta Nanayam Reshma Malayalam
2006 Pellaina Kothalo Lakshmi Telugu
Madhu Mercy Tamil
2007 Paruthi Veeran Muthazhagu National Film Award for Best Actress
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil
Vijay Award for Best Actress
Toss Naina Telugu
Yamadonga Maheswari
Nava Vasantham Anjali
Malaikottai Malar Tamil
2008 Thotta Nalina
Hare Ram Anjali Telugu
Thirakkatha Malavika Malayalam Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam
King Telugu Special appearance
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
Vishnuvardhana Meera Kannada Sandalwood Star Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kshetram Naga Penchalamma,
Sohini Aggarwal
2012 Ko Ko Cauvery Kannada
Anna Bond Meera
Grandmaster Deepthi Malayalam
Chaarulatha Chaaru,
Kannada Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada
SIIMA Award for Best Actress
Suvarna Film Award for Best Actress
2013 Lakshmi Priya
Chennai Express Hindi Special appearance in item song
Chandee Ganga/Chandee Telugu
2014 Alice: A True Story Alice/Uma Malayalam
Njangalude Veettile Athidhikal Bhavana
Ambareesha Smitha Kannada [61]
2016 Kathe Chitrakathe Nirdeshana Puttanna Geethanjali
Kalpana 2 Kalpana
Dana Kayonu Jhummi
Idolle Ramayana Susheela
Mana Oori Ramayanam Telugu Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu
2017 Chowka Maria D'Souza Kannada
Angulika [62]
Vyuha Gayatri Filming[63]
2019 Silent Radio Malayalam Filming
Perrfume Filming
Yes Iam Filming
Painting Life Filming
Grandmaster 2 Deepthi Filming
Sathyanweshana Pareekhanagal herself Filming


Year Program Role Language Channel Notes
2013 Prematho Mee Lakshmi Guest Telugu ETV Telugu
2014 Big Screen Malayalam Kairali TV
Onasallapam Malayalam ACV
D 4 Dance Judge Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama
2015 D2 - D 4 Dance Malayalam Won, Asiavision Television awards 2015 - Best Celebrity Judge
Dancing Star 2 Kannada ETV Kannada
Majaa Talkies Guest Kannada
2016 Kings of Dance Judge Tamil Star Vijay
D3 - D 4 Dance Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama Won, Asiavision Television awards 2016 - Best Celebrity Judge
Dancing Star 3 Kannada Colors Kannada
Majaa Talkies Guest Kannada
Badai Bungalow Malayalam Asianet
JB junction Malayalam Kairali TV
Get Set Chat Malayalam Kaumudy TV
Laughing Villa Malayalam Surya TV
Comedy Super Night 2 Malayalam Flowers TV
Onnum Onnum Moonu Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama
Alitho Saradaga Telugu ETV Telugu
2017 Weekend With Ramesh Kannada Zee Kannada
2017-Present D4 junior v/s seniors Judge Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama
2017-Present Dhee 10 Judge Telugu ETV Telugu

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