Indian theater and film personality Girish Karnad dies at 81

FILE- A Jan. 20, 2012 file photo of Indian actor and playwright Girish Karnad, attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India. Karnad, a top Indian playwright, actor, director and a rights activist, died on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 81. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup, File)

NEW DELHI — Girish Karnad, a top Indian playwright, actor and director and a rights activist, died Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 81.

India's president and the prime minister expressed their condolences over Karnad's death at his home in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. The family did not elaborate on his illness.

A renowned theater personality, Karnad worked predominantly in South Indian cinema and in Bollywood. He was a Rhodes scholar in the 1960s and earned a master of arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

President Ram Nath Kovind said with Karnad's demise India's cultural world has become poorer.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums.

Karnad received India's top literary prize, the Jnanpith Award, and two national awards, the Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992, for his body of work. His plays, written in the Kannada language, were translated into English and several Indian languages.

Karnad made his acting as well as screenwriting debut in 1970 in the Kannada film "Samskara." The movie won the Indian president's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.

He was popular on television as well, especially for playing a role in "Malgudi Days." He also hosted a science magazine, "Turning Point," on state-run television in the early 1990s.

He made his directorial debut with "Vamsha Vriksha," a Kannada-language movie that won a National Film Award for best direction along with B.V. Karanth, who co-directed the film. Karnad directed nearly a dozen movies in the Kannada and Hindi languages.

He championed freedom of expression and condemned violent attacks on journalists or critics of religious superstition and extreme Hindu nationalist politics.

Karnad was one of 200 writers who appealed to people to "vote out hate politics" in April-May national elections.

In 1992, he condemned the demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu radicals in the northern town of Ayodhya that triggered the worst communal rioting in India in decades.

Karnad is survived by his widow, one son and one daughter.

Must Read

Egyptian singer banned after claiming lack of...

Mar 23, 2019

An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it...

Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan gets US apology for...

Aug 12, 2016

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeted that he gets detained at U.S. airports "every damn time"...

Renowned Indian classical singer Kishori Amonkar...

Apr 4, 2017

Singer Kishori Amonkar, renowned for her innovative interpretation of classical Indian music, has...

Indian theater actor Tom Alter has died at age 67

Sep 30, 2017

Tom Alter, a well-known Indian theatre, television and Bollywood actor of American descent, has...

Sridevi, Bollywood leading lady of '80s and '90s,...

Feb 25, 2018

Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s who redefined stardom for actresses in...

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress