Shankar Nag

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Shankar Nag
Shankar Nag
Born Shankar Nagarkatte
(1954-11-09)9 November 1954
Mallapur, Honnavar (North Kanara), Mysore State, India
Died 30 September 1990(1990-09-30) (aged 35)
Near Anagod, Davanagere, Karnataka
Other names Shankar Anna, Karate King, Auto Raja
Occupation Actor, director, producer, screenwriter, television anchor
Years active 1977–1990
Height 5 ft 7 in
Spouse(s) Arundathi Nag
Parents Sadananda Nagarakatte
Family Anant Nag (brother)

Shankar Nagarkatte (9 November 1954 – 30 September 1990), known as Shankar Nag, was an actor and director of Kannada cinema. He also directed and acted in the teleserial, Malgudi Days, based on celebrated novelist R.K.Narayan's short stories. Besides these, he was actively involved in Kannada theatre activities. He co-wrote 22 June 1897, an Indian national award-winning Marathi film.

Early career[edit]

Shankar Nagarkatte was born on 9 November 1954 in Mallapur village in Honnavar (Uttara Kannada), Karnataka. His parents were Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte. His elder brother is the popular Kannada actor Anant Nag. After completing formal education, Shankar moved to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he was attracted to Marathi theatre and immersed himself in theatrical activities. Incidentally, he met his future wife, Arundhathi 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 Kaladalli, which was loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, Seven Samurai. His debut film as actor fetched him a national award at the Delhi International Film Festival. Thus began his film career, where, in a span of 12 years (from 1978 to 1990) he acted in some 80 Kannada movies, as a leading man, besides co-producing (with actor-brother Anant Nag) and directing some films like Minchina Ota (a rare example of a heist movie in Kannada), Janma Janmada Anubandha and Geetha (both of which had music by South Indian maestro Ilayaraja).[1]

Later days[edit]

Commercial film producers took notice of Shankar Nag and he began acting in typical masala movies. Seetaramu was Shankar Nag's first commercial movie. Shankar was an unconventional hero with an unshaven face, distinct swagger, dark eyes and had 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 ota. He had also identified himself with the Janata Party in 1980s.

Directorial debut[edit]

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 won many state and national awards), Ondu Muttina Kathe (with Rajkumar in the lead), Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige, Hosa Teerpu, Lalach.

Malgudi Days[edit]

Shankar did not limit his efforts 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" on YouTube[2] was composed by L. Vaidyanathan.[3] 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 to be made in the history of Indian Television.[4][5]

He anchored the Parichaya program on DD1-Kannada, in its starting days.[citation needed] Shankar retained an interest in theatre. His brother Anant Nag and he 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 Swamy Navirodu Hige which had, apart from himself, his wife Arundhati Nag and Ramesh Bhat in the cast.


Shankar Nag died in a car crash at Anagodu village on the outskirts of Davanagere town on 30 September 1990, while proceeding to Lokapur in Bagalkot district of Karnataka with his wife Arundhati Nag and daughter Kavya, in the shooting of his film Jokumaraswamy.[6] Sundarakanda was his last film as actor and was released a few days after his death.

Selected filmography[edit]

As director[edit]

Year Film Language Notes
1980 Minchina Ota Kannada Also producer, screenwriter
Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Second Best Film
Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay
1980 Janma Janmada Anubandha Kannada Also co-producer, screenwriter
1981 Geetha Kannada Also co-producer, screenwriter
1983 Hosa Teerpu Kannada Also screenwriter
1983 Lalach Hindi
1983 Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Kannada Also screenwriter
Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Third Best Film
1985 Accident Kannada Won, National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues
Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film
1986 Watchman
1987 Malgudi Days Hindi TV series
1987 Swami Hindi TV series
1988 Ondu Muttina Kathe Kannada Also screenwriter

As actor[edit]

Year Film Language Role Notes
1978 Sarvasakshi Marathi Short Play
1979 Ondanondu Kaladalli Kannada Gandugali First film in a lead role
Seetha Ramu Kannada
I Love You Kannada
1980 Moogana Sedu Kannada Nagaraja
Haddina Kannu Kannada
Preeti Madu Tamashe Nodu Kannada
Ondu Hennu Aaru Kannu Kannada
Rustum Jodi Kannada
Janma Janmada Anubandha Kannada Directed by himself, With Anant Nag asst somu
1981 Thayiya Madilalli Kannada
Kari Naga Kannada
Minchina Ota Kannada Katte Directed by himself
Hana Balavo Jana Balavo Kannada
Muniyana Maadari Kannada
Jeevakke Jeeva Kannada with Anant Nag
Geetha Kannada Sanju Directed by himself
Bhari Barjari Bete Kannada
1982 Benki Chendu Kannada
Nyaya Ellide Kannada
Karmika Kallanalla Kannada with Vishnuvardhan
Auto Raja Kannada with Leelavathi
Archana Kannada
1983 Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Kannada
Raktha Thilaka Kannada
Chandi Chamundi Kannada
Nagabekkamma Nagabeku Kannada
Gedda Maga Kannada
1984 Ganda Bherunda Kannada with Ambareesh
Utsav Hindi Sajjal
Apoorva Sangama Kannada with Rajkumar
Benki Birugali Kannada with Vishnuvardhan
Thaliya Bhagya Kannada
Kalinga Sarpa Kannada
Asha Kirana Kannada
1985 Maanava Danava Kannada
Parameshi Prema Prasanga Kannada Directed by Ramesh Bhat
Thayiya Kanasu Kannada
Accident Kannada Ravi (Journalist) Directed by himself
1986 Na Ninna Preetisuve Kannada Co-starring Ravichandran, Arjun Sarja
Rasthe Raja Kannada
1987 Antima Ghatta Kannada
Digvijaya Kannada with Ambareesh and Srinath
Ondu Muttina Kathe Kannada with Rajkumar
Ee Banda Anubandha Kannada
Lorry Driver Kannada
Huli Hebulli Kannada
Thaayi Kannada
1988 Sangliyana Kannada Sangliana with Ambareesh
Mitheleya Seetheyaru Kannada Cameo appearance
1989 Antintha Gandu Nannalla Kannada with Ambareesh
Tarka Kannada Akshay
Idu Saadhya Kannada
C.B.I. Shankar Kannada Shankar
1990 Aata Bombata Kannada
Bhale Chatura Kannada
Aavesha Kannada
Hosa Jeevana Kannada
Maheshwara Kannada
Nighooda Rahasya Kannada
Ramarajyadalli Rakshasaru Kannada
S.P. Sangliana II Kannada Sangliana
1991 Nagini Kannada
Punda Prachanda Kannada
Sundara Kanda Kannada
1993 Prana Snehitha Kannada

As writer[edit]


  1. ^ Nag, Anant (2001). 'Nanna tamma Shankara' (My brother Shankara). Bangalore: Total Kannada. ISBN 9788192226903. 
  2. ^ L, Vaidyanathan. "Signature tune – Malgudi days". You Tube. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Music director L. Vaidyanathan dead". The Hindu. 20 May 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Shanker Nag's 'Malgudi Days' is back on television". IBN Live. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Malgudi days : Reviews". IMDB. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Shankar Nag accident: Family to get Rs 26.8 lakk". The Times of India. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

Further reading[edit]


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