Famous actor-playwright Girish Karnad passes away in Bengaluru

Chennai: Famous actor and playwright Girish Karnad (81) passed away in his Bengaluru residence Monday.

According to reports, Karnad, a Jnanapith award winner from Karnataka, lived in Bengaluru and died this morning.

The famous Kannada playwright was conferred the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. Then came India’s highest literary award, the Jnanapith, in 1999.

Though Karnad wrote his first play, Yayati, in 1961 when he was in Oxford, the play Tughlaq (1964) brought him laurels.

Karnad, born in Maharashtra 19 May 1938, did his Bachelor’s at Karnataka University in 1958. When he got a fellowship to study at Oxford, he returned to India with a Masters in 1963 after studying philosophy, politics, and economics.

Karnad is survived by his wife Saraswathi, son Raghu Karnad, a journalist and writer, and daughter Radha, a doctor, who lives in Kenya.


Girish Karnad acted in a number of Tamil films also. His role in Kadhalan, Hey Ram!, Chellame, Ratchagan, and Minsara Kanavu brought him fame in Tamilnadu.


A number of leaders and celebrities have condoled the death of Karnad. In Karnataka, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister D Parameshwara and Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa tweeted their condolence. Among others, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and actor-politician Kamal Haasan have mourned the passing away of Karnad.

‘Mr.Girish Karnad, His scripts both awe and inspire me. He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers. Their works perhaps will make his loss partly bearable,’ said Kamal in his tweet message.

NT Bureau