Bengaluru: Jnanpith awardee, actor and writer Girish Karnad passed away at his residence in Bengaluru, today (June 10) due to multiple organ failure. He was 81 years old.

Karnad breathed his last at his residence at Lavelle Road in Bengaluru at 6.30am.

He was suffering from a respiratory disorder. The actor was even seen attending functions in recent times with an oxygen mask for support. 

Sources said that Karnad's family does not want the state funeral or any rituals to be performed. 

Karnad was playwright and a Rhodes Scholar, who predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood.

Karnad composed plays, using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues in four decades of his theatrical experience. His plays have also been translated into various Indian languages. He is a known name as an actor, director and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada cinema. He has won the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan and four Filmfare Awards (three for Best Director in Kannada and one for Best Screenplay).

Girish Karnad debuted in Kannada movies with the film Samskara directed by Pattabhirama Reddy in 1970. This is the first movie to win the President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.

He became a known name in the national level when he hosted the science show Turning Point on Doordarshan, in the early 1990s.

He has acted in several Hindi movies including Nishaant (1975), Manthan (1976), Swami (1977) and Pukar (2000), Iqbal (2005), Dor (2006), 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) and Aashayein (2010).

He also played a key role in movies Ek Tha Tiger (2012) and its sequel Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) produced by Yash Raj Films.