||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
November 9, 1954
Mallapur Village, Honavar (North Canara), Karnataka
|Died||September 30, 1990
Near Anagod Davanagere, Karnataka
|Other names||Shankar Anna, Karate King, Auto Raja|
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, screenwriter,television anchor|
|Years active||1977 to 1990|
|Relatives||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 theater activities. He co-wrote 22 June 1897, an Indian national award-winning Marathi film.
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 theater 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).
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.
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.
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 globalization, 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 Ananth 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 to be made in the history of Indian Television. He anchored the Parichaya program on DD1-Kannada, in its starting days. Shankar retained an interest in theatre. His brother Ananth 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. Sundarakanda was his last film as actor and was released a few days after his death. It's a belief among his many ardent fans that Shankar Nag would have changed that face of Kannada Film Industry had he lived longer.
As a director
- Minchina Ota - 1980
- Janma Janmada Anubandha - 1980
- Geetha - 1981
- Hosa Teerpu - 1983
- Lalach - 1983
- Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige - 1983
- Accident - 1985
- Watchman - 1986
- Malgudi Days - 1987
- Swami (TV Series) - 1987
- Ondu Muttina Kathe - 1988
As an actor
As a writer
- Shankar Nag at the Internet Movie Database
- Sanket Trust, Bangalore's Ranga Shankara a project in the memory of late actor
- Article on TOI , Article on Shankar Nag
- Article on Shankar Nag
- , Article on Shankar Nag