Shankar Nag

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Shankar Nagarakatte

(1954-11-09)9 November 1954
Died30 September 1990(1990-09-30) (aged 35)
OccupationFilm maker, actor, television presenter
Years active1977–1990
TelevisionMalgudi Days
(m. 1980)
RelativesGayatri (sister-in-law)
Padmavati Rao (sister-in-law)
FamilyAnant Nag (brother)

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

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] Vincent Canby, the chief film critic of The New York Times had opined that Shankar's performance in Ondanondu Kaladalli had the force and humour of the younger Toshiro Mifune.[6]

Early career[edit]

Shankar Nagarkatte was born on 9 November 1954 in Honnavar, then a part of North Canara (now Uttara Kannada), in Bombay State (now in Karnataka).[7] His parents were Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte. Born into a Konkani-speaking Brahmin family,[8] 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, Nag moved to Bombay. There, 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 Nag to act in films. In 1978 Nag 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]

Following the modest success[9] of Ondanondu Kaladalli and the critical accolades he won,[10] Nag appeared in other films. Seetharamu, Auto Raja and Preethi Madu Thamashe Nodu were amongst his early movies. He eventually became known for his action films, and while he had never undergone any martial arts training, he earned the nickname "Karate King".

He also made his directorial debut with Minchina Ota, one of the earliest heist movie in Kannada cinema. This won him seven state awards,[11] including that for best film. Janma Janmada Anubandha and Geetha[12] followed. There was no looking back after that.

Some of his most popular commercial movies as an actor include Nyaya Ellide, Nyaya Gedditu,Gedda Maga, Sangliyana and S. P. Sangliyana Part 2 and C.B.I. Shankar. He formed a popular pair[13] with top actress Bhavya who acted with him in 11 films.

His directorial ventures include Accident, which won many state and national awards,[14] Ondu Muttina Kathe, which was loosely based on John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl),[15] Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige, Lalach and Hosa Theerpu, which was a remake of Dushman.

Television and theatre[edit]

In 1987, Nag directed the Doordarshan series Malgudi Days, which was based on a collection of short stories by R.K. Narayan. The series featured Vishnuvardhan and Anant Nag, with music by was composed by L. Vaidyanathan.[16] The series was shot in Agumbe, Shimoga district, Karnataka. Nag went to direct another teleserial, 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.[17][18]

He anchored the Parichaya program on DD1-Kannada, in its starting days.[19] Nag retained an interest in theatre. His brother Anant Nag and he founded Sanket, an amateur theatre group, which still[when?] produces plays. His first directorial effort in Kannada theatre was Anju Mallige by Girish Karnad. He continued with productions like Barrister, Sandhya Chhaya. He was later 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.

Social work[edit]

Shankar Nag, was multi-faceted person, involved in various aspects of Karnataka's Infrastructure. He is credited with pioneering efforts in initiating

  • Rope Way/Cable Car to heighten the tourist experience at [ Nandi_Hills][20]
  • Metro Train for Bengaluru[21]
  • Low Cost Houses that could be built in 8 days [22][23]
  • Club for Amusement [24]
  • Theater for performing Arts, including Drama [25]


Nag died in a car collision at Anagodu village on the outskirts of Davanagere town on 30 September 1990 during the pre-production work for his film Jokumaraswamy.[26][27] 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 Notes
Actor Director Producer Writer
1978 Sarvasakshi Yes Marathi film
Ondanondu Kaladalli Yes Silver Peacock for the Best Actor Award (Male)[28]
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
Preethi Madu Thamashe Nodu Yes
Madhu Chandra Yes
I Love You Yes
1980 Minchina Ota Yes Yes Yes Yes Karnataka State Film Award for Second Best Film
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay
Auto Raja Yes
Moogana Sedu Yes
Haddina Kannu Yes
Ondu Hennu Aaru Kannu Yes
Aarada Gaaya Yes
Rusthum Jodi Yes
Janma Janmada Anubandha Yes Yes Yes Yes
1981 Thayiya Madilalli Yes Cameo
Kula Puthra Yes
Hanabalavo Janabalavo Yes
Geetha Yes Yes Yes Yes
Devara Aata Yes Double role
Bhaari Bharjari Bete Yes
Muniyana Madari Yes
Jeevakke Jeeva Yes
1982 Archana Yes Sp. App.
Benki Chendu Yes
Karmika Kallanalla Yes
Nyaya Ellide Yes
Dharma Daari Tappithu Yes
1983 Lalach Yes Hindi film
Gedda Maga Yes Triple role
Nyaya Gedditu Yes
Hosa Theerpu Yes Yes
Chandi Chamundi Yes
Keralida Hennu Yes
Swargadalli Maduve Yes
Aakrosha Yes
Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Yes Yes Yes Karnataka State Film Award for Third Best Film
1984 Nagabekamma Nagabeku Yes
Raktha Thilaka Yes
Gandu Bherunda Yes
Thaliya Bhagya Yes
Benki Birugali Yes
Kalinga Sarpa Yes
Indina Bharatha Yes
Bedaru Bombe Yes
Shapatha Yes
Pavithra Prema Yes
Accident Yes Yes National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film
Aasha Kirana Yes
Utsav Yes
Makkaliralavva Mane Thumba Yes Yes Cameo
Apoorva Sangama Yes
1985 Thayi Kanasu Yes
Parameshi Prema Prasanga Yes Yes Guest appearance
Manava Danava Yes Dual role
Kiladi Aliya Yes
Vajra Mushti Yes
Kari Naga Yes
1986 Thayiye Nanna Devaru Yes
Na Ninna Preetisuve Yes
The Watchman Yes National Award for Best Feature Film in a language other than those specified in the VIII Schedule to the Constitution[29]
Agni Parikshe Yes
Rasthe Raja Yes
Samsarada Guttu Yes
1987 Thayi Yes
Ee Bandha Anubandha Yes
Huli Hebbuli Yes
Digvijaya Yes
Lorry Driver Yes
Anthima Ghatta Yes
Ondu Muttina Kathe Yes Yes
1988 Shakthi Yes
Sangliyana Yes
Dharmathma Yes
Mithileya Seetheyaru Yes Guest appearance
1989 Tarka Yes
Mahayuddha Yes
Anthintha Gandu Nanalla Yes
C.B.I. Shankar Yes
Idu Saadhya Yes Guest appearance
Raja Simha Yes
Jayabheri Yes
Narasimha Yes
Wall Poster Yes
1990 S. P. Sangliyana Part 2 Yes
Ramarajyadalli Rakshasaru Yes
Maheshwara Yes Dual role
Trinetra Yes Guest Appearance as Sangliyana
Aavesha Yes
Hosa Jeevana Yes
Halliya Surasuraru Yes
Bhale Chathura Yes
Aata Bombata Yes
Nigooda Rahasya Yes
1991 Nakkala Rajakumari Yes Guest Appearance
Punda Prachanda Yes
Sundara Kanda Yes
Nagini Yes
1992 Prana Snehitha Yes


Year Title Language Notes
1987 Malgudi Days English/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". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Celebrating Shankar Nag as Auto Raja". The 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. ISBN 9788123026619. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "This one's for Shankar Nag". The 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. ^ Canby, Vincent (17 May 1982). "From India 'Once Upon a Time'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Shankar Nag: An intense, amazing life and career". 9 November 2019. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  8. ^ "An Actor and Visionary - Shankar Nag". 24 October 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Kannada actors who turned directors". The Times of India. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Girish Karnad Birth Anniversary: Interesting Facts About the Actor and Jnanpith Awardee". News18. 19 May 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  11. ^ Minchina Ota Awards: List of Awards won by Kannada movie Minchina Ota, retrieved 29 September 2021
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Shankar Nag and Bhavya - Best on-screen couples of Sandalwood". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Shankar Nag and I won awards for our films, but didn't get the rewards we desired: Anant Nag - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Ondu Muttina Kathe". Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Music director L. Vaidyanathan dead". The Hindu. 20 May 2007. Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Malgudi days : Reviews". IMDb. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Shankar Nag". Cinemaazi. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Shankar Nag Visualised Namma Metro, Nandi Hills Ropeway Years Ago". The Hans India. 11 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Nandi Hills cable car project takes off | Bengaluru News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  22. ^ "Shankar Nag: An intense, amazing life and career". Deccan Herald. 9 November 2019.
  23. ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (29 September 2015). "Shankar of the masses lives on". The Hindu.
  24. ^ "12 Reasons Why Shankar Nag is still a Superstar in Karnataka". Metro Saga. 30 October 2017.
  25. ^ "10 Things to Know About Bengaluru's Rangashankara - A Theatre in Tribute to the Late Shankar Nag". Metro Saga. 2 February 2019.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "Ready for an encore". 28 September 2003. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  28. ^ Ray, Bibekananda (2017). Conscience of The Race. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. ISBN 9788123026619. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  29. ^ "34th National Film Festival, 1987" (PDF). International Film Festival of India. p. 66. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2014.

External links[edit]