L.V. Prasad

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Akkineni Lakshmi Vara Prasada Rao (17 January 1908 – 22 June 1994), more popularly known as L. V. Prasad was a famous Indian film actor, producer and director. He was a recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime contribution to cinema from the Government of India for the year 1982.


[edit] Early life

L. V. Prasad was born in a well-to-do agricultural family in Eluru Taluk of the current-day Andhra Pradesh. Right from childhood, he showed lot of interest in plays and the then new phenomenon of films, neglecting his studies. In early 1920's, his family lost its fortunes in trying to convert forest lands into arable lands. In 1924, he married Soundarya Manoharamma, his maternal uncle's daughter, despite objections from her family on account of his poor financial status. With a view to pursue his dreams in establishing an acting career, he left to Bombay in 1930.

[edit] Early career

Due to lack of contacts in the film industry, he found it difficult to enter into studios. After doing rounds of studios for over six months, he landed an errands job in the Venus Film Company. After a short time there, he started working for a monthly salary of 30 rupees in the Imperial Light Company. Ardeshir Irani was the owner of the company and was trying to make the first talkie in India. Irani made Alam Ara, the first talkie in India and the first Hindi talkie in which Prasad played the role of an extra. Prasad also made an acquaintance with H. M. Reddy, who was assisting Irani. Reddy was also from Andhra like Prasad and had left the job of a Police Inspector to pursue his dreams in films. Reddy was given the opportunity to direct the first Telugu talkie by Irani and he promptly cast Prasad in a bit role in the first Telugu talkie, Bhakta Prahalada. Prasad also acted in Kalidasa, the first Tamil film, around the same time. Thus, he had the unique distinction of acting in the first talkies in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. It was around this time that his name was shortened to 'L. V. Prasad' by an accountant who felt that his name was too long for the daily attendance roll call. The last film L.V. Prasad acted in was Raja Paarvai (1981) in which he played the role of a playful grandfather .

[edit] As a director

In 1940, he reached Madras and became an assistant director to H. M. Reddy. Due to the Second World War, it became difficult to get raw material for filming and opportunities were limited.

In 1946, he got an opportunity to direct a Telugu film Griha Pravesham (literally "house warming") based on a feminist story by Tripuraneni Gopichand. Apart from directing the film, he also played the role of the anti-feminist protagonist to critical acclaim. The movie was a commercial success.

In 1947, he took over direction of Palanati yuddham (a historical based on the "Palnadu battle") from an ailing Gudavalli Ramabrahmam - its success established him as a popular director.

In 1949, he directed Mana Desam (Our Country) and introduced the later-day hero of N. T. Rama Rao in a bit role.

In 1950, he directed Samsaram (family) starring N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao. The movie, exploring domestic themes, was a big hit. After this, Prasad exclusively focused on directing movies with a family theme. The same year he directed another successful movie, Shavukar (also spelt Sowcar and Shahukar) for B. Nagi Reddy's Vijaya Pictures. This partnership continued over the years in the making of other successful movies such as Missamma (in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi), Appu chesi pappu koodu and Pelli chesi choodu.

[edit] As a producer

In 1955, he turned a producer and also took over an unfinished studio. In 1956, he produced his first telugu film and in 1957, he produced his first hindi film. He was a successful producer and had produced, directed or acted in 50 films spread over the four different languages of Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada in his career.

In Hindi movies he started in 1961 when he made Sasural In 1967 he produced Milan , a remake of his own Telugu film , which was the years biggest hit in Hindi films too. In 1969 he produced wrote and directed Jeene Ki Raah In 1970, his Hindi film Khilona (the doll) celebrated its silver-jubilee at the theatre where he was a watchman in his early days in Bombay. In 1974 he produced and directed the N. T. Rama Rao written Bidaai In 1981, Ek Duuje Ke Liye ('Made For One Another'), a Hindi film produced by him, became a big hit.

He completed the Prasad Studios in 1965, the Prasad Film Laboratory in 1974 and the recording theater in 1976. The facilities were regarded as the best in India and on par with the best in the world.

He was also the principal donor to an eye hospital at Hyderabad, that was named after him - the LVPEI (L. V. Prasad Eye Institute).

[edit] Awards

  • Filmfare Award for best Movie in 1970 for Khilona
  • Raghupathi Venkayya award in 1981 by the government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1982 by the government of India.
  • atluri filmfare award, Andhra University in 1985
  • Postal Stamp on L.V.Prasad 5th September 2006

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

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