Samantha Ruth Prabhu was born on April 28, 1987, in Alappuzha, Kerala, to a Telugu father, Joseph Prabhu, and a Malayali mother, Ninette Prabhu. She grew up in Pallavaram, Tamil Nadu, as the family’s youngest child, with two older brothers, Jonathan and David, while learning the Tamil language. Despite her mixed ethnicity, she identifies as a Tamilian. Samantha attended Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School and later Stella Maris College in Chennai for her studies. She began modelling near the end of her undergraduate degree, most notably with Naidu Hall, where she was discovered by filmmaker Ravi Varman.
Samantha debuted in the film industry with Gautham Menon’s Telugu flick Ye Maaya Chesave (2010). The film, which was also released in Tamil as Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010), sparked a lot of buzz before its release, owing to Gautham Menon’s first collaboration with composer A. R. Rahman. In mid-August 2009, the actress passed her audition and was cast in the film. She worked on the film in India and the United States, and it was released on February 26, 2010. She said after the film’s release that Menon was “crucial” in shaping her as an actress, teaching her how to stay genuine and at ease in front of the camera, even if she didn’t have any dialogue in the scene.
Rise to Stardom
Samantha worked part-time as a model while getting a degree in business administration. She received offers for film roles soon after and made her acting debut in Gautham Menon’s highly acclaimed Telugu romance film Ye Maaya Chesave (2010), for which she won a Filmfare Award for Best Debut Actress and a Nandi Award. Samantha went on to become just the second actress to win both the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress and the Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress in the same year, for her roles in the films Neethaane En Ponvasantham (2012) and Eega (2013). (2012). She has primarily opted to appear in leading female roles in hero-centric Telugu and Tamil films since then, earning box office success with films such as Dookudu (2011), the family dramas Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2012) and Attarintiki Daredi (2013), and AR Murugadoss’ Tamil action film, Kaththi (2014).