- Birthday: 19. May 1938
- Birthplace: Matheran, British India
- Awards: Padma Shri – 1974, Padma Bhushan – 1992, Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award – 1992, Sahitya Academy award – 1994, Jnanpith Award – 1998, Kalidas Samman – 1998, Kalidas Samman – 1998, 1972: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Vamsha Vriksha, 1974: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Kaadu, 1978: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Ondanondu Kaladalli, 1980: Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Godhuli (with B.V. Karanth), National Film Awards 1972: Best Direction: Vamsha Vriksha (with B.V. Karanth),
Girish Raghunath Karnad (Marathi: गिरीश रघुनाथ कर्नाड Kannada: ಗಿರೀಶ್ ಕಾರ್ನಾಡ್; born 19 May 1938) is a contemporary writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language. His rise as a playwright in 1960s, marked the coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi. He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.
For four decades Karnad has been composing plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He has translated his plays into English and has received acclaim. His plays have been translated into some Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B. V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan and Amal Allana. He is active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada flicks, earning awards along the way. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and won four Filmfare Awards where three are Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada and one Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.