Born on 19 May 1938, Girish Karnad was an Indian actor, film director, Kannada writer, playwright and a Rhodes Scholar, who predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. He was active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada cinema, and has earned awards. Apart from this, he was also a presenter for a weekly science magazine programme called “Turning Point” that aired on Doordarshan in 1991.
For four decades he composed plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He translated his plays into English and was acclaimed for his works widely.His plays have also been directed by directors like B. V. Karanth, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, and Zafer Mohiuddin.
He was given Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and won four Filmfare Awards, of which three are Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada and the fourth a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.
Talking about his career, he served as director of the Film and Television Institute of India (1974–1975) and chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy of the performing arts (1988–93). He served as director of the Nehru Centre and as Minister of Culture, in the Indian High Commission, London (2000–2003).