Haridhan Mukherjee is one of those extraordinary stars who made the black and white era the Golden Age of Bengali Cinema. His acting skills on-screen and on-stage remain as one of the finest ever seen. Haridhan Mukherjee could shift into any character as easily as a change of costume. From comedy to villainy – he rocked in his every avatar.
Haridhan Mukherjee was born on November 10, 1907. His actual name was Dinobandhu and he worked at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Apart from acting he was a superb singer and especially excelled in spiritual songs. Thus, the name Haridhan was bestowed on him and he used it as his screen name. Rabindranath Tagore had also seen his classical singing performance.
He has been honoured by numerous awards in his lifetime for his contribution to music, theatre and cinema.
Haridhan Mukherjee, among his hundreds of roles, played the role of mama (maternal uncle) in many of his films. Many of his fans lovingly refer to him the ‘mama of Bengali cinema’.
Haridhan Mukherjee is irreplaceable and there will not be another like him. He can be charming, fascinating, humble, sleazy or matured – just ask of it.
We have tried to compile a list of his ten finest roles here, make sure to tell us what you think –
Biltu (Tarun Kumar) loves Dolly but Dolly’s mama, Haridhan Mukherjee is not happy about it. Bhanu Bandopadhyay becomes Biltu’s friend in need along with his sidekick Jahar Roy. But the overprotective bachelor mama is a hard nut to crack. Will a gorgeous nurse help clear their path?
Shib Babu is not happy with singing and dancing at the Annapurna Boarding House. He is also not happy with so many young bachelors around Suchitra Sen although he does not miss the opportunity to ogle at her.
Haridhan Mukherjee’s role as the grumpy man of the mess is as much memorable as this film.
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Hirak Rajar Deshe
Remember the astrologer in Hirak Raja’s court? Too busy for the being another yes man to the king, Haridhan Mukherjee’s short but scintillating role added perfection to this gem of a film.
Haridhan Mukherjee played the Thakurdas Singha in Antony Firingee. This role was truer to his real life when he would sing wonderful songs in this film.
Shib Shankar Roy meets Rai Bahadur Indranath Choudhury (Chhabi Biswas) in Darjeeling and does not miss the opportunity to introduce his nephew to him. Haridhan Mukherjee was a common face in Satyajit Ray’s films and we have enjoyed every bit of it.
Bonus – Look out for the way he says ‘idiot’!
Haridhan Mukherjee gives another amazing performance as the police officer in Paras Pathar. He keeps the spectators engaged since his entry with his Hitler-fashioned moustache.
After our beloved ‘Sreeman Prithviraj’ left for Tibet, his father, two mothers and grandmother broke down in tears. It was Sidhu Khuro (Haridhan Mukherjee) who stood strong to guide his father until his son is found. He was one of the many marvelous actors who made this wonderful film a sensation.
In this Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s classic tale, Haridhan Mukherjee plays another fantastic role as the signal man. It looks hilarious as he tries to woo Sandhya Roy who is about his daughter’s age.
Dikhha bole daant baar kore hasbar ki ache he?
Meet Ganesh, Buchki’s mama and co-conspirator with Mahapurush Birinchi Baba. Satya must get past him every time he has to meet his beloved Buchki. (don’t miss the way he says ‘idiot’ again).
Ganesh Mama may not be the kind of mama we expect in our mamabari but when it comes to Haridhan Mukherjee, everything looks absolutely wonderful!
Credits: Wikipedia, Gomolo, IMDB,