Arundathi Nag

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Arundhati Nag[1]
Arundhati Nag.jpg
Born 6 July 1956
New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1980s–present
Spouse(s) Shankar Nag
(c. 1980–1990; his death)
Children 1
Padma Shri
Padma Shri India IIIe Klasse.jpg
Awarded by Government of India
Ribbon IND Padma Shri BAR.png

Arundhati Nag (née Rao) (born 6 July 1956)[2] 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[3] and after her marriage to Kannada actor-director Shankar Nag (1980–1990), 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.[4][5][6] 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.[7] She was also awarded the 57th National Film Awards as Best Supporting Actress for her role in Paa.

Arundhati is the founder and the Managing Trustee of the Sanket Trust, established in 1992,[1] which has Girish Karnad as its chairman,[8] and which runs the Ranga Shankara, a Bangalore theatre which after four years of construction was inaugurated on 28 October 2004.[5][9][10] Now the annual Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival has become a regular feature on Bangalore's cultural calendar.[11]

Early life[edit]

Arundhati Rao was born in New Delhi to a Maharashtrian family and had three siblings. Her family moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) when she was 10.[12] She 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.[6]


In 2006, she was awarded the 'Citizen Extraordinaire' Award by The Rotary Club of Bangalore.[13] Arundhati'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. Her most recent production has been Girish Karnad's Bikhre Bimb. Arundhati 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. In 2009, she acted in the film Paa. Her role earned her the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.

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 R. K. Narayan's Malgudi Days (1987).[6] They had a daughter together, Kavya.

In 1990, the family were travelling for the muhurat of a film Jokumaraswamy, 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. She lost her teeth and suffered from a dislocated jaw; their daughter was also injured although not seriously.[6][2]



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]



  1. ^ a b Sanket Trust Ranga Shankara Official website.
  2. ^ a b "Curtain call". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Arundhati Nag Profile and Interview
  4. ^ A theatre of one's own Frontline, Volume 21 – Issue 24, 20 November – 3 December 2004.
  5. ^ a b Dream of a theatre The Hindu, 21 November 2004.
  6. ^ a b c d "Ready for an encore". The Times of India. 28 September 2003. 
  7. ^ Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Sangeet Natak Akademi.
  8. ^ Ranga Shankara offers bonanza for theatre lovers in city The Hindu, 21 October 2005.
  9. ^ Managing Trustee The Hindu, 9 December 2006.
  10. ^ Arundhati Nag – Making The World See Her Dreams! South Asian Women's Forum, 7 March 2005.
  11. ^ Ranga Shankara theatre festival rolls on The Hindu, 16 November 2004.
  12. ^ Freedom to express – Arundhati Nag
  13. ^ Arundhati bags Citizen Extraordinaire award The Hindu, 16 May 2006.
  14. ^ Return of Arundhati Nag – Plays a lead role in 'Jogi' starring ...
  15. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 

External links[edit]