Veteran actor and playwright Girish Karnad died on Monday morning in Bengaluru. The 81-year-old actor, who was being treated for a prolonged illness, passed away after multiple organ failure. The funeral will take place today at Kalpalli electric crematorium in Byappanahalli, Bengaluru. Karnad, 81, was awarded the Padma Shri in 1974, the Padma Bhushan in 1992, and the highest national award for literature, the Jnanpith Award in 1998. Karnad, a giant of the theatre world, especially in the south and in his native Karnataka, was known for his seminal plays mixing history, folk tales and mythology. He was also a fearless political activist.
In Tamil he was known for his roles in Hey Ram, Kaadhalan , Minsara Kanavu and Chellame. He was a very natural performer who could do any role given to him. He is one of the finest theatre artist as well. 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 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.