Anant Nagarkatte (born 4 September 1948) is an Indian actor whose predominant contribution has been in Kannada cinema.[1] He has acted in over 300 films which include over 200 Kannada films as well as Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam and English films.[2][3] He has featured in theatre plays, parallel cinema[3] and television shows.[4][1][5][6]

Anant Nag
Nag in 2017
Born (1948-09-04) 4 September 1948 (age 75)
Occupation(s)Actor, politician
Years active1973–present
WorksFull list
(m. 1987)
FamilyShankar Nag (brother)
Arundathi Nag (sister-in-law)
AwardsFilmfare Award
Rajyotsava Award (2017)

Nag made his feature film debut through Sankalpa (1973) directed by Prof. P.V Nanjaraj Urs. Sankalpa went on to win seven state awards in Karnataka. His foray into parallel cinema was through Shyam Benegal's Ankur (1974).[7][8] His commercially successful Kannada films have been Bayalu Daari (1976), Kanneshwara Rama (1977), Naa Ninna Bidalaare (1979), Chandanada Gombe (1979), Benkiya Bale (1983), Hendthige Helbedi (1989), Ganeshana Maduve (1990), Gowri Ganesha (1991), Mungaru Male (2006), Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu (2016), Raajakumara (2017), Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale, Kasaragodu, Koduge: Ramanna Rai (2018), K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018), K.G.F: Chapter 2 (2022) and Gaalipata 2 (2022).[3]

He acted in Malgudi Days, a Doordarshan aired[9] television series based on the stories of R. K. Narayan. He is a recipient of six Filmfare Awards South and five Karnataka State Film Awards. He is the elder brother of acclaimed director and actor Shankar Nag.

Early life


Anant Nag was born in a Konkani-speaking family on 4 September 1948 to Anandi and Sadanand Nagarkatte in Shirali, Bhatkal taluk, Karnataka, Dominion of India where he spent most of his childhood.[10] He has an elder sister, Shyamala and his younger brother was Shankar Nag.[11]

Nag did his early schooling in a Catholic school in Ajjarkad, Udupi, Ananda Ashrama in Dakshina Kannada and Chitrapur Math in Uttara Kannada districts of the erstwhile Mysore state (now Karnataka).[12] In class 9th standard, he was sent to Mumbai for further study.[10] He attempted to join the armed services but was rejected by the Army for being underweight and by the Air Force for poor eyesight.[13] He was drawn towards the theatre movement of Mumbai and he was selected to act in Konkani, Kannada and Marathi-language plays which he did until he turned 22.[2]





Anant Nag began his career with Kannada and Konkani plays in Mumbai. He went on to work in plays of Satyadev Dubey, Girish Karnad and Amol Palekar.[14][15] For a period of about five years, he acted in Konkani, Kannada, Marathi and Hindi plays.[3]

Film and television

Nag (first from left) with actor Shiva Rajkumar (second from right) during a film shoot in 2018

Following a theatre career in Mumbai, Nag made his film debut with Sankalpa, a 1973 Kannada film. He then grew to become a core part of parallel cinema, which was at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s.[3] Being introduced to director Shyam Benegal by theatre director Satyadev Dubey,[3] he starred in six of Benegal's films: Ankur (1974), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976), Bhumika (1978), Kondura (1978) and Kalyug (1981).

Nag's arrival into Kannada films was through G. V. Iyer's Hamsageethe (1975), in which he played the role of a disciple of carnatic singing. The film went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada.[16]

Nag appeared in thirteen episodes of the television series, Malgudi Days, an adaptation of R. K. Narayan's short stories of the same name, directed by his brother Shankar.[17]

Nag's portrayal of an Alzheimer's patient in Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu (2016) has received critical acclaim and contributed to making this experimental film, a commercial success.[18][19][20] In the comedy-drama Gaalipata 2 (2022), he played Kishore, a Kannada-language professor.[21] Muralidhara Khajaneof The Hindu felt his "fantastic portrayal as a teacher and Ganesh's sentimental turn are the hallmarks of this film".[22]

Personal life


Nag married Gayatri on 9 April 1987.[10]

Political career


Nag was an MLC, MLA and a minister in J. H. Patel government. He served as Bangalore Urban Development minister.[13] In 2004, he unsuccessfully contested the Chamarajpet constituency, Bangalore assembly election from Janata Dal (Secular). He was pitched against then Chief Minister of Karnataka, S. M. Krishna from Indian National Congress and fellow actor Mukhyamantri Chandru from Bharatiya Janata Party.[23] On 22 February 2023 BJP, Karnataka state unit organised a programme in the presence of state president Nalin Kumar Kateel [24][25] where Anant Nag is said to join BJP but he didn't attend the programme later programme was cancelled.[26]




Karnataka State Film Awards
Year Award type Film Ref(s)
1979–80 Best Actor Minchina Ota
1985–86 Hosa Neeru
1987–88 Avasthe
1994–95 Gangavva Gangamayi
2011–12 Dr. Vishnuvardhan Award Lifetime Achievement


Filmfare Awards South
Year Award type Film Result
1977 Best Actor (Telugu) Prema Lekhalu Nominated
1979 Best Actor (Kannada) Naa Ninna Bidalaare Won
1982 Bara Won
1989 Hendthighelbedi Won
1990 Udbhava Won
1991 Gauri Ganesha[28] Won
2016 Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu Won
2008 Best Supporting Actor (Kannada) Tajmahal Nominated
Aramane Nominated
2015 Vaastu Prakaara Nominated

*''Padmashri award


  1. ^ a b "Versatile Veteran". Deccan Herald. 10 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Films were bolder in the past". Frontline. October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "'An actor should be like water, ego-less':An interview with Kannada icon Anant Nag". Scroll. 8 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Anant Nag returns to small screen". The Hindu. 10 July 2013.
  5. ^ "A brilliant 'NAG'otiator". Deccan Chronicle. 7 September 2016.
  6. ^ "An ode to the supporting actor". Deccan Herald. 17 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Ankur (1974)". The Hindu. 23 September 2012.
  8. ^ "HT Brunch Cover Story: Over the top and on point with Shyam Benegal". Hindustan Times. 11 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Malgudi Days to Karamchand – the Doordarshan classics that deserve a lockdown comeback". The Print. 25 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "About real life and reel lives". The Times of India. October 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  11. ^ "A stroll down memory lane". Deccan Herald. 30 November 2015.
  12. ^ "I used to spin charakha daily for an hour at Ananda Ashram: Anant Nag". Star of Mysore. 15 February 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Anant Nag: Being a politician is tougher than acting a politician". Deccan Chronicle. 4 March 2020.
  14. ^ "I was influenced by English cinema and absurd plays: Anant Nag". The Hindu. 3 March 2020.
  15. ^ "I am an untrained actor". The Hindu. 7 June 2016.
  16. ^ "23rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  17. ^ "How Shankar Nag's Malgudi Days came to life". Deccan Herald. 10 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu: Out to steal your heart". The Hindu. 3 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Movie Review: Godhi Banna Sadharana Maikattu". Filmfare. 6 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Four Kannada experiments run to packed houses". The Hindu. 8 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Kannada industry has looked after me very well: Anant Nag". The New Indian Express. 18 August 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  22. ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (12 August 2022). "'Gaalipata 2' movie review: An entertaining and emotional tale of friendship". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Chamrajpet Election and Results 2018, Candidate list, Winner, Runner-up, Current MLA and Previous MLAs". Elections in India.
  24. ^ "Actor Anant Nag will join BJP". Public TV.
  25. ^ "KGF actor Anant Nag is joining BJP on the presence of many big leaders". News Waali.
  26. ^ "Actor Anant Nag Deffered BJP joining in Bengaluru". Public TV.
  27. ^ "Karnataka State Film Awards 2010–11 winners". The Times of India. 14 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  28. ^ "39th Annual Filmfare Kannada Best Actor Actress : santosh : Free Down…". 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017.