Samantha Ruth Prabhu


Samantha is a talented and versatile actress who has made a significant impact in both the Tamil and Telugu film industries. Known for her compelling performances and ability to adapt to diverse roles, she has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. Beyond her acting career, Samantha has also been actively involved in philanthropic endeavours, using her platform and resources to make a positive impact on society.

Family and Education

Samantha Ruth Prabhu, popularly known as Samantha, is an Indian actress born on 28 April 1987 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She hails from a Telugu family, with her father Joseph Prabhu, and mother Ninette Prabhu. Samantha is the youngest child in her family and has two elder brothers named Jonathan and David. Despite her mixed background, Samantha considers herself a Tamilian and is fluent in the Tamil language.

For her early education, Samantha attended Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai. After completing her schooling, she pursued a degree in commerce at Stella Maris College, also located in Chennai. During her time at Stella Maris College, Samantha ventured into the field of modeling. It was during this period that she caught the attention of filmmaker Ravi Varman while working with Naidu Hall, a well-known clothing brand.

Movie Career

Samantha's entry into the world of modeling eventually led her to a successful career in the film industry. She made her acting debut in 2010 with the Telugu film "Ye Maaya Chesave," directed by Gautham Menon. Since then, she has appeared in numerous Telugu and Tamil films, establishing herself as one of the leading actresses in South Indian cinema. Throughout her career, Samantha has displayed her acting prowess and captivated audiences with her charm and on-screen presence. Her journey from modeling to becoming a prominent actress is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and passion for her craft.


Samantha began her professional film career with Gautham Vasudev Menon's Telugu film, "Ye Maaya Chesave," in 2010. The film was highly anticipated before its release, primarily due to the collaboration between Gautham Menon and composer A.R. Rahman. Samantha successfully auditioned for the role and was signed up for the project in August 2009. "Ye Maaya Chesave" was simultaneously made in Tamil as "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa." In the film, Samantha played the lead character Jessie, alongside Naga Chaitanya. Her portrayal in the film received highly positive reviews, with critics praising her performance and beauty. Samantha's natural and comfortable presence on screen, even in scenes without dialogues, was attributed to the guidance and mentorship of Gautham Menon. The film itself garnered widespread critical acclaim, with many considering it a classic. The success of the film, both in Telugu and Tamil, propelled Samantha to stardom.

Following her debut, Samantha appeared in a cameo role in the Tamil version of "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa". She then featured in the music video for the promotional song "Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam," directed by Gautham Menon and composed by A.R. Rahman, for the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010.

Samantha's next release was the romantic drama "Baana Kaathadi" (2010), opposite Adharvaa. Although it was her third Tamil project signed, its release preceded the first two due to delays in their completion. In the film, Samantha portrayed a student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), marking the first such role in Tamil cinema. She followed this with Ravi Varman's "Moscowin Kavery" (2010), which was actually the first film she began work on. However, due to Ravi Varman's prior commitments as a cinematographer in other projects, the film faced delays and was released in August 2010. Despite the film receiving negative reviews, Samantha's performance was praised as one of its highlights.

In addition to her Tamil projects, Samantha also appeared in Vamsi Paidipally's Telugu film "Brindaavanam" (2010), where she played a supporting role alongside NTR Jr. and Kajal Aggarwal.

A Rising Star

After making a successful debut in the film industry, Samantha's career continued to soar with a string of notable projects. She featured in the big-budget Telugu film "Dookudu" (2012) alongside Mahesh Babu, which went on to become one of the most successful Telugu films of all time. Samantha received positive reviews for her role as Prashanthi in the film, with critics praising her performance despite her limited screen time.

Samantha also made guest appearances in two of Gautham Vasudev Menon's films. In the psychological thriller "Nadunisi Naaygal" (2011), she played the role of a mental asylum inmate. She reprised her role from "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa" in the Hindi version of the film, titled "Ekk Deewana Tha" (2012). Her popularity in Telugu films led to the Telugu-dubbed version of "Nadunisi Naaygal" being titled "Eera Gulabeelu," with Samantha prominently featured on the film's posters despite her guest appearance. During this period, Samantha signed two big-budget projects in Tamil, Mani Ratnam's "Kadal" (2013) and Shankar's "I" (2015). However, she had to opt out of both films due to a skin disease that required her to take a two-month break from work in mid-2012.

Samantha's next significant role came in S. S. Rajamouli's live-action Telugu-Tamil bilingual project, "Eega" (2012). She portrayed a micro artist who runs an NGO and seeks revenge for the murder of her lover. As the film featured a CGI-created housefly as the main character, Samantha had to rely on her imagination and act accordingly. She also faced challenges during the shoot, including suffering skin burns due to the use of heavy lights. Nevertheless, her performance in the film received high critical acclaim, with critics praising her subtle expressions of love, fear, and anxiety. "Eega" became a major commercial success and was dubbed in several foreign and Indian languages.

Following "Eega," Samantha worked on Gautham Vasudev Menon's trilingual romantic drama film. The Tamil version, "Neethaane En Ponvasantham" (2012), paired her with Jiiva, while "Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu" (2012) paired her with Nani. Samantha portrayed three periods in the life of a couple, showcasing their romantic relationship at school, college, and in their late twenties. Her performance in both versions received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising her transformation from a gawky teenager to an adult struggling with ego. Samantha's performances in both films earned her Best Actress awards at various prestigious award ceremonies, making her the second actress after Revathi to achieve this feat.

2012 was a prolific year for Samantha, with numerous award wins and critical acclaim for her performances. Her talent and versatility in portraying diverse roles solidified her position as one of the most sought-after actresses in the Telugu and Tamil film industries.

Great Success

Samantha experienced a shift in her movie career post-2012 when she began appearing in big-budget, hero-oriented films that offered comparatively smaller scope for actresses. However, she continued to deliver impressive performances and garnered critical acclaim. In 2013, Samantha appeared in the Telugu multi-starrer film "Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu" alongside Venkatesh and Mahesh Babu. Although her role was relatively smaller compared to her co-stars, Samantha's performance received positive reviews. Critics noted her ability to handle performance-oriented roles with deftness and ease, even while shedding her glamorous image.

She then starred in the romantic comedy "Jabardasth" (2013) alongside Siddharth, portraying a wedding planner. While the film failed to make an impact at the box office, critics acknowledged Samantha's growth as an actress and praised her on-screen presence. They remarked that she was getting better with each film and that it was a delight to watch her perform. Samantha's next notable project was the family drama "Attarintiki Daredi" (2013), where she shared the screen with Pawan Kalyan. The film emerged as the highest-grossing Telugu film at the time of its release. In the same year, Samantha appeared in the Telugu masala film "Ramayya Vasthavayya," where she had a small role. Critics noted that her previous roles and films had showcased her talent better, suggesting that the film did not utilize her potential effectively.

In 2014, Samantha made a comeback to the Tamil film industry and appeared in six films. Her first release was the family drama "Manam" (2014). Samantha received praise for her portrayal of a young mother and a college student in different time eras. Critics noted her ability to emote well and seamlessly shift between the two roles. Her performance earned her the fifth nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Telugu, and she won the Best Actress (Critics) award at the SIIMA Awards.

Samantha also appeared alongside Naga Chaitanya in the long-delayed "Autonagar Surya" (2014) and played small roles in the Telugu action masala films "Alludu Seenu" (2014) and "Rabhasa" (2014). Critics expressed disappointment with the choices she made for these films, as they felt she had the potential to do more substantial and meaningful roles. Samantha later revealed that she had worked on "Alludu Seenu" as a favor to producer Bellamkonda Suresh, who had supported her during her health problems.

Despite the mixed response to some of her projects, Samantha continued to exhibit her acting prowess and versatility. Her dedication to her craft and her ability to adapt to different roles contributed to her success and popularity in the film industry.

Career Expansion

Samantha has made a significant impact in the Tamil and Telugu film industries. In early 2014, she worked simultaneously on two big-budget Tamil films. The first one was "Anjaan," a gangster masala film directed by N. Lingusamy and starring Suriya. Unfortunately, the film received negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office. Critics were not impressed with Samantha's character, describing it as a typical "crazy girl" role. Despite the disappointment of "Anjaan," Samantha had another release in the same year that fared much better. Her second film of 2014 was "Kaththi," an action drama directed by AR Murugadoss and featuring Vijay in the lead role. "Kaththi" became the most profitable Tamil film of 2014. However, critics once again criticized Samantha's character, stating that she had little to do in the film other than looking pretty and smiling. Nevertheless, her performance earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Tamil, showcasing her growing presence in the industry. Following her success in Tamil cinema, Samantha appeared in the Telugu film "S/O Satyamurthy" alongside Allu Arjun. While it was another hero-oriented film, critics appreciated Samantha's graceful portrayal and noted that she played her role well.

In 2015, Samantha featured in Vijay Milton's road film "10 Endrathukulla," where she appeared opposite Vikram in a dual role. Her performance received mixed reviews, with some critics feeling that she didn't make a significant impact until the end of the film. Critics also lamented her portrayal as a clumsy girl, finding it annoying. However, Samantha won praise for her role and performance in Velraj's "Thanga Magan" opposite Dhanush. Playing a homely wife character for the first time in Tamil films, she garnered positive reviews for her impressive and mature performance.

Moving on to 2016, Samantha made a guest appearance in the Tamil romantic drama film "Bangalore Naatkal," reprising a minor role from the film's Malayalam original. She then took on the lead female role in Atlee's "Theri," starring alongside Vijay once again. Her performance in "Theri" received positive reviews, with critics commending her for showcasing a range of emotions and delivering a soulful performance as a doctor, lover, and mother. The film turned out to be a major commercial success and ended Samantha's drought of hits in Tamil cinema since "Kaththi."

Continuing her successful streak, Samantha worked with director Vikram Kumar and Suriya for the critically acclaimed fantasy film "24." Despite a small role as the love interest of the film's lead character, Samantha impressed critics with her performance, particularly in comedy scenes. "24" performed well at the box office and reaffirmed Samantha's position at the top of the film industry. Her performances in both "Theri" and "24" earned her nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Tamil.

Winning Hearts

In 2016, Samantha appeared in three notable Telugu films. While Srikanth Addala's family drama "Brahmotsavam" opposite Mahesh Babu did not perform well at the box office, Samantha's role in Trivikram Srinivas's romantic comedy "A Aa" alongside Nithiin garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. Playing the character of Anasuya Ramalingam, a naive girl trying to escape her mother's controlling behaviour, Samantha received highly positive reviews for her portrayal. Critics praised her stellar performance and remarked that the film belonged to her. She was lauded for showcasing vulnerability as a young woman overshadowed by her mother and effortlessly playing the role of a high-maintenance and stubborn girl. Samantha's earnest performance was hailed as the life and soul of the romantic comedy. "A Aa" also performed well at the box office, particularly in the United States, and Samantha's performance earned her several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Telugu.

In 2016, Samantha appeared in three notable Telugu films. While Srikanth Addala's family drama "Brahmotsavam" opposite Mahesh Babu did not perform well at the box office, Samantha's role in Trivikram Srinivas's romantic comedy "A Aa" alongside Nithiin garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. Playing the character of Anasuya Ramalingam, a naive girl trying to escape her mother's controlling behaviour, Samantha received highly positive reviews for her portrayal.

Critics praised her stellar performance and remarked that the film belonged to her. She was lauded for showcasing vulnerability as a young woman overshadowed by her mother and effortlessly playing the role of a high-maintenance and stubborn girl. Samantha's earnest performance was hailed as the life and soul of the romantic comedy. "A Aa" also performed well at the box office, particularly in the United States, and Samantha's performance earned her several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Telugu.

In 2018, Samantha starred in "Rangasthalam," which became an all-time blockbuster of Telugu cinema, ranking behind only "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion" and "Baahubali: The Beginning." She also appeared in the Tamil action thriller "Irumbu Thirai" opposite Vishal and the Telugu biographical drama "Mahanati." Both films were successful at the box office, with each running for 100 days. Samantha's performances in "Rangasthalam" and "Mahanati" received high praise, and she earned nominations for Best Actress - Telugu and Best Supporting Actress - Telugu at the Filmfare Awards.

Samantha's film "U Turn" was also noted for providing her with a strong screen presence and an intriguing script. The film allowed her to showcase her talent without being overshadowed or limited by her previous roles. In "U Turn," she demonstrated her versatility and received positive reviews.

The Recent Works of Samantha

In 2019, Samantha starred in the women-centric film "U Turn," followed by another women-centric film, "Oh! Baby." "Oh! Baby" is a remake of the South Korean film "Miss Granny" and grossed ₹40 crores at the box office. Samantha's performance in the film was hailed as her career-best, with critics praising her portrayal of a character that reflects the complexities of youth, the burdens of old age, and society's indifference towards the desires and complaints of the elderly. She continued her successful streak with the film "Majili," in which she starred alongside her husband Naga Chaitanya. Her performance in "Majili" received critical acclaim, and her character was recognized as one of the strongest female roles of 2019. Samantha also appeared in "Jaanu," a remake of the Tamil film '96, and received positive reviews for her performance.

In 2021, Samantha performed her first dance number in the film "Pushpa: The Rise" alongside Allu Arjun. The following year, her film "Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal" received mixed reviews. She also starred in the Telugu film "Yashoda," directed by Hari-Harish. In 2023, she appeared in the mythological film "Shaakuntalam," directed by Gunasekhar.

Samantha's career has expanded beyond the Indian film industry. In November 2021, she was cast in the film "Chennai Story," marking her international debut. She also signed a film with debutant director Shantaruban, produced by Dream Warrior Pictures. Additionally, Samantha announced her collaboration with Vijay Deverakonda and director Shiva Nirvana for the film "Kushi," set in a Kashmir backdrop.

Notably, Samantha is set to make her Hollywood debut in "Chennai Story," directed by BAFTA winner Philip John. The film is based on the novel "The Arrangements of Love" by Timeri N Murari. She has also revealed her role as Nadia Sinh's mother in the Hollywood series "Citadel," alongside Priyanka Chopra.

Movies List

# Movie Name Releasing Year
1 Ye Maaya Chesave 2010
2 Baana Kaathadi 2010
3 Moscowin Kavery 2010
4 Brindavanam 2010
5 Dookudu 2011
6 Eega / Naan Ee 2012
7 Neethaane En Ponvasantham 2012
8 Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu 2012
9 Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu 2013
10 Jabardasth 2013
11 Attarintiki Daredi 2013
12 Ramayya Vasthavayya 2013
13 Manam 2014
14 Autonagar Surya 2014
15 Alludu Seenu 2014
16 Anjaan 2014
17 Rabhasa 2014
18 Kaththi 2014
19 S/O Satyamurthy 2015
20 10 Endrathukulla 2015
21 Thanga Magan 2015
22 Theri 2016
23 24 2016
24 Brahmotsavam 2016
25 A Aa 2016
26 Janatha Garage 2016
27 Raju Gari Gadhi 2 2017
28 Mersal 2017
29 Rangasthalam 2018
30 Mahanati 2018
31 Irumbu Thirai 2018
32 Seemaraja 2018
33 U Turn 2018
34 Super Deluxe 2019
35 Majili 2019
36 Oh! Baby 2019
37 Jaanu 2020
38 Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal 2022
39 Yashoda 2022
40 Shaakuntalam 2023


# Award Name Receiving Year Received For
1 Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – Telugu 2011 Ye Maaya Chesave
2 Nandi Special Jury Award 2011 Ye Maaya Chesave
3 CineMAA Award for Best Female Debut 2011 Ye Maaya Chesave
4 TSR-TV9 National Film Award for Best Actress 2012 Eega
5 Ananda Vikatan Award for Best Actress 2013 Neethaane En Ponvasantham
6 Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil 2013 Neethaane En Ponvasantham
7 Tamil Nadu State Film Special Prize 2013 Neethaane En Ponvasantham
8 CineMAA Award for Best Actress 2013 Eega
9 Santosham Film Award for Best Actress 2013 Eega
10 SIIMA Award for Best Actress – Telugu 2014 Attarintiki Daredi
11 Santosham Film Award for Best Actress 2014 Attarintiki Daredi
12 CineMAA Award for Best Actress 2015 Manam
13 SIIMA Award for Best Actress (Critics) – Telugu 2015 Manam
14 TSR-TV9 National Film Award for Best Actress 2015 Attarintiki Daredi
15 SIIMA Youth Icon of South India 2016
16 IIFA Award for Best Actress 2017 A Aa
17 Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu 2017 A Aa
18 Nandi Award for Best Actress 2017 Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu
19 Santosham Film Award for Best Actress 2017 A Aa
20 SIIMA Award for Best Actress (Critics) – Telugu 2017 Rangasthalam
21 SIIMA Style Icon of the Year (Female) 2019
22 Champions of Change Telangana – Outstanding Contribution to the Development and Welfare of Women and Children 2021 For her work in the area of social welfare through Pratyusha Support
23 SIIMA Award for Best Actress – Telugu 2021 Oh! Baby

Personal Life

Samantha's personal life has had its share of ups and downs. In 2012, she faced a period of extended illness that forced her to take a break from acting and opt out of several film projects. She battled an immunity disorder and experienced setbacks when her body did not respond well to antibiotics.

In terms of relationships, Samantha began dating actor Naga Chaitanya in 2010 after they appeared together in the film "Ye Maaya Chesave." The couple got engaged in a ceremony held in Hyderabad on 29 January 2017. They tied the knot in a wedding that took place in Goa on 6 October 2017, following traditional Hindu customs. The couple also had a Christian wedding ceremony the next day, on 7 October 2017, making Samantha a member of the Akkineni family. After their marriage, Samantha started using her married name, Samantha Akkineni. However, on 31 July 2021, she removed the surname "Akkineni" from her social media handles, leading to speculation about her separation from Naga Chaitanya. Eventually, on 2 October 2021, they announced their separation and eventual divorce.

Outside of her acting career, Samantha ventured into the fashion industry. On 28 September 2020, she became the founder of the women's clothing brand Saaki World, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion.

In June 2022, Samantha suddenly became inactive on social media, which sparked rumours about her health. There were speculations about a relapse of a rare skin disorder. However, her team dismissed these rumours. On 29 October 2022, Samantha publicly announced that she had been diagnosed with dermatomyositis, shedding light on her personal health journey.

Samantha's personal life has seen its share of challenges, but she has demonstrated resilience in navigating through difficult times. Her focus on her career and ventures outside of acting has shown her multi-faceted abilities and determination to overcome obstacles.

Social Work

Samantha has been actively engaged in various philanthropic endeavours, using her platform and resources to make a positive impact. She donates her earnings from endorsements, product launches, and inauguration events to her charitable trust, Pratyusha Support, which was registered in 2012. This initiative was inspired by her personal experience of being bedridden during her illness in 2012, motivating her to give back to society.

Through the Pratyusha Support Foundation, Samantha provides medical support for women and children. She has funded the program with the help of three doctor friends, ensuring that those in need receive the necessary financial assistance. To raise awareness and funds for her foundation, Samantha organized a fundraiser in 2013, auctioning off items and memorabilia from her films.

In 2014, Samantha launched a program to fulfil the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases. She financed trips for children to visit the Taj Mahal and meet their favourite film actors, bringing joy and happiness to their lives. Samantha has also been actively involved in creating awareness about haemophilia, participating in events dedicated to raising awareness of the disease. In 2015, Samantha agreed to pay a third of the hospital bills for one infant per week who required intensive care support at Andhra Hospitals. This arrangement aimed to alleviate the financial burden on the families and ensure that the infants receive the necessary medical treatment. Additionally, Samantha collaborated with Andhra Hospitals to sponsor the vaccination of infants below six months for rotaviral infections, providing this essential healthcare service free of cost.

During the 2015 Chennai floods, Samantha mobilized resources and participated in the Mana Madras Kosam initiative organized by the Telugu film industry. She collected relief materials and appealed to the public to contribute to the relief efforts. Samantha also donated a substantial amount of money for flood relief activities in Pallavaram, the suburb where she grew up.

Samantha has been a strong advocate for the handloom sector in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. She has supported the cause by wearing handloom-made sarees and other items, using her influence to promote the work of local artisans. In partnership with the Telangana government, she launched 'Tweave,' a business venture aimed at promoting the handloom sector in the state. Through her philanthropic activities, Samantha has demonstrated her commitment to making a difference in the lives of those in need. Her involvement in various charitable initiatives showcases her compassion and dedication to uplifting society.

Wrapping Up

Samantha's journey as an actress has been marked by her remarkable talent and dedication to her craft. From her early days in the industry to her breakthrough performances, she has proven her versatility and ability to captivate audiences. Beyond her on-screen success, Samantha's philanthropic efforts and commitment to giving back to society further illustrate her compassionate nature and desire to make a difference. As she continues to explore new roles and ventures, Samantha's contributions to the film industry and her philanthropic endeavours make her a true inspiration.

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