Ravindra Randeniya is a Sri Lankan actor and politician. He rose to fame in Lester James Peries's film Desa Nisa in 1972, and was a popular actor during the 1970s and 1980s; He won the Sarasaviya Best Actor Award in 1984 (Dadayama), 1985 (Maya), 1989 (Sandakada Pahana), and 1990 (Sri Medura).
Randeniya was born in Dalugama, Sri Lanka. Dalugama was a small village filled with paddy fields and streams. Randeniya appreciated nature growing up often spending evenings looking over the fields; he was also an avid reader from a young age immersing himself in the works of acclaimed Sinhala authors like Martin Wickremasinghe, Prof. Ediriweera Sarachandra, Munidasa Kumaratunge, and Wimalarathne Kumaragama.
Randeniya attended St. Francis School in Dalugama. Though he was a good student, he failed to pass his A-level examination and didn't pursue higher education. Randeniya instead joined his family business of manufacturing hardware products.
Beginnings in theatre
In his free time, Randeniya started taking courses in theater decor and screenwriting at Lionel Wendt Theatre Workshop. The Workshop was considered the premiere acting school in Sri Lanka, and its faculty was composed of the leading Sinhala dramatists of the day like Dr. Sarachandra, Damma Jagoda, Gunasena Gallappathi, Ernest MacIntyre, Percy Colinthus, and Irangani Serasinghe. Randeniya became interested in acting while taking a required general acting class under Jagoda; he gradually became fascinated with the idea of acting over the two years he spent at the school.
Randeniya has a son Rishi who is Assistant Manager at Virgin Mobile Chadstone in Melbourne, Australia
Randeniya got his first starring role in the student production Mudu Puttu directed by Gallapaththi. His performance in the film drew praise from well-known director Lester James Peries. He next appeared in Kalu Diya Dahara, considered "a watershed in the annals of Sinhala films", which dealt with a struggle between workers and administration in a tea plantation. It was made in 1971, and shown nationwide in 1974.
Peries, who was a fan, picked Randeniya for one of the three main roles in Desa Nisa alongside Joe Abeywickrema and Shriyani Amerasena. This would be his breakthrough role, and established him as a popular actor when screened in 1972.