Legendary actor and playwright Girish Karnad breathed his last earlier on Monday in Bengaluru. The 81-year-old actor died after multiple organ failure.

Kannad, one of the most noted playwrights in India, was a recipient of Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary award for his contributions to literature and theatre. He was conferred Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992.

Karnad wrote his first play, the critically acclaimed Yayati in 1961. Tughlaq, a play he wrote in 1964, made Karnad a name to reckon with among playwrights in the country. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the death of the noted actor.