Arundathi Nag

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Arundhati Nag[1]
Arundhati Nag.jpg
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1980s–present
Spouse(s) Shankar Nag

Arundhati Nag (née Rao) is a prominent South Indian polyglot film actress and theatre personality. She has been involved with multilingual Theatre in India, for over 25 years, first in Mumbai where she got involved with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), and did various productions in Gujarati, Marathi, and Hindi theatre, besides getting involved in television, director Jyoti Vyas's Gujarati TV series, Haji Aavti Kaal Che. Later[2] and after her marriage to Kannada actor-director Shankar Nag (1954–1990), her association with theatre continued in Bangalore, culminating in realising the dream project of her late husband, the Ranga Shankara theatre, at J P Nagar, a suburb in Bangalore.[3][4][5] She was awarded the 2008 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Theatre Acting by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre.[6] She was also awarded the 57th National Film Awards as Best Supporting Actress for her role in Paa.

Arundathi is the founder and the Managing Trustee of the Sanket Trust, established in 1992,[1] which has Girish Karnad as its chairman,[7] and which runs the Ranga Shankara, a Bangalore theatre which after four years of construction was inaugurated on 28 October 2004.[4][8][9] Now the annual Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival has become a regular feature on Bangalore's cultural calendar.[10]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Delhi, but her family moved to Mumbai when she was 10.[11] Arundhati was passionate about theatre in her school days. She joined an amateur theatre group in Mumbai and in her teen years, she was doing as many as 42 shows a month in Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi and English.[12]

Personal life[edit]

At 17, she met Shankar Nag, also a theatre artist. Six years later, the two got married and she moved to Bangalore. Shankar became popular film actor, and later a director, most remembered for his TV adaptation of RK Narayan's Malgudi Days (1987).[5] In 1990, the young couple and their daughter were travelling for the muhurat of a film, when a lorry hit their car in a head-on collision. Shankar Nag was killed instantly while Arundhati's legs were broken, her hands and face covered in bruises; their daughter was also injured although not seriously.[12]


In 2006, she was awarded the 'Citizen Extraordinaire' Award by The Rotary Club of Bangalore.[13] Arundathi's last major movie was the Kannada blockbuster Jogi,[14] for which she also won the Karnataka Government's Best Supporting Actress award for the year 2005.[15] Her most recent production has been Girish Karnad's Bikhre Bimb. Arundathi has also acted in other language films such as Minsara Kanavu (1997), dubbed into Hindi as Sapnay (1997), Dil Se.. (1998).

She has acted in the Indian National Award winning Marathi film 22 June 1897.[16] In 2009, she acted in the film Paa. Her role earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.



Year Film Language Role Other notes
1979 22 June 1897 Marathi
1983 Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Kannada Jaya
1985 Parameshi Prema Prasanga Kannada
1985 Accident Kannada Directed by Shankar Nag
1993 Golibar Kannada Directed by Shivamani
1996 Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love English Annabi
1996 Shiva Sainya Kannada
1997 Minsaara Kanavu Tamil Mother Superior
1998 Dil Se.. Hindi AIR director
2003 Ek Alag Mausam Hindi Aparna's mother
2005 Jogi Kannada Shivrajkumar's mother
2007 Chaurahen Hindi Nandakumar Nair
2009 Paa Hindi Vidya Balan's mother/Bum Won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
2012 Da Thadiya Malayalam "Night Rider"
2013 Andhar Bahar Kannada
2014 Airavata Kannada

Assistant director[edit]



External links[edit]