Noted Playwright, Actor & Filmmaker Girish Karnad Passes Away

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

Karnad succumbed to a prolonged illness at his residence in Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru. He predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood.

Karnad 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.

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.

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

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

Karnad’s 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 Dor8 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.”

Expressing grief at the actor’s demise, PM Modi also took to Twitter and wrote- “Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.”

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