Friday, November 22, 2013

D.BILLIMORIA, ANNA SALUNKE AND MASTER VITHAL


DINSHAW BILLIMORIA  who was popularly known  as D.Billimoria was a  great actor of the silent era.He was best known for his action roles of historical and mythological films.Sulochana and Bilimoria had large number of super hit films during 1933-39 period .
His films 'Wild Cat of Bombay' and Anarkali received much accolades.
Dinshaw Billimoria was born at Kirkee,India in 1904 and as the hero of many romantic,action,fantasy movies he got wide admiration.
ANNA SALUNKE was a delicate young man who was working as a cook in a restaurant at Grant Road of Bombay drawing a monthly salary of Rs.10/- while Dada Saheb Phalke was searching for a suitable actress for his proposed first full length  silent film of India, 'Raja Harishchandra' to be released in 1913.Since girls from respected families did not choose acting profession those days, he found it difficult to  get an actress for the role of 'Rani Taramati' as the wife of Raja Harishchandra.
In such a situation Phalke noticed Salunke who would suite  feminine  roles by  make-up and so  persuaded him for the role by offering him a salary of Rs.15/- per month.He agreed and acted in the film as Rani Taramati.
Again in 1917 he portrayed the same role in the remake of 'Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra'.
In 1917 he acted in the first double roles in Indian Cinema for the film 'Lanka Dahan'  by playing the roles of   both Rama and Sita.
He played female roles in two other films 'Satya Narayan'(1922) and Buddhadev(1923).
Up to 1931 he continued the  acting profession  but not in female roles but acted in  various other character roles.He mastered in cinematography and worked as cinematographer for several films also.
MASTER VITHAL acted in many films of silent era from 1924  and he made history as the hero of the  first Indian Talkie 'Alam Ara'.
Master Vithal had a good physique and was able to act nicely and dance skilfully  but his Hindi diction was not up to the mark and the rise of sound films gave him a set back.  He had to satisfy with   Marathi films only because of the language problem.He acted in more than 90 Marathi films in his long  acting career.Master Vithal  died in 1969.


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