Saturday, May 17, 2014

CHHABI BISWAS

Chhabi Biswas was a brilliant Bengali actor who earned much fame for his excellent performances in large mumber of  films.He is also  especially remembered  for Satyajit Ray films such as 'Jalsaghar(Music Room),Kanchanjungha and Devi.He also got much appreciation for his portrayal of the character as fruit seller in Tapan Sinha's 'Kabuliwala'. 
He was born on 12 July 1900 in a rich and cultured North Kolkata family as the son of  Bhupathi Nath Biswas.His real name was Sachindranath Biswas and his mother nicknamed him as 'Chhabi'(beautiful picture) which was accepted as his screen name when he became an actor..
He studied  after matriculation  at Vidyasagar College and Presidency College.He used to act in plays conducted by amateur theatrical clubs while he was a student and liked acting profession a lot.After competion of his studies he accepted job in an Insurance Company but left the job and joined a professional drama group because of his intensive love for acting.
His roles in plays like 'Shoroshi(1940),Sita(40),Kedar Roy(41),Shajehan(41) etc earned him much accolades.
He entered films in 1936 itself by acting in a movie 'Annapurnar Mandir'.
He became a regular actor of New Theatres and had major roles in their films like "Chokker Bali(37),Nimai Sanyas(40),Pratisruti(41) etc.
Some of his  Bengali films were dubbed in Hindi or remade  in Hindi  and in 1940 director Debaki Bose made two versions of the film 'Nartaki' one in Bengali and other in Hindi.In both the versions Chhabi Biswas depicted a 90 year old ascetic  character 'Swamiji'.That character was very much liked by the audience and earned him much appreciation but he had to confine with elderly roles later on.
In the film Nartaki,  Leela Desai acted as the heroine.
The critically acclaimed film 'Pratisruti'(41) was directed by Hemachandra Chunder.'Sougandh'(Hindi) was another film of this director in 1942 in which Chhabi Biswas,Bharati Devi and Tulsi Chakraborty acted.
Mahakavi Kalidas was a Hindi film of 1942 directed by Niren Lahiri in which Karuna Banerjee,Ulhas etc acted along with Chhabi Biswas.Ulhas acted in the title role as 'Kavi Kalidas'.
'Chandrasekhar' was a well noted film of 1947 which was made in Bengali and Hindi.Chhabi Biswas,Ashok Kumar,Bharati Devi,Kanan Devi etc acted in it.This was Ashok Kumar's first Bengali film.
Satyajit Ray made 'Jalsaghar(Music Room) in 1958.Ustad Bismilla Khan acted in this film along with Chhabi Biswas.
Film 'Devi"  was directed by Satyajit Ray in 1960 in which Sharmila Tagore,Saumitra Chatterjee,Karuna Banerjee and Chhabi Biswas acted.
In 1962 Satyajit Ray directed another well noted film 'Kacchanjunga' in which Chhabi Biswas,Pahadi Sanyal,Karuna Banerjee etc acted.
Audience still remembers his acting skill in films like 'Ashok(42),Parineeta(42),Dwanda(43),Matir Ghar(44),Dui Purush(45),Biraj Bou(46) and many more.







Chhabi Biswas died in an automobile accident on June 11, 1962.


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