Shankar Nag

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Shankar Nag
Shankar Nagarakatte

(1954-11-09)9 November 1954
Died30 September 1990(1990-09-30) (aged 35)
OccupationFilm maker, actor, television presenter
Years active1977–1990
Arundathi Rao (m. 1980)
Parent(s)Sadanand Rao (father), Anandi (mother)
FamilyAnant Nag (brother)

Shankar Nagarakatte (Kannada: ಶಂಕರ್ ನಾಗರಕಟ್ಟೆ), better known as Shankar Nag (9 November 1954 – 30 September 1990) was an Indian actor, screenwriter, director, and producer known for his work in Kannada-language films and television.[1][2] He directed and acted in the teleserial, Malgudi Days, based on celebrated novelist R. K. Narayan's short stories.

Shankar Nag received the inaugural IFFI Best Actor Award (Male): Silver Peacock Award" at the 7th International Film Festival of India for his work in the film Ondanondu Kaladalli.[3] He co-wrote 22 June 1897, an Indian national award-winning Marathi film. He is the younger brother of actor Anant Nag.[4][5]

Early career[edit]

Shankar Nagarkatte was born on 9 November 1954 in Honnavar, in the state of Mysore, (present-day Karnataka), India.[6] His parents were Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte. Born into a Konkani-speaking family, his family settled in Shirali, a village near Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada of Karnataka State. He had an elder sister, Shyamala, and an elder brother, 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.

Nag then shifted base to Karnataka. His elder brother Anant had already established himself as an actor and urged Shankar to act in films. In 1978 Shankar made his debut in the role of a mercenary in Girish Karnad's epic film Ondanondu Kaladalli, where he played a mercenary who earns a position in a rival army to get even with his brother, whom he considers his enemy.

Acting and directing[edit]

Shankar was lapped up by commercial cinema. Seetharamu, Auto Raja and Preethi Madu Thamashe Nodu were amongst his early commercial successes. He made for an unconventional hero with an unshaven face, distinct swagger, dark eyes and had a rough voice.The masses accepted him as an action hero. Although he had never undergone any martial arts training, he earned the sobriquet of Karate King. At the same time he made his directorial debut with Minchina Ota, the pioneering heist movie in Kannada cinema. This won him seven state awards, including best film. Janma Janmada Anubandha and Geetha (both with music by Ilayaraja)[7] followed. There was no looking back after that. Shankar became the pioneer of balancing acting with directing, massy commercial movies with classy meaningful movies. Some of his most popular movies include Nyaya Gedditu, Sangliayana and C.B.I Shankar.

His directorial ventures include Accident (which won many state and national awards), Ondu Muttina Kathe (with Rajkumar in the lead – loosely based on John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl), Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige, Lalach and Hosa Theerpu (remake of Dushman – his only directorial remake in Kannada). Accident particularly is a landmark in Indian Cinema.

Television work[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 played the role of impish Swami, became a household name. The music, accompanied by the nasal twang "Tananaa tana na naa" on YouTube[8] was composed by L. Vaidyanathan.[9] 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.[10][11]

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.


Nag died in a car crash at Anagodu village on the outskirts of Davanagere town on 30 September 1990 during the pre-production work for his film Jokumaraswamy.[12][13] His last film as an actor, Sundarakanda, was released a few days after his death. For Sundarakanda, Nag's voice was dubbed by Murali.[citation needed]Nigooda Rahasya, one of his last films also had his brother, Anant Nag, complete the voice dubbing.[citation needed]


Year Title Credited as Heroine Notes
Actor Director Producer Writer
1978 Sarvasakshi Yes Marathi film
Ondanondu Kaladalli Yes - Silver Peacock for the Best Actor Award (Male)[14]
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
1979 22 June 1897 Yes Marathi film
National Film Award for Best Film on National Integration
Seetharamu Yes Manjula
Preethi Madu Thamashe Nodu Yes Manjula
Madhu Chandra Yes Jayamala
I Love You Yes
1980 Minchina Ota Yes Yes Yes Yes Katte Karnataka State Film Award for Second Best Film
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay
Auto Raja Yes Gayatri
Moogana Sedu Yes Manjula
Haddina Kannu Yes Manjula
Ondu Hennu Aaru Kannu Yes Fatafat
Aarada Gaaya Yes Gayatri
Rusthum Jodi Yes Gayatri & Manjula
Janma Janmada Anubandha Yes Yes Yes Yes Manjula
1981 Thayiya Madilalli Yes Aarati
Kula Puthra Yes Gayatri
Hanabalavo Janabalavo Yes Gayatri
Geetha Yes Yes Yes Yes Akshata
Devara Aata Yes Sulakshana
Bhaari Bharjari Bete Yes Jayamala
Muniyana Madari Yes
Jeevakke Jeeva Yes Sarita
1982 Archana Yes Manjula Guest Appearance
Benki Chendu Yes Manjula
Karmika Kallanalla Yes Swapna
Nyaya Ellide Yes Sangeetha
Dharma Daari Tappithu Yes Jayanthi
1983 Lalach Yes Hindi film
Gedda Maga Yes Aarati & Madhavi Triple role
Nyaya Gedditu Yes Roopadevi
Hosa Theerpu Yes Yes
Chandi Chamundi Yes Jayamala
Keralida Hennu Yes Manjula & Vijayshanti
Swargadalli Maduve Yes
Aakrosha Yes Aarati
Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Yes Yes Yes Mysore Matha Karnataka State Film Award for Third Best Film
1984 Nagabekamma Nagabeku Yes Pavitra
Raktha Thilaka Yes Jayamala
Gandu Bherunda Yes Jayamala
Thaliya Bhagya Yes Lakshmi
Benki Birugali Yes Jayamala
Kalinga Sarpa Yes Manjula
Indina Bharatha Yes Ambika
Bedaru Bombe Yes Jayamala
Shapatha Yes
Pavithra Prema Yes Aarati
Accident Yes Yes Ravi National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film
Aasha Kirana Yes Geetha & Shyamlee
Makkaliralavva Mane Thumba Yes Yes
Apoorva Sangama Yes
1985 Thayi Kanasu Yes Sumalata
Parameshi Prema Prasanga Yes Yes Guest appearance
Manava Danava Yes Gayatri Dual role
Kiladi Aliya Yes Gayatri
Vajra Mushti Yes Gayatri
Kari Naga Yes
1986 Thayiye Nanna Devaru Yes
Na Ninna Preetisuve Yes
The Watchman Yes English film
National Award for Best Feature Film in a language other than those specified in the VIII Schedule to the Constitution[15]
Agni Parikshe Yes Bhavya
Rasthe Raja Yes Geetha
Samsarada Guttu Yes Mahalakshmi
1987 Thayi Yes Bhavya
Ee Bandha Anubandha Yes Zarina Wahab
Huli Hebbuli Yes Bhavya
Digvijaya Yes Ambika
Lorry Driver Yes Bhavya
Anthima Ghatta Yes Urvashi
Ondu Muttina Kathe Yes Yes
1988 Shakthi Yes Ramya
Sangliyana Yes Bhavya
Dharmathma Yes
Mithileya Seetheyaru Yes Guest appearance
1989 Tarka Yes Vanita Vasu
Mahayuddha Yes
Anthintha Gandu Nanalla Yes
C.B.I. Shankar Yes Tara
Idu Saadhya Yes Director Guest appearance
Raja Simha Yes
Jayabheri Yes Bhavya
Narasimha Yes Chandrika
1990 S. P. Sangliyana Part 2 Yes Bhavya
Ramarajyadalli Rakshasaru Yes Sonika Gill
Maheshwara Yes Dual role
Trinetra Yes Guest Appearance as Sangliyana
Aavesha Yes Bhavya
Hosa Jeevana Yes Deepika
Halliya Surasuraru Yes Bhavya
Bhale Chathura Yes Chandrika
Aata Bombata Yes
Nigooda Rahasya Yes Geetha
1991 Nakkala Rajakumari Yes Guest Appearance
Punda Prachanda Yes Sivaranjani
Sundara Kanda Yes Sivaranjani
Nagini Yes Geetha
1992 Prana Snehitha Yes Bhavya


Year Title Language Notes
1987 Malgudi Days Hindi TV series


Karnataka State Film Awards[edit]

Filmfare Awards South[edit]

IFFI Award for Best Actor[edit]


  1. ^ "A cyber memorial for Shankar Nag - Times of India". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Celebrating Shankar Nag as Auto Raja - Times of India". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  3. ^ RAY, BIBEKANANDA (5 April 2017). "Conscience of The Race". Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "This one's for Shankar Nag - Times of India". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  5. ^ Anand Chandrashekar (7 November 2009). "Shankar Nag Last Interview - Part 2". Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2013 – via YouTube.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Nag, Anant (2001). 'Nanna tamma Shankara' (My brother Shankara). Bangalore: Total Kannada. ISBN 9788192226903. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  8. ^ L, Vaidyanathan. "Signature tune – Malgudi days". Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Music director L. Vaidyanathan dead". The Hindu. 20 May 2007. Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Shanker Nag's 'Malgudi Days' is back on television". IBN Live. 12 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Malgudi days : Reviews". IMDb. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Shankar Nag accident: Family to get Rs 26.8 lakk". The Times of India. TNimes News Network. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Ready for an encore". 28 September 2003. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  14. ^ Ray, Bibekananda (2017). Conscience of The Race. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. ISBN 9788123026619. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  15. ^ "34th National Film Festival, 1987" (PDF). International Film Festival of India. p. 66. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2014.

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