Born in 1931 in Pune, Shri Neelu Phule received early exposure to professional Marathi theatre through his father Shri Krishna Ganpat Phule. He began his career as a child actor, graduating to adult roles in the ’50s. Shri Neelu Phule has been a professional actor from the ’60s. In the course of an active career on the Marathi stage, he has emerged as one of its prominent and versatile actors, excelling in a variety of roles in numerous plays in Marathi as well as Hindi. Some of his notable performances have been as Sakharam in Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakharam Binder (1976), as Appaji in Suryast (1981 ), and as Minister in Katha Aklechya Kandyachi (1968), directed by himself. He has been associated with many theatre groups including Abhishek and Natya Rang. Shri Neelu Phule has also acted in some 170 films in Marathi and Hindi. Shri Neelu Phule receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to theatre as an actor.