10 Theater Personalities Who Made It Big In Bengali Cinema

10 Theater Personalities Who Made It Big In Bengali Cinema

13 Nov 15 @ 2:16 PM
Theater is meant for the passionate kind of actors who are true to their craft in the purest sense. Seldom have these legends stepped out of the boundary and taken the commercial celluloid way. But some Bengali theatre personalities have managed to make the comfortable shift with ease for both the crafts. Here is a list of such eminent stage actors who made an impact in Bengali cinema.
  • Jahor Roy

    An Indian stage, film actor and comedian in Bengali cinema, he was known for his comedy films and had a strong fan following who started out in theatre. Roy's first major film roles were in “Purbarag” by Ardhendu Mukherjee and in “Anjangarh” (1948) directed by Bimal Roy. Among his countless performances are “Dhonny Meye”, “Chadmabeshi” and in “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” by Satyajit Ray where he played the role of a crooked war-mongering minister of an innocent and peace-loving king.
  • Shobha Sen

    The renowned Bengali theater and film actress was the wife of popular actor Utpal Dutt. After graduating from Bethune College, she joined Gananatya Sangstha and acted in the lead female role of ‘Nabanna’. She joined the Little Theatre Group in 1953-54 which later became Peoples’ Theatre Group. Since then she has acted in many productions of the group, chief among them being ‘Barricade’, ‘Tiner Taloyar’ and ‘Titumir’. She has worked in films like “Ek Adhuri Kahani” directed by Mrinal Sen, “Ek Din Pratidin”, etc.
  • Utpal Dutt

    He was the greatest dramatist in progressive Bengali theatre of 20th century despite being an actor, director, and writer-playwright. He was primarily an actor in Bengali theatre, where he became a pioneering figure in Modern Indian theatre, when he founded the 'Little Theater Group' in 1947. He was visible in socio-political plays like, ‘Kallol’ (1965), ‘Manusher Adhikar’, ‘Louha Manob’ (1964), ‘Tiner Toloar’ and ‘Maha-Bidroha’. In a career spanning 40 years, he remains most known for his roles in films like Mrinal Sen’s ‘Bhuvan Shome’ (1969), Satyajit Ray’s ‘Agantuk’ (1991) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's breezy Hindi comedies such as ‘Gol Maal’ (1979). In 1990, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, awarded him its highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theater.
  • Chitra Sen

    The Bengali actress and dancer has worked mainly in theatres before moving to films and television. She started her career under Jnyanesh Mukhopadhyay and worked with Rabi Ghosh, and under Shyamal Sen's direction. Her films include “Joutuk” (1958), “Komal Gandhar”(1961), “Personal Assistant” (1959). Her some known plays are “Alakanandar Putra Kanya”, “Jalchabi” with Rangrup theatre group, “Maer Moto” directed by Mohit Chattopadhyay.
  • Soumitra Chatterjee

    The veteran film and stage actor and poet has won two National Film Awards as an actor, and as an actor in Bengali theatre, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998. He replaced Mrityunjay Sil as the lead artist in 1958. After a two-decade long busy career as a leading man of Bengali cinema, he returned to theatre in 1978, with his production ‘Naam Jiban’, staged at Biswarupa Theatre in Kolkata. This led to other plays like Rajkumar (1982), Phera (1987), Nilkantha (1988) beside notable plays like Tiktiki (1995), an adaptation of Sleuth and Homapakhi (2006). Besides acting, he has written and directed several plays, translated a few. Since November 2010, he has been regularly performing in the title role of the play Raja Lear directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay, a play based on “King Lear” by William Shakespeare, receiving widespread critical and popular accolades.
  • Sabitri Chatterjee

    The Padma Shri award winning actress joined a theatre group Uttar Sarathi who were doing a play on the refugees from East Pakistan titled 'Natun Yahudi'. Sabitri appeared as the female lead in Sudhir Mukherjee's comedy film ‘Pasher Bari’ (1952). Uttam Kumar offered her to act in a theatrical production to be produced by his group ‘Krishti O Srishti’ and the Uttam-Sabitri combination became a favourite of the Bengali cine-goers. They would be responsible for a series of memorable films including ‘Lakh Taka’ (1953), ‘Kalyani’ (1954), ‘Anupama’ (1954), ‘Raikamal’ (1955), ‘Nabojanma’ (1956), etc.
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  • Pijush Ganguly

    The Bengali film, television and theater actor started acting out of passion in the stages of Kolkata and was actively involved with the Bengali Theatre scene and performed in various plays. During his career, he worked with notable thespians such as Bratya Basu, Bibhas Chakraborty, Arun Mukherjee and Ramaprasad Banik, among others and acted in popular films like “Laptop”, “Byomkesh Bakshi”, etc.
  • Kaushik Sen

    The Bengali actor of film, television and theatre based in Kolkata. He is director of Bengali theatre group Swapnasandhani. Kaushik has acted with Soumitra Chatterjee in the play Tiktiki. In 2010 Sen's group Swapnasandhani staged the play Birpurush, which was inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's poem, but it was a political play and dealt with the contemporary context of West Bengal. The play stirred up some controversies. Latest movies of the actor include “Byomkesh Bakshi”, “Rajakhini” and “Arshinagar”.
  • Sohini Sengupta

    Sohini is one of the leading actors of the Bengali theatre group Nandikar and has worked with prominent theatre personalities such as Debshankar Halder, Sumanto Gangopadhyay and Parthapratim Deb, and was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi’s 2007 ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ for contributions to theatre. She also played a supporting role in Aparna Sen’s film ‘Paromitar Ek Din’ (2000) for which she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2000 National Film Awards and did more films like ‘Icche’ (2011) and ‘Alik Sukh’ (2013). Her plays include Gotraheen, Babli, Chitrangada, Bappaditya, etc.
  • Ritwick Chakraborty

    Chakraborty was associated with Bengali theatre from a very early age. After his initial struggle in the Bengali film industry he worked in a few television serials and telefilms. He debuted in the film ‘Pagol Premi’. After which, he appeared in Anjan Dutt's cult film “Chalo Let's Go”, alongside Rudranil Ghosh in 2008, followed by ‘Cross Connection’ and Raj Chakraborty's ‘Le Chakka’, playing the second lead alongside Dev in 2010.