Girish Raghunath Karnad is a contemporary writer, playwright, actor and movie director in Kannada language. He is the latest of seven recipients of Jnanpith Award for Kannada, the highest literary honour conferred in India.

For four decades Karnad has been composing plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He is also active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter, earning numerous awards along the way. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

Girish Karnad was born in Matheran, Maharashtra, into a Konkani-speaking family. His initial schooling was in Marathi. As a youngster, Karnad was an ardent admirer of Yakshagana and the theater in his village.
e earned his Bachelors of Arts degree from Karnataka University, Dharwad, in 1958. Upon graduation Karnad went to England and studied at Lincoln and Magdalen colleges in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, earning his Master of Arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics. Karnad was a Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Chicago.

His directorial debut came with the movie VamshaVruksh, based on a Kannada novel by S.L. Bhairappa. The movie won several national and international awards. Before this, Karnad acted in a movie called Samskara, based on a novel by U.R. Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhirama Reddy. That movie won the first President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema. Later, Karnad directed several movies in Kannada and Hindi. Some of his famous Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu neenade magane, Ondanondu Kaaladalli, Cheluvi and Kadu.

His Hindi movies include Utsav, Godhuliand the recent Pukar. A recently acclaimed movie by Karnad is Kanooru Heggaditi, based on a novel by Kannada writer Kuvempu. Karnad has also acted in several other movies and received critical acclaim.

He has been criticised by the eminent Kannada novelist S.L. Bhairappa for being untrue to history in order to curry favor with the establishment.

 

Awards Received By Girish Karnad

  • Filmfare Awards South
  • 1972: Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada – Vamsha Vriksha
  • 1974: Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada – Kaadu
  • 1978: Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada – Ondanondu Kaladalli
  • 1983: Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada – Ananda Bhairavi
  • Filmfare Awards Hindi
  • 1980: Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Godhuli (with B. V. Karanth)
  • 1980: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award: Aasha: Nominated
  • 1982: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award: Teri Kasam : Nominated
  • Karnataka State Film Awards
  • 1971-72 First Best Film – Vamsha Vriksha
  • 1971-72 Best Dialogue Writer – Vamsha Vriksha
  • 1973-74 Second Best Film – Kaadu
  • 1989-90 Best Supporting Actor – Santha Shishunala Sharifa
  • 1995-96 Best Supporting Actor – Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai
  • 1999-00 Second Best Film – Kanooru Heggadithi

 

Films Done By Girish Karnad

  • 1970 Samskara Praneshacharya Kannada
  • 1971 Vamsha Vriksha Raju (lecturer) Kannada
  • 1974 Jadu Ka Shankh Hindi
  • 1975 Nishaant Schoolmaster Hindi
  • 1976 Manthan Dr. Rao Hindi
  • 1977 Swami Ghanshyam Hindi
  • 1977 Jeevan Mukt Amarjeet Hindi
  • 1978 Sandharbha Psychiatrist Kannada Special Appearance in climax
  • 1979 Sampark Heera Hindi
  • 1979 Ratnadeep Madan Hindi
  • 1980 Beqasoor Dr. Anand Bhatnagar
  • 1980 Aasha Deepak
  • 1980 Man Pasand Kashinath
  • 1980 Apne Paraye Harish Hindi
  • 1981 Shama Nawab Yusuf Khan
  • 1982 Umbartha Advocate Subhash Mahajan Marathi
  • 1982 Aparoopa Mr. Khanna Assamese
  • 1982 Teri Kasam Rakesh Hindi
  • 1983 Ananda Bhairavi Narayana Sarma
  • 1983 Ek Baar Chale Aao Din Dayal Hindi
  • 1983 Anveshane Rotti Kannada
  • 1984 Tarang Dinesh Hindi
  • 1984 Divorce
  • 1985 Nee Thanda Kanike Rao Bahadur Raja Ram Mohan Rao Kannada
  • 1986 Nenapina Doni Kannada
  • 1985 Zamana Satish Kumar Hindi
  • 1985 Meri Jung Deepak Verma Hindi
  • 1985 Sur Sangam Pandit Shivshankar Shastri Hindi
  • 1986 Neela Kurinji Poothappol Appu Menon Malayalam
  • 1986 Naan Adimai Illai Rajasekhar Tamil
  • 1987 Sutradhar Zamindar Hindi
  • 1988 Kaadina Benki Kannada
  • 1988 Akarshan
  • 1989 Prathama Ushakirana Doctor Kannada
  • 1989 Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe
  • 1990 Santha Shishunala Sharifa Govindabhatta Kannada
  • 1990 Nehru: The Jewel of India
  • 1991 Mysore Mallige Padma’s Father Kannada
  • 1991 Chaitanya Retired Major Harischandra Prasad Telugu
  • 1991 Brahma
  • 1991 Antarnaad Hindi
  • 1991 Gunaa Dr. Ganesh Tamil
  • 1992 Cheluvi Village Headman Kannada
  • 1993 Praana Daata
  • 1994 Poorna Sathya Kannada
  • 1994 Kadhalan Kakarla Satyanarayana Murti
  • 1994 Aagatha Psychiatrist Kannada
  • 1995 Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai Hanagal Kumaraswamiji Kannada
  • 1996 Dharma Chakram Mahendra Telugu
  • 1996 Aatank Inspector Khan Hindi
  • 1996 The Prince Vishwanath Malayalam
  • 1997 Ratchagan Sriram Tamil
  • 1997 Minsaara Kanavu Amal Raj Tamil
  • 1998 China Gate Sunder Rajan
  • 1998 Kadhal Mannan Rudran
  • 1998 April Fool A. N. Ramakrishnaiah
  • 1998 Aakrosh: Cyclone of Anger Rajwansh Shashtri Hindi
  • 1999 Kanooru Heggadithi Chandregowda Kannada Director
  • 1999 AK-47 Jagannath Rao Kannada
  • 1999 Janumadatha Dr. Akbar Ali Kannada
  • 1999 Prathyartha Sheshanag Dixit
  • 2000 Pukar Mr. Rajvansh Hindi
  • 2000 Hey Ram Uppilli Iyengar Tamil
  • 2001 Vande Matharam Mr. Ballal Kannada
  • 2004 Chellamae Rajasekhar Tamil
  • 2004 Shankar Dada MBBS Satya Prasad Telugu
  • 2005 Iqbal Guruji Hindi
  • 2006 Dor Randhir Singh Hindi
  • 2006 Tananam Tananam Shastry Kannada
  • 2007 Aa Dinagalu Girish Nayak Kannada Screenplay Writer also
  • 2007 Lava Kusha Protagonists’ father Kannada
  • 2008 Chilipili Hakkigalu School Master Kannada
  • 2008 Sangaathi Kannada
  • 2008 Dhanam Tamil
  • 2009 8 x 10 Tasveer Anil Sharma Hindi
  • 2009 Aashayein Parthasarthi Hindi
  • 2009 Life Goes On Sanjay
  • 2010 Komaram Puli Narasimha Rao
  • 2011 Narthagi Tamil
  • 2011 Kempe Gowda Mahadev Gowda Kannada
  • 2012 Ek Tha Tiger Dr. Shenoy
  • 2012 Mugamoodi Lee’s Grandfather Tamil
  • 2012 Yaare Koogadali Doctor Kannada
  • 2013 Sweety Nanna Jodi Priya’s Father Kannada
  • 2014 Samrat & Co. Mahendra Pratap Singh Hindi
  • 2014 Savaari 2 Vishwanath Kannada
  • 2015 Rudra Tandava Shivaraj’s Father Kannada
  • 2015 Rana Vikrama K. V. Anand Rao Kannada
  • 2015 Chandrika Kannada
  • 2015 Guru Dakshina Guruji Hindi
  • 2016 24 Sathya’s Grandfather Tamil
  • 2016 Shivaay Anushka’s father Hindi
  • 2016 Chalk n Duster Manohar Sawant Hindi
  • 2017 Tiger Zinda Hai Dr. Shenoy
  • 2018 Neenillada Male Kannada
  • 2019 Pora Kannada
  • 2019 Sketch For Love Telugu
  • 2019 Vidura Kannada

 

TV series Done  By Girish Karnad

  • Malgudi Days (1987) as Swami’s Father
  • Indradhanush (1989) as Appu and Bala’s Father Khandaan (TV series)

 

Movies directed By Girish Karnad

  • Vamsha Vriksha (1971, Kannada)
  • D.R. Bendre (1972, documentary)
  • Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane in (1977, Kannada)
  • Godhuli (1977, Hindi)
  • Ondanondu Kaladalli (1978, Kannada)
  • Kanooru Heggadithi (1978, Kannada)
  • Kaadu (1973, Kannada)
  • Durga in Mahendar(1973 )
  • Utsav (Hindi)(1973)
  • Woh Ghar (1984, Hindi), based on Kirtinath Kurtakoti’s Kannada play Aa Mani
  • The Lamp in the Niche (1990) (documentary)
  • Cheluvi (1992, Kannada and Hindi (dubbed))
  • Chidambara Rahasya (2005, Kannada) (tv film for DD1)
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