Shankar Nagarkatte 9 November 1954 - 30 September 1990) popularly known as Shankar Nag was a popular actor and director of Kannada cinema. He also directed and acted in the teleserial,Malgudi days, based on celebrated novelist R.K.Narayan's short stories. Besides these, he was actively involved in Kannada theater activities. He co-wrote "22 June 1897", an Indian National award winning Marathi film.
Shankar Nagarkatte was born on 9 November 1954 in Mallapur village in Honnavar (uttara kannada), Karnataka to a Konkani-speaking Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin family. His parents were Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte. His elder brother is the popular Kannada actor Anant Nag. Apart from his mother-tongue Konkani, Shankar was fluent in Kannada and Marathi. After completing formal education, Shankar moved to Mumbai. In Mumbai, he was attracted to Marathi theater and immersed himself in theatrical activities. Incidentally, he met his future wife, Arundhathi during a drama rehearsal.
Commercial film producers took notice of Shankar Nag and he began acting in typical masala movies. Shankar was an unconventional hero with an unshaven face, distinict swagger, dark eyes and a rough voice. Although he had never undergone any martial arts training, he earned the sobriquet of Karate King. His popular films include Auto Raja, Geeta, S.P.Sangliana, andMinchina ota.He had also identified himself with the Janata Party in 1980s.
Shankar did not limit his creativity to cinema. He was equally immersed in theatre and television. Malgudi daysDoordarshan 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.Narayanin 1987, under the banner of Padam Rag Films. Well known actors Vishnuvardhan, and Ananth Nag appeared in the serial. Master Manjunath, who essayed the role of impish Swami became a household name. is the best example of Shankar's oeuvre on television. Prior to globalization,
The music, accompanied by the nasal twang "Tananaa tana na naa" was composed by L. Vaidyanathan. The teleserial was shot inAgumbe, 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.
It is noteworthy that he was anchoring the Parichaya program on DD1-Kannada, in its starting days.Though a busy star in his own rights, Shankar always had time for theatre. That was almost his second nature. In fact he brought a kind of commercial viability to the Kannada Amateur Theatre. He and his brother Ananth Nag 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 Swami Navirodhu Heege. which had, apart from himself, his wife Arundhati Nag and Ramesh Bhat in the cast. The two directed Aata Bombat. Shankar's last production was Naaga Mandala, a play by Girish Karnad. He co-directed with Surendra Nath.