Bengaluru:  Jnanpith awardee, actor, renowned theatre personality and playwright Girish Karnad breathed his last at his residence on Lavelle Road in Bengaluru at 6.30am on June 10. Multiple organ failure has been cited as the reason for the 81-year-old actor’s demise.

He had been suffering from a respiratory disorder, and in recent times was seen at events in Bengaluru with an oxygen mask for support. 

Sources said that Karnad's family does not want the state funeral or any rituals to be performed. 

Karnad was playwright and a Rhodes Scholar, who made it big not only in South Indian cinema but also in Bollywood.

Karnad has composed plays, like Tughlak, using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues in four decades of his theatrical experience. His plays have also been translated into various Indian languages. He is a known name as an actor, director and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada cinema. He has won Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan and four Filmfare Awards.

He was honoured with the Jnanpith Award in 1998.

Girish Karnad debuted in Kannada movies with the film Samskara directed by Pattabhirama Reddy in 1970. This is the first movie to win President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.

He became a known name at the national level when he hosted the science show Turning Point on Doordarshan, in the early 1990s.

His directorial debut in Kannada was Vamsha Vriksha in 1971. The plot was based on a Kannada novel by SL Bhyrappa. It won him the National Film Award for Best Direction.

Karnad directed Godhuli in 1977 and Utsava in 1984.  He has also made documentaries, on Kannada poet DR Bendre Kanaka-Purandara on Sufism and the Bhakti movement.

Some of his famous Kannada movies include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Cheluvi and Kaadu, Kanooru Heggaditi (1999), Aa Dinagalu.