Girish Karnad Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Death Cause: Prolonged Illness
Wife: Dr. Saraswathy Ganapathy
Age: 81 Years

Girish Karnad

Full NameGirish Raghunath Karnad
Profession(s)Actor, Playwright, Film Director, Screenwriter, Professor
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.)in Kilograms- 80 kg
in Pounds- 176 lbs
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourBlack & White
Personal Life
Date of Birth19 May 1938
BirthplaceBombay Presidency, British India
Date of Death10 June 2019
Place of DeathHe died at his residence on Lavelle Road in Bengaluru at 6.30 am
Age (at the time of death) 81 Years
Death CauseMultiple-organ failure
Zodiac signTaurus
HometownBengaluru, India
SchoolNot Known
College/UniversityKarnatak Arts College, Dharwad, Karnataka University
Magdalen College, University of Oxford, England
Educational Qualification(s)• Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics
• Master of Arts in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics
• Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
DebutPlay Screenwriting: 'Maa Nishaadha' (1960)
Kannada Film & Screenwriting: 'Samskara' (1970)
Direction: 'Vamsha Vriksha' (1971)
TV: 'Malgudi Days' (1987)
FamilyFather- Late Rao Saheb Dr Karnad
Mother- Late Krishna Bai Mankeekara
Sisters- 2
AddressBangalore, India
HobbiesReading, Writing, Listening to soft music, Yoga
Awards, HonoursFor Literature

• Sangeet Natak Akademi award and Varthur navya Award- 1972
• Padma Shri- 1974
• Padma Bhushan- 1992
• Kannada Sahitya Parishat Award- 1992
• Sahitya Academy Award- 1994
• Jnanpith Award- 1998
• Kalidas Samman- 1998
• University of Southern California, Los Angeles- 2011

National Film Awards

• Best Direction: Vamsha Vriksha (with B. V. Karanth)- 1971
• Best Feature Film in Kannada: Vamsha Vriksha- 1971
• Best Feature Film in Kannada: Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane- 1977
• Best Screenplay: Bhumika (with Shyam Benegal and Satyadev Dubey)- 1978
• Best Feature Film in Kannada: Ondanondu Kaladalli- 1978
• Best Non-Feature Film: Kanaka Purandara- 1989
• Best Non-feature Film on Social Issues: The Lamp in the Niche- 1990
• Best Film on Environment Conservation: Cheluvi- 1992
• Best Feature Film in Kannada: Kaanuru Heggadathi- 1999

Filmfare Awards South

• Best Director for the Kannada film: Vamsha Vriksha- 1972
• Best Director for the Kannada film: Kaadu- 1974
• Best Director for the Kannada film: Ondanondu Kaladalli- 1978
• Best Actor for the Kannada film: Ananda Bhairavi- 1983

Filmfare Awards Hindi

• Best Screenplay Award: Godhuli (with B. V. Karanth)- 1980

Other Awards/Honours

• Honorary Doctorate from University of Southern California, Los Angeles- 2011
Controversies• In 1992, Karnad publicly criticized the demolition of Babri Masjid and also gave a statement against the Idgah Maidan in Hubli to create a controversy.

• In 2012 at TATA Lit Fest, Mumbai, Karnad was invited to express a feeling about 'his life in theater' but he took the opportunity and started pointing out about V. S. Naipaul for his enmity towards Indian Muslims. Later on, festival's organizers granted Lifetime Achievement Award to V. S. Naipaul and Karnad criticized the organizers for having honored Naipaul.

• Just After Naipaul's controversy, Karnad again created controversy by claiming that Rabindranath Tagore was a substandard playwright and his plays were intolerable.

• In November 2015, during the birth anniversary celebration of ruler Tipu Sultan, Karnad specified that Bangalore International Airport should have been changed from Kempe Gowda to 'Tipu Sultan' which created an outcry among right-wing parties and after the incident he apologized for his statement.
Favourite Things
Favourite Food'Kanda Batata Poha', 'Misal Pav', Vada-Pav', 'Aloo Methi', 'Lacha Prantha', 'Sabutdana Khichdi'
Favourite Actor(s)Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Puneet Raj Kumar, Diganth
Favourite Actress(s)Rekha, Hema Malini, Arundathi Nag, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, Jayanthi
Favourite Singer(s)Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar
Favourite ColoursGrey, Black, Brown, Blue
Favourite SportCricket
Favourite Book'Why Survive? Being Old in America' (Robert Neil Butler)
Favourite PoetsAmoghavarsha, Kappe Arabhatta
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/Girlfriends N/A
Wife/SpouseDr. Saraswathy Ganapathy
Girish Karnad wife
Marriage DateNot Known
ChildrenSon- Raghu Karnad
Daughter- Not Known

Girish Karnad

Some Lesser Known Facts About Girish Karnad

  • Did Girish Karnad smoke?: Not Known
  • Did Girish Karnad drink alcohol?: Yes
  • Girish Karnad was born in Matheran, Maharashtra and brought up in Karnataka.
  • He belonged to Saraswat Brahmin Konkani Family.
  • He started his career in 1960.
  • He is well known for his work in the South Indian movies and Bollywood.
  • In 1964, he came into the limelight from his play ‘Tughlaq’.
  • His work as the Swami’s Father in ‘Malgudi Days’ (1987) was highly appreciated by the viewers in India.
  • He first met his wife at a party when he was working at the Oxford University Press in Madras on his return from England to India and got married to her at the age of 42.
  • He is fond of writing plays, literature, stories, poems, etc.
  • His plays were written in Kannada and have been translated into English and other Indian languages.
  • He also worked as a professor from 1963 to 1970 at the Oxford University Press, Chennai and as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Illinois from 1987 to 1988.
  • From 1974 to 1975, he served as director of the Film and Television Institute of India and from 1988 to 1993, Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of the Performing Arts.
  • In 1988, he was honoured with Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honor.
  •  In the 2014 parliamentary elections, he opposed Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s post.
  • He was a critic of religious fundamentalism and Hindutva in India.
  • He gave his voice in the autobiography of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam‘s (former President of India) audiobook ‘Wings of Fire’.