is by far one of the finest thespians on Marathi stage today. His career, spanning a period of over thirty years, encompasses his accomplishments from the children's theatre and experimental stage to professional Marathi theatre, television serials and films. The following is a brief overview of his contribution and achievements in each of these fields.
Academically, Dilip Prabhavalkar has a Master's degree in Biophysics and a diploma from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. Initially, he worked for a pharmaceutical company for many years and later, was a partner in a video production unit. During this period, he performed as an actor in several children's plays and experimental plays staged at Chhabildas. His first major performance in 'Lobh Nasava Hi Vinanti' a play written by Vijay Tendulkar and directed by Arvind Deshpande, was very impressive. In 1991, however, he decided to give up this dual existence of working and doing plays simultaneously and chose acting as a career.
In the Children's and Amateur theatre, Prabhavalkar was associated with Ratnakar Matkari's group and performed in all the plays staged by the troupe. His performances were always unique because of his systematic and studied approach to the role, the understanding of the character he had to play and his spontaneity. His brilliant performance as 'the witch' in 'Albatya Galbatya' is still remembered by those who saw it then.
Prabhavalkar also acted in the experimental plays staged by Matkari's troupe and his performances of a simpleton in 'Prem Kahani' and Vidur in 'Aranyak' - a play based on the Mahabharat - were awarded prizes at the Maharashtra State Drama Festival.
From the experimental stage, Prabhavalkar very easily moved to the professional stage in 1976, and since then has given several brilliant performances in a variety of plays of different categories - from slapstick to light comedy, family drama and melodrama, to serious discussion plays dealing with contemporary issues. The following few examples indicate the vastitude of his range and his capabilities:
1. Double role as Anna and the mother-in-law in Pradeep Dalvi's farce 'Vasuchi Sasu'.
2. The young as well as old Rajabhau in 'Chook Bhool Dyavi Ghyavi' - a light comedy written by Prabhavalkar himself, which traces in a humorous manner, the 50 year old relationship between a married couple.
3. The caring but extremely possessive father in Ratnakar Matkari's 'Jawai Maza Bhala' - a light family drama.
4. The lovably senile Nana of the old lonely couple in Jaywant Dalvi's 'Sandhyachhaya'.
5. The double role of the debonair, flirtatious Raje and a local rustic constable in Prof. Toradmal's 'Kalam 302'(adaptation of 'Sleuth').
6. The alcoholic but intelligent and charming barrister in Matkari's 'Ghar Tighancha Hava' (a play on the life of Tarabai Modak).
7. The nondescript but determined, very idealistic common man in P. L. Deshpande's 'Ek Zunj Waryashi' (adaptation of 'The Last Appointment').
8. The anguished father who sacrifices every comfort for his mentally handicapped son in Jaywant Dalvi's 'Natigoti'. And finally,
9. Six different characterisations in 'Hasvaphasvi' - a laugh riot penned and directed by Prabhavalkar himself. The characters are Chimanrao, Prince Wantung Pin Pin- an oriental monarch, Nana Punje- a street smart trader, Dipti Prabhavalkar Patel Lumumba - a feisty lady, Bobby Mod- a pseudo westernised young man with a punky style and Krishnarao Herambkar- an octogenarian singer actor. 'Hasvaphasvi' has been appreciated by all types of audiences and with 712 performances so far, it has become a milestone of Marathi theatre.TV Serials and films :
Prabhavalkar entered TV serials as 'Chimanrao', in the serial of the same name, telecast on Doordarshan in 1977-79. The serial was based on the famous humorous literary work 'Chimanraocha Charhat' by C. V. Joshi. The character Chimanrao had been played earlier in films by the veteran Damuanna Malwankar. Prabhavalkar, using a high-pitched voice and innocent face, effectively brought out the innocence and the naivety of the character.The serial was very popular and Prabhavalkar reached all corners of Maharashtra as 'Chimanrao' and gained immense popularity.He has since then performed in several serials and films.
In 1992, he received the Maharashtra State award for best actor for his portrayal of a mentally retarded boy in the film 'Chaukat Raja'. His performances in 'Katha Doan Ganpatraonchi' and 'Sarkarnama' have been widely acclaimed by critics as well by people at large.
Prabhavalkar is a serious actor. He has an attitude of making an in-depth study of the character he wants to portray and then taking pains to build up each part of the character systematically. He possesses the quality of good observation. For performing the mentally retarded boy in 'Chaukat Raja' he visited an institute of such children and spent time with them, to observe them. This is why his performances appeal to connoisseurs as well as the common theatre-going man. In fact it will not be an exaggeration to say that he gets the largest audiences and from all strata of society- rural, urban, young, old, labourers, intellectuals. Prabhavalkar has been honoured with many Maharashtra State, Natyadarpan and Natya Parishad awards for his work in Theatre.
Prabhavalkar himself is a good writer. His writing is remarkable for its wit and deft comic touches and tongue-in-cheek satirical attitude. This attitude is reflected in his newspaper column writing where he deals with the issues around, including political ones, in a humorous manner, yet exposing the hypocricy of politicians. Three of his nine books published so far- 'Googly', 'Hasgat' and 'Kagdi Baan'- have won literary awards. Prabhavalkar is a socially conscious personality and is always ready to give his share for a good cause. He has been working for the Poona Blind Men's Association and has helped them by lending his voice to prepare a number of audio cassettes for their 'Talking Book Libraries'.
He has also been associated with Kamayani, the institution working for mentally retarded children. The ties that he developed with them at the time of 'Chaukat Raja' have become permanent and he is always ready to help them in any way he can. Needless to say, Prabhavalkar does all that without accepting any remuneration - 'an actor must give back to society at least a part of what he achieves with the help of the society' is his attitude. Awards :-
1972 :- Best Amateur Actor ("Prem Kahani") Maharashtra State Award :
Natavarya Mama Pendse Puraskrut
Natasamrat Ganpatrao Bhagwat Puraskar.
1981 :- Best Actor in a Comedy Role ("Kashaat Kaay Lafdyat Paay") Natyadarpan Award.
1987 :- Best Actor ("Vasoochi Sasu") Natyadarpan Award.
1988 :- Special Award for Outstanding Performance ("Ek Zunj Waryashi") Natyadarpan Award.
1989 :- Best Actor in a Serious Role ("Nati Goti") Natyadarpan Award.
1989 :- Best Professional Actor All India Marathi Natya Parishad : Natavarya Nanasaheb Phatak Puraskrut Natasamrat Ganpatrao Joshi Puraskar.
1992 :- Special Award for Outstanding Performance in a Revival ("Kalam 302") Natyadarpan Award.
1992 :- Natyagaurav Puraskar Sanmanchinnha. Natyagaurav Pratishthhan, Pune.
1993 :- Special Award for Outstanding Theatre Production ("Hasvaphasvi")
1994 - 95 :- Best Professional Actor ("Jawai Mazha Bhala") Lions Club of Bombay.
1995 :- Best Actor ("Jawai Mazha Bhala") Kaalnirnay Award.
1995 :- Best Actor ("Jawai Mazha Bhala") Kaalnirnay Award.
1999 :- Outstanding Contribution to Marathi Theatre. Mahindra Nataraj Puraskar.
2000 :- Outstanding Contribution to Marathi Theatre. Chintamanrao Kolhatkar Puraskar . presented by All India Marathi Natya Parishad, sponsored by Maharashtra State Government
1991-1992 :- Best Actor and Shivaji Ganeshan Award ("Chaukat Raja") Maharashtra State Award for Marathi Cinema.
1997-1998 :- Best Supporting Actor ("Sarkarnama") Maharashtra State Award for Marathi Cinema.
1997 :- Best Actor ("Sarkarnama") Aashirwad Film Award.
1999-2000 :- Best Actor ("Ratra Aarambh"), Maharashtra State Award for Marathi Cinema.
1999-2000 :- Best Actor, ("Ratra Aarambh") Filmfare Award.
1990 :- Best Regional Artiste, ("Zopi Gelela Jaga Zhala") Lions Club of Bombay T.V. Talent Award.
December 2000 :- Outstanding Actor in Marathi Theatre, Chandrakant Mandhre Award.
June 2001 :- Outstanding Contribution to Marathi Theatre, ("Chaturastra Rangakarmi" ), Rangadarpan Award.
Februrary 2002 :- Best Actor in Marathi TV Serial, ("Shriyut Gangadhar Tipre" )
Maharashtra Times Sanmaan Award.
April 2002 :- Contribution in Marathi Theatre, Sahayog Award.
October 2005 :- Contribution in Marathi Theatre, Natavarya Chintamanrao Kolhatkar Smrityarth 'Balwant' Puraskar (Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parishad, Borivali Chapter)
November 2006 :- Best Actor ('Appa Ani Bappa') Kala Gaurav Pratishthan, Pune
November 2006 :- Contribution to Marathi Theatre, Bal Gandharva Puraskar, Bal Gandharva Samiti, Nagthane, Sangli
November 2007 :- Contribution to Marathi Theatre, Vishnudas Bhave Puraskar
Maharashtra Natya Vidyamandir, Sangli
November 2008 :- Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role, Male Shevri [Marathi] and Lage Raho Munnabhai [Hindi]
National Award :- at the hands of the President of India
1988-89 :- Best Humorous Literature :- ("Googly") Maharashtra State Award for Marathi Literature.
C. V. Joshi Puraskar :- ("Kaagdi Baan") Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad Award.
V. M. Patwardhan Puraskar (Pune) :- ("Hasgat")
Rajendra Banhatti Puraskar (Pune) :- ("Hasgat")
2008-09 : Best Children's Literature ('Bokya Satbande : Parts 4 & 5')
Maharashtra State Award for Marathi Literature.REVIEWS
"No two roles he plays resemble each other. The script is humorous; and the humour is intelligent, bringing out the idiosyncracies of each character...."
- The Times of India
"His amazing versatility, his marvellous sense of timing, and his feel for dialogue have turned ‘Hasvaphasvi’ into a lough riot."
"In these days when pure humour is hard to come by, ‘Hasvaphasvi’ provides a pleasant surprise, an experience to be cherished, remembered and relished for a long time to come."
"This versatile artiste, through his speech and mannerisms can make the audience laugh and at the same time make them serious and introspective."
"The various transformations of roles are not limited to mere costume-changes.......a complete change in character and personality is what this versatile artiste brings about convincingly."
"The status of ‘Hasvaphasvi’ in contemporary Marathi theatre is unique. And the entire credit goes to Dilip Prabhavalkar, who has written, directed, and essays the six roles in this awesome production. What I am most amazed by is Dilip's ability to perform such a wide variety of roles through all his plays, yet being able to incorporate the very essence of each character in that role with such natural ease. In theatre-crazy Maharashtra, Dilip's has become a household name in no time. "
- P. L. Deshpande
"Watching ‘Hasvaphasvi’ is obviously an experience of pure entertainment of a high calibre. But for those interested in the art of acting, this performance by Dilip Prabhavalkar would be a text book guide. Prabhavalkar displays such effective examples of spoken, physical and other aspects of emoting, that an in-depth and intricate study of this performance would equal the annual curriculum of an acting course."
- Dr. Shriram Lagu
"I have seen the drama ‘Hasvaphasvi’ twice. I have liked it so much that I want to see it once again. Every character in the drama seems real. It is proof of how minutely Prabhavalkar has observed the nuances of every character. This is exactly why the audience gets great satisfaction and joy seeing him become one with each role."
- Manik Varma
"Marathi theatre has a lot of humorous actors. Some of them occasionally play serious or tragic roles as well. There are also some who perform one man shows; and they run into hundreds of performances. Some also go abroad and people are all praise for them. However Dilip Prabhavalkar is Dilip Prabhavalkar. As an actor, a creative artiste or versatile human being he is unmatchable."
- Vijay Tendulkar
"Dilip Prabhavalkar’s ability to perform roles of six different characters is simply marvellous. His speech, voice, movements, mannerisms and facial expressions in one role are completely different in the next. Besides, by completely masking his own personality by that of the character he has managed each 'metamorphosis' entirely - a hundred and one percent."
- Daji BhatawdekarCourtesy :- dilipprabhavalkar.com