Indian actor Girish Karnad dies at 81

Culture Desk | Published: 00:00, Jun 11,2019 | Updated: 20:26, Jun 10,2019


Girish Karnad

Renowned Indian playwright, actor and filmmaker Girish Karnad died in Bengaluru on Monday after suffering from a long illness. He was 81, reports Hindustan Times.

Karnad, known for his versatile career spanning across mediums and genres, had received many awards and recognitions including Padma Shri in 1974, Padma Bhushan in 1992, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1994 and the Jnanpith Award in 1998.

The Karnataka government declared a holiday on Monday in light of Karnad’s passing and announced state mourning for a period of three days. Politicians, writers and other noted personalities put out messages on social media paying tribute to the playwright, with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sharing condolences.

Karnad was born on May 19, 1938, in Maharashtra. He did his initial schooling in Siris in the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka and then went on to study in Dharwad. He subsequently studied at University

of Oxford.

Karnad was known for his acclaimed plays that used historical and mythological narratives to critically reflect on society. He wrote his first play when he was at Oxford in 1961.

Karnad made his foray into cinema with the Kannada movie Samskara in 1970, which was based on the famous novel of the same name by UR Ananthamurthy.

In the following year, Karnad won the National Award for best director for the film Vamsha Vriksha. His next film Kaadu won best Feature Film Award. Karnad also directed the critically acclaimed movie Ondanondu Kaladalli in 1978, which was an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai.

The playwright was also one of the actors in Shankar Nag’s TV adaptation of Malgudi Days and Swami and Friends.

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