Thursday, September 07, 2006

Film History Nugget: L. V. Prasad

This week's Friday Review in The Hindu has a piece on a film personality who holds the "
rare distinction of acting in the first talkie films of three languages." L. V. Prasad, it turns out, has been part of at least 65 films as either the producer, director, actor, or writer, over a span of more than 5 decades! Akkineni Lakshmi Vara Prasada Rao, it turns out, better known as L. V. Prasad, was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1982, and a few days back, a postage stamp was issued in his honour.

Excerpt from The Hindu:

Like many aspiring actors, he too nurtured a wish to become a movie star and boarded a train to Bombay with just Rs. 100 in his pocket. He sneaked out of his house leaving behind his wife Soundarya Manoharamma and a toddler daughter. For 21 months, they did not know his whereabouts. Nor was he aware that he had lost his daughter. When nothing happened at the Kohinoor Studio gates and he was robbed of most of his money, he took shelter at a tailor's shop opposite the studios. The tailor got him a job in Venus Pictures but the company neither made any movie nor paid him. He worked during the evenings in a carnival for a salary of Rs. 1.50 per day, acted in bit roles in silent films and did odd jobs of carrying reflectors and camera stands.

He then joined Ardeshir Irani's Imperial Film Company and acted in bit roles in Alam Ara (1931), India's first talkie. H. M. Reddy was an assistant director with Irani then. The same year Irani produced the first Telugu talkie Bhaktha Prahlada and the first Tamil talkie Kalidas, both directed by H. M. Reddy. As a company employee, Prasad had acted in both the talkies, as Chandaamarkulu and temple priest respectively. Thus he had the rare distinction of acting in the first talkie films of the three languages.

More on L. V. Prasad here, and his official website here.


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