Indian actor and playwright Girish Karnad passed away on Monday after suffering from multiple organ failure at his residence in the Indian city of Bengaluru. He was 81.
Karnad is survived by his wife Saraswathi and his son Raghu Karnad.
Karnad started acting in 1970, and starred in critically-acclaimed Hindi films including Swami and Nishant.
His most recent film was the Bollywood blockbuster, Tiger Zinda Hai, starred top Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
After the news was made public, tributes started trickling in from throughout India; condolences were sent by the nation's best-known celebrities and its political leaders.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying their respects to the late actor.
Sad to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad, writer, actor and doyen of Indian theatre. Our cultural world is poorer today. My condolences to his family and to the many who followed his work #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) June 10, 2019
Prime Minister Modi praised Karnad's passion and versatility.
Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2019
Other political leaders and journalists also expressed their condolences to the family and loved ones of the veteran actor.
Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Jnanpith laureate writer and iconic actor/film maker, Sri #GirishKarnad.— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) June 10, 2019
His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered.
In his death, we lost a cultural ambassador. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/s5bfbh0VgE
Writing, acting, directing, speaking in Kannada, Hindi, English and Konkani.. Girish Karnad represents the true plural multi-lingual ethos of this country.. a formidable public intellect and creative genius, Karnad’s range of plays and films make him a standout figure RIP— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 10, 2019
This is a devastating loss. Just a few months ago he sent me the draft of his brilliant new historical play. He was at the peak of his creative talent. Profound condolences to his devoted wife Saras & brilliant son @rkarnad. A flame has been extinguished that lit up so many minds https://t.co/Z8dqtdSx4U— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 10, 2019
Saddened by the loss, the Indian film fraternity paid a tribute to the actor for his years of contribution to the industry.
Deeply saddened to know about the sad demise of Sh. #GirishKarnad ji. He was a great artist, scholar and a brilliant playwright. My first small appearance in the film Utsav was under his direction. Also acted in both #Tuglaq and #Hayavadan — plays written by him. On Shanti.🙏 pic.twitter.com/NiByXxJiSe— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) June 10, 2019
RIP #GirishKarnad sir.. one actor whose inherent goodness reflected in his eyes. The thorough gentleman. Exceptional playwright.Swami ratnadeep manthan embedded in my childhood memories. A gem we lost today.— Divya Dutta (@divyadutta25) June 10, 2019
Karnad was a vocal critic of Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and often alleged that they promoted Hindu Nationalism in the country.
Karnad's home state of Karnataka has declared the day a holiday for schools, universities and government offices. The state government has also declared a three-day period of mourning which will last until Wednesday, as a mark of respect to the Jnanpith awardee, multi-lingual actor and noted writer.