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Mamata remembers legendary actor Chhabi Biswas on his birth anniversary

Mamata remembers legendary actor Chhabi Biswas on his birth anniversary

Kolkata, Jul 12 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday fondly remembered legendary actor Chhabi Biswas on his birth anniversary.

“Fondly remembering Chhabi Biswas, legendary actor, on his birth anniversary,” Ms Banerjee in a tweet massage said.

. Born on this day in 1900, Biswas, primarily known for his performances in Tapan Sinha's Kabuliwala andSatyajit Ray's films Jalshaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi, (The Goddess, 1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).

He is best remembered for his numerous roles as the quintessential aristocratic patriarch, and was himself the scion of a rich and cultured North Kolkata family.

Biswas made his cinematic debut in a film called Annapurnar Mandir. The film was directed by Tinkari Chakraborty and Biswas played the role of Bishu, the husband of the heroine.

Trained in the over-melodramatic acting style of the contemporary Bengali stage, Biswas soon grasped the finer nuances of acting for cinema. He became a regular in films produced by the New Theatres and had major roles in Chokker Bali (1937), Nimai Sannyas (1940) and Pratisruti (1941).

He was absolutely marvellous as a 90-year-old ascetic in Debaki Bose's film Nartaki (1940). Ironically, it was the success of his acting in Nartaki that limited his opportunities in lead roles but his reputation as a character actor par excellence was by now firmly in place. Biswas's second innings as an actor began with this film and he almost became an automatic choice as the paterfamilias or the suave noble.

Using his perfect English diction to the hilt Biswas (along with Pahadi Sanyal and Bikash Roy to a certain extent) developed a unique way of delivering a dramatic dialogue, first in English, and then after a pause repeating the same in Bengali. Films such as Ashok (1942), Parineeta (1942), Dwanda (1943), Matir Ghar (1944), Dui Purush (1945), Biraj Bou (1946) and Mandana (1950) showcased his talents as an actor of great quality.

In 1958, when Satyajit Ray needed someone to play an aging aristocrat in Jalsaghar, Biswas was an automatic choice. Subsequently, Biswas starred in two more Ray films; Devi (1960) and Kanchenjungha(1962).

Biswas died at age 61 in an automobile accident on June 11, 1962.

Satyajit Ray later wrote, "Jalsgahar, Devi, Kanchenjunga, were all written with Chhabi Biswas in mind. Ever since he died, I have not written a single middle-aged part that calls for a high degree of professional talent.

UNI BM SJC KK

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