Atal Bihari Panda
Panda receiving 26th Odisha State Film Award for Best Actor in 2014
Born1928 or 1929
Died(2021-06-05)5 June 2021
Occupation(s)Actor, playwright
Years active1944–2012 as stage artist
2013–2020 as film actor
Known forFilm actor and plays
Notable workSala Budha, Aadim Vichar

Atal Bihari Panda (1928/9 – 5 June 2021) was an Indian actor, playwright and lyricist, known for his works in Sambalpuri odia Cinema. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including two back-to-back Odisha State Film Awards for best actor. His debut in films came at an age of 83 years. Before his debut as an actor in films, he had already written 60 plays.[1][2] He also wrote lyrics in many Sambalpuri songs.

Early works

He acted in over 100 plays apart from writing over 65 dramas in the Sambalpuri language. He also worked as a playwright in six operas.[3] Initially director Sabyasachi Mohapatra approached him to write dialogue for the film Sala Budha. The director was looking for the protagonist for that film but he could not find one so he approached Atal to play the lead role and Panda agreed.[4]


Atal Bihari Panda, Author Iti Samanta, Actor Papu Pom Pom (From left to right) during State Film Awards 2014.

He made his debut in film 'Sala Budha' in lead role and the film was directed by Sabyasachi Mohapatra in 2013.[5][6] He won the Best actor award for the film Sala Budha at Odisha State Film awards. In 2014, he again got the chance to work with the director Sabyasachi Mohapatra in the film "Aadim Vichar", which was a sequel to "Sala Budha".[7][8] He appeared again in the lead role in the third installment of Sala Budha film series titled "Sala Budhar Badla" released on 17 January 2020.[9]


Year Film Role Notes ref
2013 Sala Budha Gauntia Budha 25th Odisha State Film Award for Best Actor [10]
2014 Aadim Vichar Kandha Budha 26th Odisha State Film Award for Best Actor [12]
2020 Sala Budhar Badla Gauntia Budha


Year Award Film Category Result Ref
2013 25th Odisha State Film Award Sala Budha Best Actor Won [13]
2014 26th Odisha State Film Award Aadim Vichar Best Actor
Best dialogue writer
Won [14]


On 5 June 2021, Atal Bihari Panda died from COVID-19 at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.[15] He was 92 years old.[16]


  1. ^ "Adim Vichar sweeps state film honours". Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  2. ^ "સાલા બુઢ્ઢા: 83 વર્ષના અટલ બિહારીએ ફિલ્મમાં કરી એન્ટ્રી". divyabhaskar (in Gujarati). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  3. ^ "A filmi chapter begins at 82". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Atal Bihari Panda on opportunity to get on the silver screen - Times of India". The Times of India. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ Pioneer, The. "Urban people exploit tribals in State: Sabyasachi". The Pioneer. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Odia feature film 'Aadim Vichar' makes it to IFFI". dna. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2019.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Film is a tool of Social Reform: Sabyasachi Mohapatra". Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ "The Man Who At An Age Over 80 Made His Film Debut & Was Conferred With The State Film Award!". Mycitylinks- Bhubaneswar | Cuttack | Puri. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Sala Budha Ra Badla - Sabyasachi Mohapatra to make sequel". Incredible Orissa. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  10. ^ Pioneer, The. "Sarada Nayak to get Jayadev Award". The Pioneer. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  11. ^ bureau, Odisha Diary (26 August 2017). "Cultural line-up at the World's Largest Prabasi Nuakhai Bhetghat released!". OdishaDiary. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Film is a tool of Social Reform: Sabyasachi Mohapatra". Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Odisha state film awards for Aadim Vichar". Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Atal Bihari Panda won Best actor and Best dialogue writer award". Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  15. ^ Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo [@KVSinghDeo1] (4 June 2021). "Saddened by the death of Atal Bihari Panda a wonderful artist, who passed away at the age of 91, lost the battle to the dreaded COVID - pray to the almighty to give strength to his family members to bear the irreparable loss - Aum Shanti🙏" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2 April 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "Veteran Actor, Sala Budha Fame Atal Bihari Panda No More". Eastern Media. 5 June 2021. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.