Veteran actor, director and playwright Girish Karnad passes away at 81

One of the most prominent faces of Kannada theatre, filmmaker, activist and actor, Girish Karnad passed away in a hospital at Bengaluru.

Veteran actor director and playwright Girish Karnad passes away at 81 Veteran actor director and playwright Girish Karnad passes away at 81 Source : Press

Girish Karnad who was a noted actor, filmmaker and playwright passed away on Monday at the age of 81 in a hospital at Bengaluru. Girish who succumbed to a prolonged illness, the sad news of his demise was confirmed by a staff from the Cubbon Park Police station, where the legendary writer lived.

Girish who had been a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University in the 1960s, earned him his Master of Arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics, has also been a recipient of Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India, while he also conferred the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992.

He was also known as a Kannada playwriter, while several of his plays have also been translated into English and several Indian languages. He predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. His Hindi movies include Nishaant, Manthan, Swami and Pukar. He was also seen in a number of Nagesh Kukunoor films such as Iqbal, Dor, 8 x 10 Tasveer and Aashayein. In 2012 he was also seen playing the role of RAW chairman, Shenoy, in Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger and also reprised his role of Shenoy in Tiger Zinda Hai.

Even PM Narendra Modi and Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to share their condolences. Modi wrote, "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." While CM H D Kumaraswamy tweeted, "Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Jnanpith laureate writer and iconic actor/filmmaker, 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."

Girish Karnad is survived by his wife Saraswathi and son Raghu Karnad.