Yasapalitha Nanayakkara

Delgahawatte Yasapalitha Wickramathilaka Nanayakkara (born 19 June 1940 – died 23 June 1996 as යසපාලිත නානායක්කාර) [Sinhala]), popularly known as Yasapalitha Nanayakkara, was an award-winning director in Sri Lankan cinema and stage drama.[1] He was also a screenwriter, producer, lyricist and actor.[2]

Yasapalitha Nanayakkara
යසපාලිත නානායක්කාර
Delgahawatte Yasapalitha Wickramathilaka Nanayakkara

(1940-06-19)June 19, 1940
Udalamatta, Galle, Sri Lanka
DiedJune 23, 1996(1996-06-23) (aged 56)
NationalitySri Lankan
EducationRichmond College, Galle
OccupationDirector, Producer, Screenplay writer, lyricist
Years active1967–1996
Spouse(s)Manoshi Perera
  • Francis Nanayakkara (father)
  • Irene Elizabeth Wijesekara Dissanayake (mother)

He died on 23 June 1996 at the age of 56.

Personal life

Yasapalitha Nanayakkara was born on 19 June 1940 in Udalamatta village closer to Galle as the second of a family with nine siblings.[3] His father was Francis Nanayakkara and mother was Irene Elizabeth Wijesekara Dissanayake. He started his education from Buddhist Mixed School, Mihiripanna and then from Richmond College, Galle. He has four brothers - Vasudeva, Padmakumara, Hemakumara, Asanga and four younger sisters - Swarna Sakunthala, Ranjani, Lanka and Nilmini. His eldest brother Vasudeva Nanayakkara is a former minister and a member of the parliament.[4] His younger brother Hemakumara Nanayakkara is a former minister and governor of Western Province. Younger brother Padmakumara Nanayakkara is looking after father's business.[5]

He was married to Manoshi Perera and couple has two sons. His brother-in-law Somasiri Alakolanga, who is married to Manoshi's younger sister is also an actor.[6] His elder son, Rajeewa is a renowned actor as well as screenplay writer and an assistant director.[7] His younger son Harshana also acted in few films and a lawyer by profession.[8]

Drama career

He had a keen interest on drama since grade 2, where he acted as a newspaper salesman. At Richmond College, he acted in the school drama Hima Kumari Saha Agurumittan Hathdena. Yasapalitha joined Wijaya Abhayadeva as a supporting producer in the film Tissahamila. He was the producer of the film Vasanthi directed by Ananda Wickramasinghe. In that film, he played the role of an arrogant young man.[3]

In 1970, Yasapalitha joined the Chitrasena Kalayathanaya in Kollupitiya and learned the classical music from Titus Nonis, a music teacher.[3] He also directed the popular television serial - Patalawilla.[9]

Yasapalitha's first directorial venture, Thushara, was released in 1973, smashing income records. He also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film was shown in six cinemas for hundred consecutive days. By making fifty days in nineteen cinemas, it earned a large income.[3] He has directed 26 films from 1973 to 1999.[10][11]


On 19 July 2007, there was a mega event to pay homage to the late popular filmmaker Yasapalitha Nanayakkara. The event was titled Rasa Sagarayak was held at the BMICH at 7.00 pm with the participation of Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake as Chief Guest jointly coordinated by the Kala Lanka Padanama. In the meantime, his popular films were telecasted on Sirasa TV at 10.30 pm.[12]


1967VasanthiProducer, Actor
1973ThusharaDirector, Screenwriter
1974Sahayata DannyDirector, Screenwriter
1976Pradeepe Maa WewaDirector, Screenwriter
1977Age Adara KathawaDirector, Screenwriter
1979GeheniyakDirector, Screenwriter
1980Tak Tik TukDirector
1980Muwan Pallessa 2Director
1981GeethikaDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
1982Newatha HamuwemuDirector[13]
1984Jaya SikuruiDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
1987Yukthiyada ShakthiyadaDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
1988Rasa RahasakDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
1990Dedunnen SamanliyakDirector
1991Sihina Ahase WasanthayaDirector
1992Jaya Sri We KumariyeDirector
1992Muwan Palesse KadiraDirector
1993PrathignaDirector, Screenwriter, Producer[14]
1993Chaya MayaDirector, Producer
1999Rathu AluyamaDirector[15]


  1. "Production House in Sri Lanka". NKAR Travels & Tours (Pvt) Ltd. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  2. "Yasapalitha Nanayakkara". National Film Corporation Of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  3. "The ocean of taste in cinema". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  4. ""My Brother The Politician"". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  5. "'Narrow escape from death' - Hemakumara". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  6. "Yasapalitha Nanayakkara  :A name synonymous with keeping the cinemas Industry afloat". The Island. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  7. "Actor Rajeewa Nanayakkara". Sinhala Cinema Database. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  8. "Our political culture is on default mode Lawyer - Harshana Nanayakkara". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  9. "Patalawilla". Paradisaya. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  10. "Yasapalitha Nanayakkara filmography". The Island. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  11. "Yasapalitha Nanayakkara filmography". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  12. "'Yasapalitha instilled responsibility and discipline in me': Sanath". Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  13. "'Yasapalitha instilled responsibility and discipline in me': Sanath". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  14. "Yasapalitha's 'Prathigna' on Rupavahini". Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  15. "' Rathu Aluyama': last creation of Yasapalitha". Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
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