After a prolonged illness, veteran playwright and actor Girish Karnad passed away today, Monday 10, 2019, in Bengaluru.
He made his acting debut and screenwriting debut in iconic Kannada movie, Samskara (1970), based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy. It was directed by Pattabhirama Reddy and the film won the first President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.
He was an eminent playwright with works such as Nagmandala, Yayati and Tughlaq, which was one of the most successfully performed plays, to his credit. He also worked in Hindi cinema's parallel film movement in movies such as Swami, and Nishant.
Girish Karnad, a recipient of Jnanpith Award, was also conferred the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. He was also a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University, in the 1960s that earned him his Master of Arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics.
He won four Filmfare Awards, of which three are Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada and the fourth, a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.
His Hindi movies include Nishaant (1975), Manthan (1976), Swami (1977) and Pukar (2000). He has acted in a number of Nagesh Kukunoor films, starting with Iqbal (2005), followed by Dor (2006), 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) and Aashayein (2010).
In later years, Girish Karnad was seen in commercial films such as Chalk N Duster (2016) starring Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi, Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) starring Salman Khan and Shivaay (2016) starring Ajay Devgn.
One cannot forget his performances in television shows likes Malgudi Days (1987), Gulmohar West (192), and Indradhanush (1989). One even saw his host a science magazine Turning Point on Doordarshan in 1991.
His plays, written in Kannada, have been translated into English and several Indian languages.
He even served as the director of the Film and Television Institute of India (1974-1975) and chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy of the performing arts (1988-1993). Girish Karnad also served as director of the Nehru Centre and as Minister of Culture, in the Indian High Commission, London (2000-2003).