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About Shankar Nag

Male actor Shankar Nag from India, famous due to tollywood

Director and Actor


Shankar Nag Actor Pictures Interview Biography

Shankar Nag (Kannada: ಶಂಕರ್ ನಾಗ್),(9 November 1954-30 September 1990) originally known as Shankar Nagarakatte (ಶಂಕರ್ ನಾಗರಕಟ್ಟೆ), along with his elder brother Anant Nag (ಅನಂತ್ ನಾಗ್) was a popular actor and director of Kannada cinema. He also directed and acted in the teleserial, Malgudi days (ಮಾಲ್ಗುಡಿ ಡೇಸ್), based on celebrated novelist R.K.Narayan's (ಆರ್.ಕೆ.ನಾರಾಯನ್) short stories. Besides these, he was actively involved in Kannada theatre activities.

Early career

Shankar Nag was born on November 09, 1954 at Udupi in Karnataka (in Mallapur village from Honavar taluk (Near Kumta) of Uttara Kannada district). After completing formal education, Shankar moved to Bombay (now Mumbai). In Mumbai he was attracted to Marathi theatre and immersed himself in theatrical activities. Incidentally, he met his future wife, Arundhathi (ಅರುಂಧತಿ) during a drama rehearsal.

Shankar Nag then shifted base to Karnataka. His elder brother Anant Nag had already established himself as an actor and urged Shankar to act in films. He was offered a role of a mercenary by Girish Karnad in the epic movie, Ondanondu Kaaldalli, which was loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, Seven Samurai. Shankar won the Best Actor Award at an International Film Festival held in New Delhi[citation needed].

Later Days

Commercial film producers took notice of Shankar Nag and he began acting in typical masala movies. Shankar was an unconventional hero with an unshaven face, distinict swagger, dark eyes and a rough voice. Although he had never undergone any martial arts training, he earned the sobriquet of Karate King. His popular films include Auto Raja, Geeta, S.P.Sangliana, and Minchina Ootaa.

He had also identified himself with the Janata Party in 1980s.

Directorial Debut

Shankar began his directorial with Minchina Ota. This won him seven state awards, including the best film. And then came a series of films directed by him. Janma Janmada Anubandha, Geetha, Accident (which many state and national awards), Ondu Muttina Kathe (with Dr. Rajkumar in the lead).

Malgudi days

Shankar did not limit his creativity to cinema. He was equally immersed in theatre and television. Malgudi days is the best example of Shankar's oeuvre on television. Prior to globalisation, Doordarshan was the only broadcaster in India. In addition to programme production, Doordarshan used to invite private producers to produce television serials. Shankar accepted the offer and directed Malgudi days, based on the collection of short stories by R.K.Narayan in 1987, under the banner of Padam Rag Films. Well known actors Vishnuvardhan, and Anant Nag appeared in the serial. Master Manjunath, who essayed the role of impish Swami became a household name.

The music, accompanied by the nasal twang "Tananaa tana na naa" was composed by L.Vaidyanathan. The teleserial was shot in Agumbe, Shimoga district, Karnataka. Shankar went to direct another teleserial, titled Swami in the same year. Malgudi days has been rated as one of the finest serials ever that could be made in the history of Indian Television.

It is noteworthy that he was anchoring the Parichaya program on DD1-Kannada, in its starting days.

Though a busy star in his own rights, Shankar always had time for theatre. That was almost his second nature. In fact he brought a kind of commercial viability to the Kannada Amateur Theatre. He and his wife founded SANKET, an amateur theatre group, which still produces plays. His first ever directorial effort in Kannada was Anju Mallige by Girish Karnad. He continued with productions like Barrister, Sandhya Chhaya. Sometime here he was joined by T N Narasimhan who wrote and co-directed Nodi Swami Navirodhu Heege. which had, apart from himself, his wife Arundhati Nag and Ramesh Bhat in the cast. The two directed Aata Bombat. Shankar's last production was Naaga Mandala, a play by Girish Karnad. He co-directed with Surendra Nath.


Shankar Nag died in an accident near Davangere, in the wee hours. He was on his way to participate in the shooting of the film Jokumara Swamy, for which he was the producer. Girish Karnad was the director of this film. He was with his wife Arundhati Nag and daughter. Shankar Nag left many an unfinished projects. Like AVG homes, Ropeway to Nandi Hills. Country Club was just a month old and Sanket Electronics, the first ever electronic recording studio in Karnataka, was about 7 year old. Shankar was involved in politics, but not actively. He was a great admirer of Ramakrishna Hegde.

Selected Filmography

As a Director

Minchina ota 1980
Janma Janmada Anubandha - 1980
Geetha - 1980
Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige - 1983
Lalach - 1983
Accident - 1985
Swami (TV Series) - 1989
Ondu Muttina Kathe - 1987
Malgudi days (TV Series) - 1987
Hosa Teerpu

As an Actor

Ondanondu Kaladalli
Minchina Ota
Auto Raja
SP Sangliana I
SP Sangliana II
CBI Shankar
Raktha Thilaka
Moogana Sedu
Nodiswamy naviroduhege
Barjari Bete
Gedhdha Maga
Benki Chendu
Huli Hebulli
Muniyana Maadari
Maanava Danava
Nyaya Ellide
Apoorva Sangama with Dr.Rajkumar
Chandi Chamundi
HaLLiyalli Sura Sura Suraru
Sundarakaanda the last film
Gandu Berunda
Preethimadu Thamashenodu
Haddina Kannu
Niguda Rahasya
Benki BirugaaLi with Vishnuvardhan
Kaarmika Kallanalla with Vishnuvardhan
Antima Ghatta

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