Thursday, May 29, 2014


Leela Mishra acted in character roles mostly as  Mother, Grandmother or Aunt for  five decades in more than 200  Bollywood films.She started to play mother roles when she was very young at the  age of 18 itself.
Leela Misra was born in Jais, Uttar Pradesh in the year 1908 and got married at the age of 12 to an actor Ram Prasad Mishra.At the age of seventeen she was the mother of two daughters.When she decided to join films as an actress, she was offered roles as heroine but she refused to act in love scenes and thus selected  mother roles which proved to be very suitable for her.She used to appear in negative type characters also and also in comedy characters.In 1962 she acted in the first Bhojpuri film 'Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo'.
In the film 'Anmol Ghadi' which was a musical hit film directed by D.D.Kashyap, she acted along with Surendra,Suraiya and Noorjehan.
In 'Aaram'(51) she acted with Dev Anand and Madhubala.
In 'Awaara'(51) she acted with Raj Kapoor and Nargis.
In the film 'Aandhiyan' she acted with Dev Anand and Nimmi.
In the film 'Pyasa' which was directed by Guru Dutt she acted as the mother of Vijay(Guru Dutt).
In the film 'Lajwanti' (58) which was selected in to 1959 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Palme d' Or for Best Film, she acted as Nirmal's(Balraj Sahni) sister.
In the 1964 super hit movie 'Dosti'  which focused on the friendship between a blind boy and a cripple lad, she acted as 'Mausi'.
In the 1967 film 'Raat aur Din' directed by Satyen Bose she acted with Pradeep Kumar and Nargis.
Leela Mishra had 'Mausi' role in 'Amar Prem' directed by Shakti Samanta in 1972 in which Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore were the main pair.

She acted with Amitabh Bachchan and Nutan in 'Saudagar'(73).
In the film 'Khushboo' she acted with Jeetendra and Hema Malini in 1975.
In the film 'Shatranj Ke Khilari' directed by Satyajit Ray in 1977, and in which Sanjeev Kumar and Shabana Azmi acted in main roles, she acted as 'Khurshid's(Shabana Azmi) maid.
In the film 'Katha' she acted with Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Nawal.
In the film 'Abodh' she acted as Tapas Pal's Grandmother.Madhuri Dixit was the heroine of this film.
Leela Mishra died on January 17, 1988 in Mumbai.
Selected Filmography
Vish Kanya
Mahakavi Kalidas
Dil Ki Baat
Anmol Ghadi
Bhakt Dhruva

Shri Ram Avtar
Sheesh Mahal
Kamal Ke Phool
Jalte Deep
Teen Batti Char Rasta

Teen Bhai
Railway Platform
Baap Re Baap
Paise Hi Paisa
Fashionable wife
Goonj Uthi Shehnai
Maa Baap
College Girl
Apne Ghar
Suhag Sindoor
Shola aur Shabnam
Soorat aur Seerat
Zindagi aur Hum
CHa Cha Cha
Ram aur Shyam
Raat aur Din
Bahu Begum
Tumse Acha Kaun Hai
Pyar ka Sapna
Shaadi ke Baad
Prem Kahani
Jai Santoshi Maa
Phool aur Insan
Shatrang ke Khilari
Sajan Bina Suhagan
Dil se Mile Dil
Man Pasand
Pathar se Takkar
Geet Gata Chal
Naani Maa
Gungroo ki Awaaz
Ek hi Bhool
Shriman Shrimati
Prem Rog
Zakhmi Aurat
Purani Haveli
Dilli Ka Dada

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Pahadi Sanyal was an exceptionally good Bengali actor and singer  from early 30's to  mid 70's. He acted as hero till 1950's and shifted to character roles afterwards.He appeared in many Hindi films as well.During 30's and 40's many Bengali films were also made  in Hindi also and he used to appear in both the versions.
He was born as Nagendranath Sanyal on February 22, 1906 in Darjeeling. He acted in classics like 'Devdas,Kanchanjunga' etc.His character roles in many  Bengali films are still remembered for their superb portrayal by this skillful actor.
'Yahudi Ki Ladki' (1933) was a Hindi  film with K.L.Saigal and Prithviraj Kapoor which was directed by Debaki Bose.
Chandidas was a  Hindi film in which K.L.Saigal acted along Pahadi Sanyal in 1934.
He acted in Urudu films Daku Mansoor in 1934 and Karwane Hayat in 1935.
Dhoop Chhaon was Hindi film directed by Nitin Bose in 1935.
In the super duper hit Hindi version of P.C.Barua's  Classic film 'Devdas'(1935) K.L.Saigal,Pahadi Sanyal,Jamuna Devi etc acted.
'Maya' was made in Bengali and Hindi and in both the versions Pahadi Sanyal acted as the character 'Pratap'.Director was PC Barua.
Vidyapati(37)  was also taken in Bengali and Hindi.In the title role as 'Vidyapati' Pahadi Sanyal acted.Durgadas Banerjee,Chhaya Devi and Prithviraj Kapoor acted in it.Director was Debaki Bose.
Sapera(37)  was the Hindi version of a Bengali film which told the story of Shaivite clan of snake charmers.Pahadi Sanyal acted as the hero 'Jhumro' and 'Nawab' acted as the villain 'Jawher'.
'Adhikar' was another critically acclaimed film of PC Barua made in both Bengali and Hindi in 1939.PC Barua and Jamuna Devi acted as the main pair and Pahadi Sanyal acted in character role.
In the film Badi Didi( 1939) which was also made in Bengali and Hindi, Pahadi Sanyal was the hero.Amar Mullick was the  director and Molina Devi was the heroine.
'Kisise Na Kahna' was a Hindi film directed by Keshvrao Date and Krishna Gopal in 1940.Leela Chitnis and Utpal Dutt were the main pair.
PC Barua's 'Zindagi' was also released in 1940 in which K.L.Saigal  and Jamuna were the main pair.
In the film 'Mahakavi Kalidas' which was made in Hindi and Bengali , Pahadi Sanyal acted in title role as 'Kalidas'.Director was Sudhir Sen.
Film 'Mohabbat' which was in Hindi was  directed by Phani Mujumdar in which Shanta Apte as  the heroine.
In the Hindi film 'Shravan Kumar' Menaka Devi,Pahadi Sanyal and Mumtaz Shanti acted.
In the 1956 film 'Jagte Raho' he acted in a character role.
In the 1970 Bollywood film 'Dharti' he acted in character role along with Rajendra Kumar,Waheeda Rehman and Balraj Sahni.
In the 1969 Rajesh Khanna-Sharmila Tagore film 'Aradhana' he acted as the character 'Gopal Tripathi'.The super duper hit  film was directed by Shakti Samanta.
'Saathi' was a Hindi film which was also made in English in which Vyjayantimala,Rajendra Kumar,Simi Garewal etc acted.Director was CV Sridhar.
Pahadi Sanyal sang songs for several films and songs in 'Devdas,Adhikar,Millionaire,Vidyapati,Haarjeet,Mahakavi Kalidas,Dhoop Chhaon' etc are still very popular among music lovers.
Pahadi Sanyal passed away on February 10, 1974 in Calcutta.
Selected Filmography
Yahudi Ki Ladki 

Rajrani  Meera
Dhoop Chhaon
Bhagya Chakra
Badi Didi
Kisise Na Kahna
Mahakavi Kalidas
Shravan Kumar
Sadharan Meyo
Rang Berang
Vidya Sagar
Saheb Bibi Golam
Jagte Raho
Madan Mohan
Leela Kanta
Personal Assistant
Agni Sanskar
Dhoop Chhaya
Dui Bari
Surya Tapa
Sesh Parba
Rater Rajnigandha


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


PC Barua and Jamuna Devi
PC Barua and Jamuna Devi were well renowned film personalities during 1930's and early 40's who are still remembered for their wonderful contributions to Indian Cinema.
PC Barua was a fantastic film director,actor and screenplay writer who is still acclaimed for his 1935 released film 'Devdas' which was made in Bengali and Hindi.In the Bengali version he was the hero as 'Devdas' and in both the versions his wife 'Jamuna Barua' was the heroine.
PC Barua was born in Gauripur, in Assam as 'Pramathesh Chandra Barua' on 24 October 1903.His father Prabhat Chandra was the King of Gauripur and mother's name was Sarojbala Devi.He completed graduation from  Presidency College,Calcutta in 1924.
He went to Europe and grasped several aspects regarding film making from London and Paris.He returned to India and worked with film maker Dhiren Ganguly for a small period and acted in a few films.He again went back to Europe and learned much more about camera operation and cinematography.He purchased some lighting equipment from Paris and returned to Calcutta.He started a Film Studio of his own and made two films under the banner 'Barua pictures'.His film 'Apradhi(1931) earned critical acclaim.In that film he employed artificial lighting which was not used in Calcutta films till then.It was directed by Dabaki Bose.He played  hero role in Apraradhi and he played villain role in Ganguly's 'Bhagyalakshmi' during that period.
Barua joined New Theatres in 1932 and worked for them till 1939 during which he made several well noted super hits.
Barua's first film at New Theatres was 'Roop Lekha'(1934) in which Jamuna Devi acted in an important role.It was the first film to employ flashback technique.Jamuna Devi married Barua in the same year.
The second film at New Theatres was 'Devdas' which was the adaptation of a Bengali novel written by Sarachandra Chattopadhyay in 1907.Barua wrote the screen play and dialogues and acted  in the title role as 'Devdas' in the Bengali version in 1935.The Hindi version was released in 1936 in which K.L.Saigal was the hero and rest were virtually the same and identical.The film became a sensation all over India and the name of PC Barua reached dizzying heights.That film was remade later in Tamil, Telugu and again made in Hindi by other artistes but the original 1935 Devdas stood as the reference for all of them.The name of K.L.Saigal also reached to the pinnacle of popularity by this film.
Jamuna was born and brought up in Calcutta but her parents were  hailed from U.P.
So she was fluent in both Hindi and Bengali languages.Jamuna Devi was born on October 10.1919.
The portrayal of 'Parvati' by Jamuna in Devdas earned her much name and fame.The role of 'Paro'  was initially meant for Kanan Devi but she could not act in it because she was busy with other films and Jamuna acted for the first time as a heroine which wrote history in Indian Cinema.The film is still a reference source to students of Film Institutes.Devdas was a big box office hit.
Same year 'Manzil' was released in Bengali and Hindi.The name of Bengali version was 'Grihadaha'.PC Barua was the hero in both the versions and he directed Hindi and Bengali versions.
Then came 'Maya' a film  by PC Barua in which Jamuna Barua was the heroine.It was directed by PC Barua but the hero was Pahari Sanyal.It was one of the few films Jamuna acted opposite another hero other than PC Barua.
'Mukti' was also a classic well noted film of PC Barua which was super hit.
Scene from "Devdas'
In 1938 Jamuna did another bilingual film 'Adhikar'(in Bengali and Hindi) starring and directed by PC Barua.The theme was an analysis of the rich and poor relationship.Adhikar received film journalist's association award as Best film of 1938.
'Rajat Jayanti' was a comedy theme film directed by PC Barua in 1939.All the films at New Theatres were successful films at the box Office and for all his films screen play were written by PC Barua himself.
The last film of PC Barua and Jamuna at New Theatres was 'Zindagi' in which K.L.Saigal acted as the hero and Jamuna heroine.The theme was  of an unmarried couple living together.That film contained the evergreen Saigal rendered song 'So ja Rajakumari So ja'.

Jamuna joined M.P.Productions after leaving New Thetres and Barua freelanced there after.
'Uttarayan' was a super hit bilingual  film directed by PC Barua and acted as hero later on.
'Shesh Uttar' was another super duper hit of 1942 made by M.P.Productions  in which Barua acted as hero and directed it.The Hindi version was named as 'Jawab' which was a big success at the box office.
Jamuna Barua's last film was 'Phulwari' (Bengali version 'Malancha') based on a Tagore story and released in 1951.It was directed by Prafulla Raj.
In 1951 PC Barua passed away at the age of 48
Selected Filmography of Jamuna Devi

Shesh Uttar 
Hindusthan Hamara
Subah Shyam

K.L.Saigal amd Jamuna Devi


.Jamuna Barua passed away on 24 November 2005.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Leela Desai was a famous Indian actress during 1930's and 40's.She was daughter of Dr.Umedram Lalbhai Desai and Satyabhama Devi, a well known musician of the 1900's.
Leela Desai was born in New York, while her parents were on a lengthy American tour.Her Father  was a Gujarati and her mother was hailed from Bihar.Her father who was a well reputed Doctor of that period died in the year 1930.
Leela Desai  grew up in India.She was an accomplished dancer and was introduced to films by New Theatres of Calcutta.
She got trained from Bhatkhanda Music Institute,Lucknow.This prestigious institute trained several people who all  became popular musicians,artistes,Dancers,Writers etc later on.Some of them are Iftekar,Bina Rai,Swaranlata,Talat Mehmood,Dancer Lachhu Maharaj etc.Artistes from New Theatres of Calcutta like 'Pahadi Sanyal,Leela Desai,Kamalesh Kumari' etc also got training from there.
Leela Desai was gorgeous in her dancing performances  and her acting skill was exceptionally good with her strikingly convincing and expressive eyes and a face which reflected  all emotions easily.
She acted opposite K.L.Saighal in  some films which drew attention from audiences all over India.K.L.Saighal rose to the peak of his popularity with the release of 'Devdas' in 1935 and his other pictures released afterwards were also well received by the audience.
'Didi' was a Bengali  film of 1937 which was directed by Nitin Bose in which K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai were the leading pair.It was a different type of love story.
'Badi Bahen' (37) was a Hindi Film directed by Nitin Bose in which Saighal was her hero.
'President' was also released in 1937 in which K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai acted as the pair.
'Jiban Maran' was a Hindi/Bengali film directed by Nitin Bose  which handled a triangular love story in which Mohan, a radio singer and Kedar, a doctor, both loves Geeta (Leela Desai).K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai were the lead pair in this film also.
'Dushman' was yet another film of Leela Desai and K.L.Saighal pair.

In the film 'Kapal Kundala'(1939) directed by Nitin Bose she acted as 'Kapal Kundala'.Nitin Bose and Phani Majumdar directed it together.Phani Majumdar married Leela Desai's sister Monica Desai.

'Nartaki' was a film  having two versions and in both of them Leela Desai handled heroine role as 'Roop Kumari'.In the Bengali version Bhanu Banerjee was the hero and 'Swamiji's role was handled by Chhabi Biswas.In the H

indi version Najmal Hussain was the hero and Swamiji's role was handled by R.P.Kapoor.The film was directed by Debaki Bose.
'Tamanna' was a Hindi film directed by Phani Majumdar in 1942.
Leela Desai,Krishna Chandra Dey,P.Jairaj,Jagdish Sethi etc acted in it.

'Nagad Narayan' was a Hindi film which was directed by Vishram Bedekar in which Leela Desai,Kusum Deshpande and Pratima Devi acted.

In 1944 she acted in the film 'Kaliyan' along with her sister 'Ramola'.
She was associate producer of the movie  'Kabuliwala' in 1961.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Purnima was born on 2nd March 1932 in Mumbai.Her mother hailed from a Muslim Family of Lucknow and father Sheshadri Aiyangar  was a Tamil Brahmin and an accountant by profession.
Her  elder sister 'Shirin' was also a film  actress who worked in films like "Bambai ki Saithan,Passing Show,Khwab Ki Duniya,State Express,Bijlee" etc.
Purnima's real name was 'Meher Bano' and while she was still a school student, their neighbour  Raman B. Desai who was a film director offered her Radha's role in his proposed Gujarati film 'Radheshyam'.Her sister changed her name as 'Purnima' during this occasion.Radheshyam was released in 1948 when she was 16 years old but prior to that itself in 1947 her two films, 'Manager' and 'Tum aur Mein' were released.
She said in interviews that Kedar Sharma's 'Thes' which was released in 1948 was her first film.Bharat Bhushan and Shashikala were the main leads of 'Thes'.
In 1948 her Gujarati film 'Radheshyam' was released and yet another Gujarati film 'Saavati Maa' was also released.She acted as second lead of two films 'Narad Muni, and Patanga' also in 1948.Narad Muni was Raman B. Desai's bilingual film, in Gujarati and Hindi.
'Patanga' was a very successful film which contained beautiful songs composed by C.Ramachandra out of which two songs were filmed on Purnima.
She got many offers from producers of big banners afterwards and acted as heroine or second lead in about 20 successful films within five years.
Amaya Chakravarty's 'Gauna'(50),Kedar Sharma's 'Jogan',Badal(51),Bebus(50),H.S.Rawal's 'Sagai'(51),Shagoofa(53),O.P.Dutta's 'Parvat,Guru Dutt's 'Jaal',B.R.Chopra's 'Sholay(53),Ramanand Sagar's 'Mehman'(55),Bhagwan Das Varma's 'Aurat'(53), Pooja (54) are some of the successful films she acted in those period.
She married Producer/Director Bhagwan Das Varma in 1954 and was away from acting field for three years.

She came back with the film 'Chamak Chandni' in 57.Due to some financial problems she accepted all the offers came across.She acted in films like 'Kangan,Madam XYZ, Jawani Ki Hawa,College Girl,Gambler,Post Box 999' etc in main role  or as second lead during that period.
Afterwards she acted in character roles in films like 'Badtameez,Humjoli,Mera Gaon Mera Desh,Bairaag,Zanjeer,Khoon Pasina,Inqulaab' etc and quit from acting field after the 1986 film 'Sada Suhagen' in which Jeetendra,Rekha and Govinda were in the lead roles.
Poornima acted in about 200 films during her acting career of 38 years.Her husband Bhagwan Das Verma who was a Producer/Director made films  under the banner 'Varma Films'.He passed away in 1962.
Poornima passed away on 14 August 2013 at Mumbai.
Selected Filmography

Tum Aur Mein
Saavati Maa
Narad Muni 
Chamak Chandni
Post Box 999
Madam XYZ
College Girl
Mera Gaon Mera Desh
Khoon Pasina
Mein Tulsi Tera Angan Ki
Dharam Kanta
Sada Suhagan