Theatre personality Enagi Nataraj no more

Theatre personality  Enagi Nataraj no more

Dharwad Rangayana director and noted theatre personality Enagi Nataraj (54) died at a private nursing home in Hubli on Saturday morning following a brief illness.

He is survived by his father nonagenarian theatre personality Enagi Balappa, mother Laxmidevi, wife and two sons.

Nataraj was suffering from complications related to liver and kidney and was being treated at a private nursing home for the last few days.

The mortal remains of Nataraj were kept on the Rangayana campus in Dharwad for the public to pay their last respects.

Dignitaries, artistes, writers and others paid their last respects to the departed theatre activist. The last rites will be performed at his native, Enagi village in Bailhongal taluk of Belgaum district.

Nataraj was a gifted actor and he inherited the acting talent from his father Enagi Balappa, who owned a professional theatre company which toured the State.

Nataraj’s maiden performance as a child artiste, was in the play ‘Basaveshwara Mahatme.’ He was a trainee from the first batch of Ninasam of Heggodu.

Excellent performances

He carved a niche for himself through his performances in Kannada plays - ‘Haddu Needida Haadi’, ‘Nata Samrat’, ‘Jagajyoti Basaveshwara’, ‘Burjwa Gentleman’, ‘Policeriddare Echharike’ and ‘Oedipus’ among others. He had started a theatre troupe ‘Mela,’ but it was shortlived. After taking up business for a few years, Nataraj returned to acting and worked with actor-director Nagabharana as an associate for 15 years in cinema.

He worked at Rangayana Mysore and Calicut University, Kerala as an acting teacher for a few years before turning to the small screen. Serials ‘Mahanavami’, ‘Sankranti’, ‘Naku Tanti’, ‘Kinnari’ and ‘Idu Entha Lokavayya’ made Nataraj a household name in Karnataka and elsewhere. He has also acted in films ‘Bheema Teeradalli’, ‘Savitri’, ‘Neela’ and ‘Singaravva Mattu Aramane.’

He was also a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Karnataka Nataka Academy award. After Dharwad Rangayana was made an autonomous unit, Nataraj was appointed as its director last year.

Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar, District In-Charge Minister Jagadish Shettar, MP Prahlad Joshi, MLA Chandrakanth Bellad and others paid tributes to the departed soul.

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