Girish Karnad, legendary playwright and actor, passes away
He is survived by his wife Saraswathi, and children Raghu and Radha Karnad
Noted playwright and actor Girish Karnad has passed away at the age of 81 after a prolonged illness at his residence in Bengaluru earlier today.
Born in Maharashtra, Karnad was an admirer of theatre from a very young age and found success as a playwright at the age of 23, with his novel Yayati. He then transitioned to an actor on the silver screen with his debut in Samskara in 1970, a film that won the National Award and has been seen as the harbinger of parallel cinema movement in the Karnataka film industry. The next year, he debuted as a director with Vamsha Vriksha, which won him the National Award for Best Director award. Karnad would go on to win more National Awards for Kaadu, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Kaanaru Heggadathi (all winning Best Feature Film in Kannada), Bhumika (Best Screenplay), Kanaka Purandara (Best Non-Feature Film), The Lamp in the Niche (Best Non-Feature Films on Social Issues), and Cheluvi (Best Film on Environment Conservation).
The actor was part of movies in other languages too. He made his debut in Hindi with Jadu ka Shankh, in Marathi with Umbartha, and in Tamil with Naan Adimai Illai. In Tamil especially he would go on to be a part of Shankar's Kadhalan, Ratchagan, Rajiv Menon's Minsaara Kanavu, Hey Ram, Chellamae, Narthagi, and Mysskin's Mugamoodi. He was last seen in the language in the Suriya-starrer 24.
A Rhodes scholar, Karnad was conferred with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and he is a recipient of India's highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award. The man who became a household name across the country after essaying the role of Swami's father in the television series Malgudi Days, is survived by his wife Saraswathi and children, Raghu and Radha Karnad.