Prem Jayanth

Hettiaaratchchige Emanuel Aloysius Rodrigo (1931-1997), who performed under the name Prem Jayanth, was an important Sri Lankan movie actor and producer who took up designing posters in his later years and proceeded to make a major impact in that field of the arts.  Born in the Grand Pass area of Colombo, he was educated at St. Lucia’s College , Kotahena and St. Joseph's college. He caught the movie bug as a child when he played a bit part in A D J Mathupala's short film ‘Carnival’ in 1942.


As a young man Prem Jayanth, began his career by landing a small role in B A W Jayamanne's Unmathi Wishwaasaya. His major breakthrough came in 1953 when he starred alongside Florida Jayalath in Sujatha. They appeared together once more in Seda Sulang in 1955 and that hit movie established them as major stars.  Prem Jayanth is generally considered to be the first superstar of the Sinhala cinema.

Prem Jayanth started his own film production company in the 1970s and made several well received Sinhala movies. Having worked on a few films as a set designer and art director, Prem Jayanth became fascinated with design and began to create movie posters. With his distinctive style, Prem Jayanth became the most sought-after film publicity artist in Sri Lanka in the 1970s designing posters for Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi movies. His posters defined a generation of Sri Lankan cinema in the mind of movie goers and are treasured by collectors today.