If anybody will ask anyone in Bengal to tell the Name of a Bengali Actor who came from Dhaka Bangladesh, without any doubt, everyone will Say BHANU BANDOPADHYAY first. Bhanu Bandopadhyay was proud to tell himself as a BANGAL (Who live in Dhaka, Bangladesh).
Published 28th Oct, 2016
Last Update : Fri, 6 January, 2017 10:32 PM
Bhanu Bandopadhyay was a Famous Bengali Actor of Bengali Cinema, He is an Icon of a Golden Period of Bengali Cinema. Here we are talking about his Life. He had a dramatic career and life history. On this page, we try to write a Small Biography on his Personal Life and Filmy Career.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay was born on August 27, 1920, in Dhaka ( That time Dhaka was in India, now in Bangladesh). So Geographically he is an Indian Actor. His real name was Samyamay Banerjee but his nickname stuck to him till he passed away. His father Jitendra Bandopadhyay was a very good academic background, He was an appointed as Tutor for Rabindra Nath Tagore's nephew in Thakurbari JorasaNko in the early 1900s. His mother Suniti Bandopadhyay was a very educated woman. Firstly she was a Cousin of Sarojini Naidu and secondly she was one of the early graduate students from Brahmo Girls School in Kolkata. Later she joined Dhaka Women's Education Board.
Bhanu was a student of School at Pogos and St Gregory's in Dhaka. Later he joined Jagannath College under Dhaka University. His first job was in Dhaka Radio as a Voice Artist in 1930s.
During the job in radio he deeply involved in the patriotic movement against British Government and came to Kolkata to avoid getting arrested by British. He started to live t Charu Avenue, Tollygunge from the early 1940s. His next generation is living here till now.
India became Independent, Bhanu Bandopadhyay joined Iron and Steel Co. Alongside his job he also performed many cultural functions as a Stand Up Comedian in office, parties, and clubs. As we said he started his career as a voice artist in Dhaka Radio, on basis of that talent he got an offer from Gramophone Record Company.
In 1943 Bhanu Bandopadhyay released a Comic Record name Dhaka Gadoane. It got huge success and he manages to create some popularity in Dhaka. From that year in Every Durga Puja festival, He released his Comic Record and Bengali Audiences are waiting for that. Genuinely He was a performer for mass. His performances were very catchy and entertaining. Those Audio Pieces are the best seller till now.
Bhanu founded Uttar Sarothi, an amateur theater group. Notun Yehudi was the first production . He got entry into the professional theatre in 1950 in the play Adarsha Hindu Hotel. It was turned out to be a massive hit at that time.
His most popular and remarkable play was Joy Ma Kali Boarding that ran for three years at Rangana Theatre and again for six months at Rang Mahal.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay's first appearance on screen was in Jagoron (1946). He acted as Chanakya in the play “Chandragupta” in his locality. Dr.Bhujanga Bandopadhay watched that performance and it was impressed him. He introduced him to director Bibhuti Chakraborty . That way he got his first movie in the movie “Jagoran” . But his first released movie was “Ja Hoi Na” in 1949.
But he got his breakthrough role from the Director Nirmal Dey, He offered him a character for his Film Basu Parivar in 1952. In Basu Parivar, he played a role of Bengali Business Man. Note that Basu Parivar was the First Film of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay got his huge success from the film Saare Chuattor in 1953. Saare Chuattor was the milestone film in Bengali Film History. The Most Popular Bengali on screen pair Uttam-Suchitra started their journey from this film as a pair. Jahar Ray, Tulsi Chakraborty, and Some other Actors got popularity from this Movie. His dialog became a Quote in Bengali Culture was 'Mashima, Malpo Khamu'. His Dhaka Accent attracted People very much.
He acted in over 300 movies like Bhrantibilash, Ora Thake Odhare, Chhele kar, manmoyee Girls School, Hospital, Kaal Tumi Aleya, Pratham Kadam Phool, Antony Firingi, Nayika Sangbad, Rajkumari, Priyo Bandhobi, Sangsar Simante, Harmonium, Devdas and Much More. In most of his films, he played comedic roles in which he exaggerated Bengali accents and mannerisms for comic effect.
We heard about Hero Heroine Pair and Hero Hero pair also but it is very rare to see Two Comedian made a pair. Bhanu Bandopadhyay and Jahar Roy did some films as a Pair named Bhanu Goyenda Jahar Assistant where Bhanu played a Bangal Character and Jahar Played a Ghoti character (In real life both are Bangal). They did several films together like Bhanu Pelo Lottery, Ashite Asio Na etc.
Bhanu won eleven awards for Best Acting. Sharmistha Gooptu wrote an Entire Chapter on Bhanu Bandopadhyay entitled Common Man’s Comedy – The Bhanu Factor in her book named Bengali Cinema – An Other Nation. She wrote that this ‘Bangal‘ persona created and portrayed by Bhanu “went on to create a new comic prototype of the 1950s Bengali cinema, patented and almost exclusively embodied by Bhanu Banerjee. Bhanu was a star who lacked glamor. His loud Bangal style and cultivated un-sophistication made his stardom a somewhat unique thing.”
He told in an interview that "I do not believe in idolizing Western Methodists like Stanislavsky or Brecht, commonly quoted by contemporary Indian actors. I feel we must first try and follow the steps of great masters in Indian cinema such as Chhobi Biswas or Sisir Kumar Bhaduri and then move on to Stanislavsky or Brecht."
In 1946, Bhanu Bandopadhyay married Nilima Mukhopadhyay. Nilima Bandopadhyay was just 16 years old at that time. She was a Student of very well known Music Person Siddheswar Mukherjee. Later she became a Famous Singer in various forms like Palli Geeti, Kirtan, najrul Geeti and other Folk Songs.
She released her first record in 1945 before her marriage.
She had many hits like "Ata Gachhe Tota Pakhi", "Ilshe Guri, Ilish Machher Dim", and several duets with Nirmalendu Chowdhury and Mintoo Dasgupta. She also did four records where she wrote the lyrics and music.
She composed music for all of Bhanu Banerjee’s Jatra shows and also for the Theater “Joy Ma Kali Boarding.” She sang playback in numerous films, including Sarbahara, Roopkatha, Ektara, Maner Moyurm Bouthakuranir Haat, , Adrishya Manush, Atom Bomb, Dukhhir Iman, Mahatirtha Kalighat, Kabi Chandrabati, Nirdharita Shilpir Anupasthitite, Kanchanmulya etc.
Nilima Banerjee also founded and ran a Music School at the House, “Sangeetshree.”
Bhanu and Nilima Bandyopadhyay had two sons and one daughter. All three children were exposed to the film industry at a very early age and even acted in different movies.
Their first son Gautam was appeared in two Films, Ardhangini and Kanhanmulya. Now he lives with his mother in Kolkata and he involve with Film distributor and production of Yatra, Theatre and Television.
Bhanu Second Son Pinaki live in US. After completing his Masters in Physics from Jadavpur University and earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Science he went US. He has two sons Neil and Devo.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay has a Daughter name Basabi Bandopadhyay.She was acted in Ardhangini, Shuvoratri, Nirdharita Shilpir Anupasthite, and Atithi. She also did several records with her father. However, after marriage, she went into teaching and is currently active in several NGOs. She lives in Kolkata with her husband, Utpal Ghatak. Her son Kunal lives in Bangalore with his wife Bipasha.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay had formed yatra groups named Sushil Natya Company and Mukto Mancha. He produced, directed and acted in his own productions, traveling around the country with the troupe.Bhanu had even written two books on humor. He was elected as the President of Abhinetri Sangha.‘Lekhalikhi’, published by Aajkaal was written by Bhanu himself. This great legend passed away on 4th March 1983.