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Setna began his acting career after winning a scholarship to RADA in 1960. He has played roles in productions from Delhi, Pune, Mumbai,Calcutta, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Before this he was employed building houses as manual labour in the 1950s.
Setna has appeared in a diverse number of television shows. He has appeared on Z-Cars, Doomwatch, I, Claudius, It Ain't Half Hot Mum,Crossroads, Open All Hours, Are You Being Served?, Holby City, Silent Witness and Collision.