Shankar Nag, one of the most talented persons that the Indian cinema has ever seen, be it in direction, acting, conceptualizing etc., was also a visionary. He was a visionary, because he not only imagined the implementation of the metro trains in Bengaluru, but also had a blue print created on his own, decades before such a transport facility was thought of by the political leaders.
September 30 remains in the minds of Nag's fans and the cinema and theatre fraternity as on this very day, in 1990, the veteran actor died in a car crashed in the Anagodu village on the outskirts of the Davangere district. An era in cinema and theatre came to an end with his death.
Here are some lesser known facts about the late veteran actor:
Shankar Nag debuted in the cinema industry with a Marathi movie titled “Sarvasakshi”, in which he played a minor role. Before he got this opportunity, Nag was active in the Marathi theatre scene.
During his days as a theatre artiste in Maharashtra, Nag met Arundathi, who he later married.
Nag is the only Sandalwood actor, till date, to have won the prestigious Silver Peacock Award for his acting in Girish Karnad’s “Ondanondu Kaladalli”. The award is presented once a year to only one actor after a thorough selection process of actors from across the film fraternity.
His debut movie as a director titled “Minchina Ota” has won seven state awards.
Nag’s other 1984 release “Accident” received a national award for the best social movie. It was the first movie to show a hit and run case.
Although Nag was not a trained karate master, he was called “Karate King” because he played the role of a Samurai in the movie “Onadanondu Kaladalli.”
Who can forget the famous tele-series “Malagudi Days” written by R K Narayan? Nag had directed this series on the request of Doordarshan. It soon become a household name.
His love towards the theatre was such that, even though he was under a tight cinema schedule, Nag formed a theatre group named “Sanket”. His wife, Arundathi, fulfilled his dream by building a theatre named “Ranga Shankar” after his death.
To prove that he was a visionary, Nag went to Canada to purchase a waterproof camera for his film “Ondu Muttina Kathe”, as he wanted to shoot an underwater scene, deep in the ocean. For this, he also wanted an octopus. To purchase a dummy octopus, he went to London, where he saw the metro trains. Fascinated by this, he created a blue print and had handed it over to the then Karnataka Chief Minister.
Today, although he isn’t physically with us, his achievements by the age of 35 is still unmatched. In just 12 years of his cine journey, he directed nine films and acted in 92 films.
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