Vinaya Prasad (Kannada: ವಿನಯಾ ಪ್ರಸಾದ್, (also credited as Vinaya Prakash) is a popular film and television actress in South India who has primarily featured in Kannada and Malayalam films besides acting in a few Tamil and Telugu language films. She has won the State Best Actress Award for her performances in Aathanka (1993) and Bannada Hejje (2001).
She hails from Udupi district of Karnataka state. Vinaya made her film debut with a small role in G V Iyer’s Madhwacharya in 1988. She worked in smaller character roles before playing the leading lady in Ganeshana Maduve opposite Ananth Nag. The film was a huge success and she went on to act in more than 60 films in not only Kannada but also Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Some of her notable Kannada films include, Neenu Nakkare Haalu Sakkare, Ganeshana Maduve, Gauri Ganesha, Mysore Jaana and Suryodaya. After a successful career as a lead actress, Vinaya switched over to character roles in South Indian films and remains a sought after actress in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu movies. Vinaya is also an effective compere and singer. Vinaya has compered several important events like Vasantha Habba in Nrityagram and the annual Dasara procession in Mysore.
Vinaya is from the Udupi district in Karnataka and was brought up in Udupi. She is a Karhada Brahmin. She is married to Jyotiprakash who directs television serials. Vinaya was earlier married to V.R.K Prasad, an award winning director and editor of Kannada films who expired in 1995 at a young age. Vinaya has an elder sister Vijaya Satyanarayana and twin sisters Kshama Bhat and Kripa Bhat. Her brother Ravi Bhat is in the television industry as an actor. Vinaya currently resides in Bangalore with her husband Jyotiprakash and daughter Prathama Prasad. Jyotiprakash has a son named Jay who is also in to film direction and writing in Mumbai.