The famous playwright, actor, director, and writer Girish Karnad passed away on June 10, 2019, aged 81. Reports said that Karnad was suffering from a prolonged illness. Karnad rose to fame in the 1960s playwriting in Kannada. Karnad is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, which is the highest literary honor that is conferred in India. The late artist is also a recipient of four Filmfare Awards and was also conferred a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian government.
Karnad was born on May 19, 1938, in Matheran, Maharashtra. A graduate of the Karnataka University, he wrote several plays in Kannada, many of which had influences of Western literature. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and during his time there, he penned his first play Yayati in 1961. Yayati was critically acclaimed. In 1964, his next play titled Tughlaq was released. The story was based on Mohammad bin Tughlaq, which is considered to be one of Karnad’s best pieces of work.
Later in 1970, Karnad made his debut in screenwriting and acting with Samskara, a film based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy. Samskara was awarded the first President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema. Some of his other Kannada films include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, and Cheluvi. Karnad also worked in Hindi films, including Nishaant, Manthan, Iqbal and more. He also played important roles in Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai.