BENGALURU, June 10 - Renowned playwright, actor and Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad, who left his indelible mark in the world of literature, theatre and cinema spanning five decades, passed away at his residence here on Monday after prolonged illness, his family said.
A multi-hyphenate personality, who often courted controversies for his fearless vocal stance on several issues, Karnad, 81, is survived by wife Saraswathi, son Raghu Karnad, a journalist and writer, and daughter Radha.
Raghu said his father was suffering from lung-related illness. �He passed away some time this morning and we found his body at 8:30 am. He was sleeping,� Raghu told reporters here.
A recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Karnad was one of the most important literary minds of the present era, who enriched the Indian literature with his seminal works in his native language Kannada.
He wrote, acted in and directed several plays and movies that earned critical acclaim. His most well known works include the plays Yayati, Tughlaq and Naga-Mandala, which have been translated from Kannada to English and other Indian languages.
Karnad was also a well-known face in Kannada and Hindi cinema ranging from parallel films such as Samskara, Nishant, Manthan to commercial outings such as Tiger Zinda Hai and Shivaay.
The mortal remains of Karnad were cremated at Kalpali electric crematorium in the city in the afternoon. In deference to Karnad�s wishes, the family had decided not to follow any religious ceremonies or accept state honours during cremation.
Declaring a holiday on Monday as a mark of respect to Karnad, the Chief Minister�s office in a statement also announced a three-day state mourning.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Karnad, saying he will be remembered for his work for years to come. � PTI