Anant Nag

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This article is about the film actor. For the Kashmir city, see Anantnag.
Anant Nag
Born Anant Nagarakatte
(1948-09-04) 4 September 1948 (age 67)
Mallapur, Honnavar,Uttara Kannada, Mysore State, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor, politician
Spouse(s) Gayathri (m. 1987)
Children 1
Family Shankar Nag (brother)

Anant Nagarkatte (born 4 September 1948) popularly known as Anant Nag, is an actor from Karnataka, India. He is considered one of Kannada cinema's finest actors.[1] As a result, he is popularly known as an actor with no-failures, by critics.[citation needed] In addition to Kannada movies, he has acted in Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi movies. He has also acted in Malgudi Days, directed by his younger brother Shankar Nag based on the stories by R. K. Narayan. His work was much appreciated by critics at that time. He is fluent in Kannada, Konkani, Marathi, Hindi. The versatile natural acting coupled with the style of speaking (southern Kannada accent with a coastal touch) made him one of the most successful actors in Kannada cinema.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Anant Nag was born on 4 September 1948[2] to Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte in the Uttara Kannada district of the Kingdom of Mysore (present-day Karnataka). He is from a konkani speaking family. He grew up in Shirali, a village near Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada. He had his early education under the aegis of Ananda Ashrama in Dakshina Kannada district and Chitrapura Matha in Uttara Kannada. He was sent to Bombay (now Mumbai) for further education. This was when he was drawn towards the theatre movement of Bombay and he was selected to act in Konkani, Kannada and Marathi plays which he did until he turned 22.[1]



Once in Bombay, thanks to his good looks, he was suggested by theatre personalities Prabhakar Mudur and Venkatrao Talageri to participate in theatrical plays. His first role came in a play when he played the role of a Hindu monk, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that proved to be a success among the audiences. He then played a role in a play based on the life of sage Gautama Buddha. Following these, he played important roles in plays in Konkani and Kannada languages, the latter mostly with directors K. K. Suvarna and Girish Karnad. In Karnad's play Yayati, Nag played the role of Pururava. He also played major roles in Hindi language plays of Amol Palekar and Satyadev Dubey's socially and politically relevant plays. Around this time, in the early 1970s, he received two film offers, in P. V. Nanjaraja Urs' Kannada film, Sankalpa; and Shyam Benegal's Hindi film, Ankur.[3][1]

Film career[edit]

Following a theatre career in Bombay, Nag made his film debut with Sankalpa a 1973 Kannada film. Shyam Benegal introduced him into Hindi cinema in his 1973 film Ankur. Anant Nag acted in many of Shyam Benegal's movies after that. Although he is well known for his mainstream Kannada films, Nag is also active in alternative Indian cinema.

His entry into Kannada films was through legendary G. V. Iyer's Hamsageethe.[4] It is one of the most critically acclaimed of his movies and is about trysts of a learner whose greatest search is finding the right Guru.[5]

Nag and fellow popular actress Lakshmi have been known as an all-time greatest pair in South Indian movies. They acted together in more than 25 films. Most of the films based on T. R. Subba Rao's novels and some of them directed by great Dorai-Bhagavan. The films like Chandanada Gombe, Naa Ninna Bidaalare (1979), Benkiya Bale, Ibbani Karagitu, Makkaliralavva Mane Thumba, Mududida Taavare Aralitu, Amma and others in their combination were blockbuster hits that made Anant Nag and Lakshmi household names in Karnataka. Both the actors have signed a new film together in 2013 called "Gulmohar" directed by Devanuru Chandra that has already started shooting.

Although he began his career as an actor in artistic movies, became most popular in comedies due to his versatile acting and natural sense of humour. Ananth Nag kept re-inventing himself with each era. In the 1970s and 80s, he was the darling of the middle-class with his natural acting. He also dabbled in television during this period. In the 90s, he experimented with negative roles (Shanti Kranti) and accepted character roles.

He is one among very few lead actors in Kannada film industry to share screen space with Rajkumar. Most memorable of this combination is Kaamana Billu, in which he played second lead role. Another notable film is Bhakta Prahlada, in which Rajkumar played Hiranya Kashyapu and Ananthnag as Naradamuni.

With greatest hits in the films like Ganeshana Maduve, Gauri Ganesha, Udbava, Undoohoda Konduhoda, Beladingala Baale, Hasyaratna Ramakrishna, Yarigu Helbedi, dairya lakshmi, he has been noted for his abilities. These days, he appears in supporting roles in Kannada movies (for example, blockbuster films like Mungaru Male): He has been the favourite choice of most popular directors of Kannada cinema. He is equally popular in supportive roles amongst dignified viewers across the Karnataka. His recent movie Eredane maduve has been a huge hit where he acted in a lead role with Suhasini Maniratnam.

Nag acted in Anahat and it drew rave reviews. Marathi film director Amol Palekar found Nag's sensitive depiction of the king's dilemmas to have greatly enhanced the multifaceted complexities of the film.[citation needed] The character portrayed by Nag has depth and dimension, powerfully drawing you into the core of the story.

Though he is one of the most influential men both from a film and political point of view, he has often been regarded as the finest, the simplest and polite personality. His appearance in front of media or appearances for publicity have hardly been noticed and the association of his name with any controversy has hardly been reported, either with his film or with political career. For these reasons, Nag is considered as one of the most respectable personalities in the real life. Now he is one of the most sought-after actor in Kannada cinemas.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 1979, Nag was shooting for Narada Vijaya and Gayatri for Auto Raja with Shankar Nag in Chamundeshwari studios. With time, cupid struck and love blossomed between them. They married on 9 April 1987.[2] They have a daughter, Aditi.

Political career[edit]

Staying in Mumbai, in the heady days of Socialism, Anant Nag was a strong supporter of the reformist movement. He identified himself with the Janatha Party and was the star-campaigner for Janatha Party in 1983, 1985 and 1989 elections. He won from Malleshwaram constituency in 1994 and served as a Minister for BDA in the J. H. Patel's cabinet. Much before he also contested from Uttara Kannada Lok Sabha constituency in 1983 against veteran writer K. Shivarama Karanth. His tenure was uneventful, with him being criticised for not catering the infrastructure needs of Bangalore.[citation needed]

When Ramakrishna Hegde, supposedly his mentor was expelled from Janatha Dal, he stayed within Janatha Dal, leading to speculations of divide between the two.[citation needed]

In 2004, he contested a very fierce assembly election from Janata Dal (Secular) where he was pitched against the then Chief minister of Karnataka, S. M. Krishna from Indian National Congress, alongside fellow actor Mukhyamantri Chandru from Bharatiya Janata Party in the Chamrajpet constituency in Bangalore. However, S.M. Krishna won the election. But Krishna, disappointed with not being able to win the majority, opted not to lead the party and soon became the governor of Maharashtra.


Main article: Anant Nag filmography


Karnataka State Film Awards
Year Award type Film Notes
1979–80 Best Actor Minchina Ota
1985–86 Best Actor Hosa Neeru
1987-88 Best Actor


1994–95 Best Actor Gangavva Gangamayi
2011–12 Dr. Vishnuvardhan Award[6] Lifetime Achievement
Filmfare Awards South
Year Award type Film Notes
1979 Best Actor Naa Ninna Bidalaare
1982 Best Actor Bara
1989 Best Actor Hendthighelbedi
1991 Best Actor Gauri Ganesha
2008 Best Supporting Actor Tajmahal Nominated
2008 Best Supporting Actor Aramane Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Films were bolder in the past". Frontline. October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "About real life and reel lives". The Times of India. October 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Nag, Anant (11 November 2014). TV9 - Actor Anant Nag's Film & Life History : "Anant Antaranga" - Part 2. India: TV9 Kannada. 
  4. ^ Anant Nag's profile on Chitraranga
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Karnataka State Film Awards 2010–11 winners". The Times of India. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 

External links[edit]