Black and white era of Bengali cinema is not our past – it is a living present for us many film lovers. Truly the Golden Age, it was filled with superb artists and fantastic films. Old is truly gold here.
The black and white era was blessed to have first class actors who also excelled in comedy. Their funny roles could be hilarious as well as very subtle. Each performance was worth watching many times. Humour was truly ‘humorous and clean’ without farce or mockery. It was comedy in its highest form.
Here are some actors who made us laugh again and again with their ace acting, outstanding comic timing and their innate sense of humour. No wonder even after decades, people watch their films and still get entertained. Laughter is truly the best and eternal medicine of the human spirit.
‘Masima, malpo khamu’
Bhanu made masima’s malpua a box office hit! Actually it was Sare Chuattor that made him quite famous.
Bhanu Bandopadhyay started his career as a stand-up comedian. Then he was in Dhaka and also released his comic gramophone record named Dhakar Gadoane. Although popular by then, yet he decided to settle in Kolkata and pursue acting. In 1952, he came to focus in Nirmal Dey’s Basu Parivar. Sare Chuattor was released in 1953 and after that, he had been unstoppable. Who can ever forget his act as Miss Priyangbada?
With Bhanu, comes the name Jahar. He paired up with Bhanu to create some unforgettable comical performances.
Jahar Roy was an actor who nailed every performance, whether it was a major role or a supporting one. Kamakhya in Sare Chuattor, Brajahari in Paras Pathar, Gobordhon Choudhury in Dhannyee Meye, Bichitrogupta in Jamalay Jibonto Manush or the mantri moshai – he is irreplaceable!
For many Santosh Dutta and our beloved and amusing Lal Mohan Babu, are the same. Although Santosh Dutt did very few films, we remember those quite fondly. Remember Sriman Prithviraj’s history teacher and Professor Noni in Mahaprush.
We miss you so much Santosh babu.
Another scintillating actor of the bygone era is Nabadwip Haldar. Remember Madan, the chakor of Annapurna Boarding in Sare Chuattor? In this most perfect film with most perfect hilarity, Nawadwip Haldar as Madan just nails the role. His ‘Babu’ in a cackling voice with his big-toothed smile should have got him an Oscar.
Rabi Ghosh was a master at everything – whether he wanted to make us laugh or cry.
A brilliant actor, a superb comic artist and one of the unforgettable talents of Bengali cinema.
An actor almost forgotten, Nripati Chatterjee was another one who won our hearts with superb comic acting. In Dhanni Meye, do you remember his short but fantastic performance as Gobardhan mama’s masseur and yes-man? In Miss Priyangbada, he was Shukobi Bigolito Bandopadhyay who sided against the lovebirds along with mama Haridhan Mukherjee. A great actor and a fantastic man, film lovers remember him fondly.
Utpal Dutt – he came, he acted, he won. The master of every role, he was a legend. He was one of the greatest assets of global cinema and theatre.
Although he is better known for his hilarious roles in Hindi films like Golmaal, we can never forget his fabulously riotous characters of Hirak Raja and Sriman Prithviraj’s father-in-law!
Tulsi Chakraborty & Molina Debi
Tulsi Chakraborty is one of the most loved actors of Bengali cinema. His down to earth demeanour and excellent comic sense is unmatched, except for his on-screen rival Molina Debi. An equally talented artist, we can see in Sare Chuattor how she matched her on-screen husband’s amusing acting prowess in every way. They will always remain as the most loved couple of Bengali cinema.