Bengaluru: Noted theatre personality, 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.
Karnad was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. He was also the recipient of the Jnanpith Award, the country’s highest literary honour, in 1999 for his contributions to literature and theatre.
He had also gained popularity for his numerous roles in Hindi and Karnad movies. Salman Khan-starrer ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ was his last Hindi movie.
Some of his popular Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Cheluvi, Kaadu 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 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.”
Born in Maharashtra on May 19, 1938, Karnad completed his bachelor’s degree from Karnataka University in 1958 and masters from Oxford in 1963.