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Girish Karnad is a very renowned and talented playwright, director and an actor. Girish R Karnad was born at Mathern, Maharastra on 19 May 1938. He was educated at the Karnataka University, Dharwar and at Oxford where he was a Rhodes scholar. After working with the Oxford University press for seven years, he resigned to concentrate on writing and filmmaking. His formidable works as a playwright include Yayathi (1961), Tughlaq (1964), Hayavadana (1971), Anjumallige (1977), Hittina Hunja (1980), Naga-Mandala (1988), Tale-danda (1990) and Agni Mattu Male (1995). All these plays were written originally in Kannada, but were translated into other languages including, Hindi and English. He has also produced several radio plays, which include Ma Nishada and Sindhuvalli Anathamurthy in Kannada. He has acted in several renowned films like Samskara, Vamsha Vriksha and Kaadu in Kannada and provided the script and direction for many Hindi films including Utsav and Cheluvi. Besides, he has acted in several Hindi feature films, television films and serials for Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and others.
Karnad has been heaped with honours and awards, including the Mysore State Award for Yayathi (1962), Mysore Rajyotsava Award (1970), Homi Bhabha Fellowship for creative work in the folk theatre (1970-72), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1972), Kamaladevi Award of the Bharatiya Natya Sangh for the Best Indian play of the Year for Hayavadana (1972), National award for excellence in Direction for Vamsha Vriksha (1972), Padma Shri (1974), National award for the Best Kannada film for Ondanondu Kaaladalli (1978), the PadmaBhushan and the Jnanpith Award (1998).