Vinaya Prasad (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). The senior actress in her career has shared screen space with Vishnuvardhan, Rajinikanth, Mohanlal, Ambareesh, Ananth Nag and Akkineni Nagarjuna, V. Ravichandran, Shivrajkumar, Mahesh Babu and others.
Vinaya Prasad 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.
She starred in a few Malayalam films also before starring in the longest-running and most popular daily soap opera on Malayalam TV, Sthree which aired from late 1997 to mid 2000 on Asianet Television channel. The Kannada version of this serial was also made. The popularity of this soap made her a household name among Malayalis.