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Playwright, actor Girish Karnad passes away

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Bengaluru: Noted playwright and film actor Girish Karnad passed away in the city on Monday. He was 81.

Karnad breathed his last at about 8 am at his Lavelle road residence, when his family members last checked on him.

A recipient of Jnanpith award in the year 1998, he was one among the eight recipients of the highest literary award in Kannada literature.

He was born on May 19, 1938 at Matheren in the then Bombay presidency in Maharashtra. Mother Krishna Bai was a  nurse and father Dr Raghunath Karnad.

He had his early education in Marathi, before the family moved to Dharwad in Karnataka. Karnad was a 14 year old boy then who grew up with his two sisters. An alumnus of Karnatak University Dharwad, he studied BA in Mathematics and Statistics in Karnataka Arts College in 1958. He later went to Oxford and studied MA in philosophy, economics and political science. He was just 23 when he wrote ‘Yayati’ play in 1963, followed by ‘ Tuglaq’ in 1964, ‘ Hayavadana’ in 1971, ‘ Nagamandala’ in 1988.

He forayed into sandalwood as a screenplay writer for ‘ Samskara’ a critically acclaimed movie that broke the stereotype in 1970. Following year, he tried his hands on direction and adapted S L Bhyrappa’s ‘Vamsha Vriksha’ in 1971.

He has also acted in several films in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Hollywood too. He was seen acting with his oxygen kit on, in Salman Khan starrer ‘ Tiger Zinda Hai in 2017. He was the home minister in Puneeth Rajkumar starrer ‘ Rana Vikrama’.

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