Chhabi Biswas
Born(1900-07-13)13 July 1900
Choto Jagulia(Dattapukur);North 24 Parganas, Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died11 June 1962(1962-06-11) (aged 61)
OccupationActor
Years active1931–1962
Parent(s)Bhupendra Nath Biswas(Kali Biswas)
AwardsSangeet Natak Akademi Award (1960)

Chhabi Biswas (Chabi Biśbās) (13 July 1900 – 11 June 1962)[1] was an Indian actor, primarily known for his performances in Tapan Sinha's Kabuliwala and Satyajit Ray's films Jalshaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi (The Goddess, 1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).

He is best remembered for his numerous roles as the quintessential aristocratic patriarch, and was himself the scion of a rich and cultured North Kolkata family.[2] He was born on 12 July 1900. His father, Bhupatinath Biswas, was well known for his charitable works. His first name was Sachindranath, but his mother nicknamed her handsome son Chhabi (a beautiful picture!) and the name stuck throughout his life and career. His portrayal of the formidable father figure, though often typecast, yet was powerful and convincing enough to earn both popular and critical accolades. That portrayal was culturally significant, too as in the British Raj, enlightened Bengali used to combined both the hoary tradition and the Anglicised urbanity.

Life and film career

Passing his matriculation examinations from the Hindu School, Chhabi Biswas enrolled at the Presidency College and later at the Vidyasagar College. It was during this time he entered amateur theatre and got in touch with Sisir Kumar Bhaduri, the legendary star of Bengali theatre. The young actor was impressed by Sisir Kumar’s histrionic abilities and he became heavily involved with several amateur theatrical clubs. His powerful performance as Sri Gouranga in the play Nader Nimai sealed Biswas's popularity among the theatre lovers of the day.

He then took a break from acting and joined an insurance company, and later started a business dealing in jute products. But soon, unable to resist the temptations of the stage, Biswas rejoined the theatre circuit and made his debut as a professional actor in a social-melodrama, Samaj. Even after his success as a film actor Biswas continued his association with the professional stage and Jatra circuit. His performance in major roles in hit plays like Shoroshi (1940), Sita (1940), Kedar Roy (1941) and Shahjehan (1941), made him an admired figure both among the audience and his peers.

In 1936, Biswas made his cinematic debut in a film called Annapurnar Mandir. The film was directed by Tinkari Chakraborty and Biswas played the role of Bishu, the husband of the heroine. Trained in the over-melodramatic acting style of the contemporary Bengali stage, Biswas soon grasped the finer nuances of acting for cinema. He became a regular in films produced by the New Theatres and had major roles in Chokker Bali (1937), Nimai Sannyas (1940) and Pratisruti (1941). He was absolutely marvellous as a 90-year-old ascetic in Debaki Bose's film Nartaki (1940). Ironically, it was the success of his acting in Nartaki that limited his opportunities in lead roles but his reputation as a character actor par excellence was by now firmly in place. Biswas's second innings as an actor began with this film and he almost became an automatic choice as the paterfamilias or the suave noble. Using his perfect English diction to the hilt Biswas (along with Pahadi Sanyal and Bikash Roy to a certain extent) developed a unique way of delivering a dramatic dialogue, first in English, and then after a pause repeating the same in Bengali. Films such as Ashok (1942), Parineeta (1942), Dwanda (1943), Matir Ghar (1944), Dui Purush (1945), Biraj Bou (1946) and Mandana (1950) showcased his talents as an actor of great quality.

In 1958, when Satyajit Ray needed someone to play an aging aristocrat in Jalsaghar, Biswas was an automatic choice. Subsequently, Biswas starred in two more Ray films; Devi (1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).

Chhabi Biswas died at age 61 in an automobile accident on 11 June 1962. Satyajit Ray later wrote, "Jalsgahar, Devi, Kanchenjunga, were all written with Chhabi Biswas in mind. Ever since he died, I have not written a single middle-aged part that calls for a high degree of professional talent."[3]

Filmography

Year of release Title Role Director Notes
1936 Annapurnar Mandir Bishu Tinkari Chakraborty
1937 Haranidhi Tinkari Chakraborty
1938 Chokher Bali Bihari Satu Sen
1939 Chanakya Sikandar Sisir Kumar Bhaduri
1939 Sharmistha Naresh Mitra
1940 Nimai Sanyasi Nimai Phani Burma
1940 Nartaki Swamiji Debaki Bose
1940 Swami Stri Satu Sen
1941 Pratisruti Paritosh Hemchandra Chunder
1941 Pratishodh Sushil Majumdar
1941 Karnarjun Karna Jyotish Bandyopadhyay
1941 Epar Opar Ramen Sukumar Dasgupta
1941 Banglar Meye Naresh Mitra
1942 Jiban Sangini Naren Choudhury Gunamaya Bannerjee
1942 Saugandh Hemchandra Chunder
1942 Pashan Devata Sukumar Dasgupta
1942 Milan Paresh Jyotish Bannerji
1942 Mahakabi Kalidas Niren Lahiri
1942 Garmil Mukherjee Niren Lahiri
1942 Avayer Biye Sushil Majumdar
1942 Shodhbodh Saumyen Mukherji
1942 Nari Prafulla Roy
1942 Bondi Sailajanand Mukherji
1942 Parineeta Pasupati Chatterjee
1942 Ashok Ajay Bhattacharya
1942 Pativrata Jagadish Chakraborty
1942 Mahakavi Kalidas Niren Lahiri
1943 Dwanda Hemen Gupta
1943 Dikshul Premankur Atorthy
1943 Devar Rabin Jyotish Bannerji
1943 Dampati Niren Lahiri
1943 Nilanguriya Gunamaya Bannerjee
1943 Daabi Dhirendranath Ganguly
1943 Aleya Nabendusundar
1943 Samadhan Premendra Mitra
1944 Chhadmabeshi Ajay Bhattacharya
1944 Matir Ghar Alok Hari Bhanja
1944 Pratikar Chhabi Biswas
1945 Bondita Hemanta Gupta
1945 Dui Purush Nutu Bihari Subodh Mitra
1945 Rajlaxmi Premendra Mitra
1945 Path Bendhe Dilo Premendra Mitra
1945 Sree Durga Sailajananda Mukherjee
1945 Raj Lakshmi Premendra Mitra
1946 Sangram Ardhendu Mukherjee
1946 Tumi Aar Aami Apurba Kumar Mitra
1946 Prem Ki Duniya Jyotish Bannerjee
1946 Mandir Phani Burma
1946 Biraj Bou Nilambar Amar Mullick
1946 Vande Mataram Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
1946 Nibedita Pratibha Sasmal
1946 Saat Number Bari Sukumar Dasgupta
1947 Chandrasekhar Chandrasekhar Debaki Bose
1947 Abhijog Sushil Majumdar
1947 Nurse Sisi Subodh Mitra
1948 Anirban Soumyen Mukherjee
1948 Shesh Nibedan Dhirendranath Ganguly
1948 Sadharan Meye Niren Lahiri
1948 Nandaranir Sansar Surendraranjan Sarkar
1948 Shankha Sindur Manujendra Bhanja
1948 Umar Prem Khagen Roy
1948 Drishtidaan Nitin Bose
1949 Manzoor Subodh Mitra
1949 Debi Chowdhurani Satish Dangupta
1949 Jar Jetha Ghar Chhabi Biswas
1949 Singhdwar Niren Lahiri
1950 Garabini Niren Lahiri
1950 Mandanda Ratan Chatterjee
1950 Vidyasagar Kali Prasad Ghose
1950 Mahasampad Surendraranjan Sarkar
1951 Anurag Jatin Das
1951 Kalsap Khagen Roy
1951 Maldar Amit Moitra
1951 Biplabi Kshudiram Hiranmoy Sen
1951 Aparajita Partha Sarathy Drama
1951 Durgesh Nandini Katlu Khan Amar Mullick
1951 Sunandar Biye Sudhir Sarkar
1952 Ratrir Tapashya Sushil Majumdar
1952 Krishnakanter Will Khagen Roy
1952 Nirakshar Gunamaya Bannerjee
1952 Prarthana Pranab Roy
1952 Alladdin-o-ashcharya Pradeep Bijon Sen
1952 Kar Pape Kali Prasad Ghose Dr. Bose
1952 Jabanbondi Amar Dutta
1952 Subhada Haran Chandra Niren Lahiri
1952 Vidyasagar Kali Prasad Ghose
1953 Raja Krishnachandra Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
1953 Shesher Kabita Abanish Modhu Bose
1953 Saat Number Kayedi Sukumar Dasgupta
1953 Lakh Taka Niren Lahiri
1953 Jog Biyog Pinaki Mukherji
1953 Sati Behula Sunil Ganguly
1953 Boudir Bon Khagen Roy
1953 Sabuj Paharh Apurba Kumar Mitra
1953 Baimanik Shyam Chakraborty
1953 Blind Lane Sailajananda Mukherjee
1953 Makarsar Jaal Pashupati Kundu
1954 Bidhilipi Jagadish Babu Manu Sen
1954 Shorashi Jibananda Choudhury Pasupati Chatterjee
1954 Sadanander Mela Mamubhai Sukumar Dasgupta
1954 Ora Thake Odhare Sukumar Dasgupta
1954 Jadubhatta Niren Lahiri
1954 Dhuli Pinaki Mukherjee
1954 Chheley Kaar Chitta Bose
1954 Bhanga Gora Jogen Sushil Majumdar
1954 Prafulla Chitta Bose
1954 Banglar Nari Sailajananda Mukherjee
1954 Naa Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay
1954 Shobha Niren Lahiri
1954 Maa-o-chhele Gunamaya Bannerjee
1954 Kalyani Niren Lahiri
1955 Sanjher Pradeep Sudhangsu Mukherjee
1955 Rani Rashmoni Rajchandra Das Kali Prasad Ghose
1955 Joymakali Boarding Sadhan Sarkar
1955 Jharer Pare Debnarayan Gupta
1955 Hrad Ardhendu Sen
1955 Dasyu Mohan Mr. Shome Ardhendu Mukherjee
1955 Sabar Upare Prashanta Chatterjee Agradoot
1955 Upahar Sunil's father Tapan Sinha
1955 Shribatsa Chinta Phani Burma
1955 Prashna Sumitra's Father Chandrasekhar Bose
1955 Debi Malini Niren Lahiri
1955 Dattak Kamal Ganguly
1955 Kalo Bou Silpi Sangha
1955 Katha Kao Sailajananda Mukherjee
1955 Pather Sheshey Ardhendu Chatterjee
1955 Bhagaban Sree Sree Ramkrishna[a] Mathur Prafulla Chakraborty
1955 Drishti Chitta Bose
1955 Parishodh Sukumar Dasgupta
1955 Joy Maa Kali Boarding Sadhan Sarkar
1955 Bratacharini Kamal Ganguly
1956 Kirti Garh Soumyen Mukherjee
1956 Shankar Narayan Bank Niren Lahiri
1956 Asamapta Ratan Chatterjee
1956 Madan Mohan Amal Kumar Bose
1956 Putrabadhu Chitta Bose
1956 Raat Bhore Mrinal Sen
1956 Sinthir Sindoor Ardhendu Sen
1956 Trijama Kushal's father Agradoot
1956 Suryamukhi Bikash Ray
1956 Shubharatri Sushil Majumdar
1956 Saheb Bibi Golam Mejobabu Kartick Chattopadhyay
1956 Sadhak Ramprosad Bangsi Ash
1956 Paradhin Modhu Bose
1956 Daner Maryada Amarnath Sushil Majumdar
1956 Bhola Master Bhola Master Niren Lahiri
1956 Asabarna Pinaki Mukherjee
1956 Falgu Satish Dasgupta
1956 Rajpath Gunamaya Bannerjee
1956 Govindadas Prafulla Chakraborty
1956 Mamlar Phal Pasupati Chatterjee
1956 Ekdin Ratre Sombhu Mitra
1956 Chhaya Sangini Bidyapati Ghosh
1956 Taka-ana-pai Jyotirmoy Roy
1956 Manraksha Satish Dasgupta
1957 Prithibi Amare Chay Niren Lahiri
1957 Adarsha Hindu Hotel Ardhendu Sen
1957 Khela Bhangar Khela Ratan Chatterjee
1957 Harishchandra Rishi Durbasa Phani Burma
1957 Shesh Parichoy Sushil Majumdar
1957 Rastar Chhele Chitta Bose
1957 Kabuliwala Rahmat the Kabuliwala Tapan Sinha
1957 Kancha-mithey Jyotirmoy Roy
1957 Garer Math Aaj Production Unit
1957 Pathe Holo Deri Mallika's father Agradoot
1957 Baksiddha Bireswar Bose
1957 Antariksha Rajen Tarafdar
1957 Abhoyer Biye Sukumar Dasgupta
1957 Kari-o-komal Moni Ghosh
1957 Bardidi Ajay Kar
1957 Abhishek Chitra Pali
1957 Tapasi Chitta Bose
1957 Madhabir Jonye Nitin Bose
1957 Chhaya Path Gunamaya Bannerjee
1957 Mathur Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
1957 Ghum Agrani
1957 Sandhan Chitta Sen
1957 Natun Prabhat Bikash Ray
1957 Surer Parashe Chitta Bose
1957 Bara Maa Niren Lahiri
1957 Ektara Hiren Bose
1957 Nilachaley Mahaprabhu King Gajapati Prataprudradeb Kartick Chattopadhyay
1958 Louha-kapat Tapan Sinha
1958 Parash Pathar Guest at Cocktail Party Satyajit Ray
1958 Tansen Akbar Niren Lahiri
1958 Nagini Kanyar Kahini Salil Sen
1958 Daily Passenger Sadhan Sarkar
1958 Daktar Babu Bishu Dasgupta
1958 Jalsaghar Huzur Biswambhar Roy Satyajit Ray
1958 Priya Salil Sen
1958 Surya Toran Agradoot
1958 Marmabani Sushil Majumdar
1958 Sadhak Bamakshyapa Narayan Ghosh (2)
1958 Jamalaye Jibanta Manush Prafulla Chakraborty
1958 Indrani Niren Lahiri
1958 Headmaster Krishna Prasanna (Ex-Head master) Agragami
1958 O Amar Desher Mati Pathikrit
1958 Nupur Dilip Nag
1958 Bandhu Chitta Bose
1958 Dhoomketu Gouranga Prasad Basu
1959 Derso Khokhar Kando Kamal Ganguly
1959 Gali Theke Rajpath Prafulla Chakraborty
1959 Sonar Harin Mangal Chakraborty
1959 Shubha Bibaha Bar-da (Gayatri's father) Sombhu Mitra
1959 Sashibabur Sansar Sudhir Mukherjee
1959 Mriter Martye Agaman Pasupati Chatterjee
1959 Khelaghar Ajay Kar
1959 Kshaniker Atithi Tapan Sinha
1959 Chaowa Pawa Tarun Majumdar, Yatrik
1959 Bicharak Prabhat Mukherjee
1959 Chhabi Niren Lahiri
1959 Amrapali Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay
1959 Nirdharita Silpir Anupastithi Tey Nirmal Dey
1959 Rater Andhakare Agrani
1959 Thakur Haridas Gobinda Ray
1959 Bhranti Prafulla Chakraborty
1959 Agnisambhabha Sushil Majumdar
1959 Nrityeri Tale Tale Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
1960 Devi zamindar Kali Kinkar Roy Satyajit Ray
1960 Smriti Tuku Thaak Shova's father Tarun Majumdar
1960 Shesh Paryanta Sudhir Mukherjee
1960 Tailangaswami Chitrasarathi
1960 Shuno Baranari Ajay Kar
1960 Raja-saja Bikash Ray
1960 Nader Nimai Bimal Roy Jr.
1960 Maya Mriga Chitta Bose
1960 Kshudista Pashan Tapan Sinha
1960 Hospital Sushil Majumdar
1960 Surer Piyasi Bishu Dasgupta
1960 Haat Baralei Bandhu Sukumar Dasgupta
1960 Gariber Meye Ardhendu Mukherjee
1960 Sakher Chor Prafulla Chakraborty
1960 Debarshi Narader Sansar Panchaboot
1960 Ajana Kahini Sunil Baran
1960 Chupi Chupi Ase Beni (Inspector Ghosh) Premendra Mitra
1961 Bishkanya Shri Jayadratha
1961 Kanchanmulya Nirmal Mitra
1961 Saptapadi Krishnendu's father Ajay Kar
1961 Maa Chitta Bose
1961 Manik Bijoli Baran Sen
1961 Dainee Manoj Bhattacharya
1961 Carey Saheber Munshi Bikash Ray
1961 Agni Sanskar Agradoot
1961 Madhya Rater Tara Pinaki Mukherjee
1961 Madhureno Shanti Bannerjee
1961 Kancher Swarga Tarun Majumdar
1961 Ashay Bandhinu Ghar Kanak Mukherjee
1961 Necklace Dilip Nag
1961 Swayambara Asit Sen
1962 Mayar Sansar Kanak Mukherjee
1962 Bodhu Bhupen Roy
1962 Sorry Madam Dilip Bose
1962 Kancher Swarga Judge Tarun Majumdar
1962 Kanchenjungha Indranath Chowdhury Satyajit Ray
1962 Agnisikha Rajen Tarafdar
1962 Bipasha Saradindu Chatterjee Agradoot
1962 Shubhoddristi Chitta Bose
1962 Dhupchhaya Chitta Bose
1962 Dada Thakur Dada Thakur Sudhir Mukherjee
1962 Suryasnan Ajay Kumar
1962 Atal Jaler Ahwan Mr. Chowdhury Ajay Kar
1962 Shiulibari Pijush Bose
1962 Kajal Sunil Bannerjee
1963 High Heel Dilip Bose
1963 Surya Sikha Salil Dutta
1963 Chhakka Panja Prafulla Roy
1964 Kantatar Bireshwar Mukherjee
1973 Bignam O Bidhata Bimal Roy Jr.
1977 Shri Shri Maa Lakshmi Prabhat Chakraborty
1982 Agni sambhaba Sushil Majumdar
2007 Bandhu Chitto Bos (final film role)

Awards and recognitions

References

Notes

  1. ^ Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna on YouTube; (accessed 30 August 2017)

Citations

  1. ^ Seagull Theatre Quarterly. Seagull Foundation for the Arts. 1998. p. 54. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ Rekha Menon (1961). Cultural profiles. Inter-National Cultural Centre. p. 47. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. ^ Ray, Satyajit. "The Odds against Us," in Our Films, Their Films. New York: Hyperion, 1994, p. 61 ISBN 0-7868-6122-3