Noted Playwright and Actor Girish Karnad Passes Away

Noted Playwright and Actor Girish Karnad Passes Away

Bengaluru: Noted actor, filmmaker and playwright Girish Karnad passed away on Monday. He was 81.

Karnad succumbed to a prolonged illness at his residence in Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru, a staff from the Cubbon Park Police station, under whose jurisdiction the legendary writer lived, confirmed the sad demise to News18.

Karnad predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. He rose to prominence with his coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada. He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.

He was also conferred the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and had won several accolades for direction in Kannada cinema.

Karnad, who often used history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues, had his works translated into various Indian languages and helmed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B V Karanth and Alyque Padamsee among others.

Karnad had made his acting as well as screenwriting debut with a 1970 Kannada movie Samskara. The film, based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhirama Reddy, won the first President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.

Some of his popular Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Cheluvi, Kaadu and Kanooru Heggaditi.

His Hindi movies include Nishaant, Manthan, Swami and Pukar. He had acted in a number of Nagesh Kukunoor films, starting with Iqbal, in which Karnad played the role of a ruthless cricket coach. This was followed by Dor, 8 x 10 Tasveer and Aashayein. In 2012, he played the role of a RAW chairman, Shenoy, in Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger. He reprised his role of Shenoy in Tiger Zinda Hai.

Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy tweeted his condolences for the iconic film and theatre personality.

He wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Jnanpith laureate writer and iconic actor/film maker, Sri #GirishKarnad. His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered. In his death, we lost a cultural ambassador. May his soul rest in peace.”

BJP state president B S Yedyurappa also extended his condolences on Twitter.

“Saddened to hear the demise of veteran actor-playwright and jnanapeeta awardee Sri. Girish Karnad. My deepest condolences to @RKarnad and his family,” Yedyurappa wrote.

Karnad is survived by his wife Saraswathi and son Raghu Karnad.

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May he rest in peace. He was agnostic apparently but had disapproved certain sections of the society. He was known for his dramas and was very talented. By no means he had any star value but had great acting ability.
Saraswat Brahmin community has many talents and the society has lost one of the best.