Awarded the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992, Girish Karnad was born on May 19, 1938, in Mumbai (then Bombay Presidency), and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford.
Bengaluru:Girish Karnad, a celebrated actor, playwright and filmmaker, died at 81 today after a long illness. He died at a hospital in Bengaluru at 6.30 am, according to his family.
Born on May 19, 1938, in Mumbai (then Bombay Presidency), his critically-acclaimed body of work includes plays like “Yayati”, “Hayavadana” and “Tughlaq”, all of which he wrote in Kannada and then translated to English, losing none of the beauty and poignancy of the original texts.
Karnad predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. 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.
He was also conferred the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and had won several accolades for direction in Kannada cinema.
Karnad, who often used history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues, had his works translated into various Indian languages and helmed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B V Karanth and Alyque Padamsee among others.
Karnad had 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.
PM Narendra Modi and Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy tweeted their condolences for the iconic film and theatre personality.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/s5bfbh0VgE
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) June 10, 2019