The film industry of Bengal has worked hard to produce some of the iconic works through art and culture. The artists themselves have been a major influence for the industry itself. Bengali film industry has been famous world wide and has gained national acclaim through awards and appreciations. Several producers and directors have been globally famous for their outstanding contribution in Tollywood. An important creation among the Tollywood industry are the actors and actresses.
The industry has experienced some of the finest actors who mastered the art of performing and have stolen the hearts of the country. They have definitely played a commendable role in making their own way in the foreign countries as well.
On asking to quote a certain number of best actresses it would be really difficult to judge among the masters of acting. Yet on the basis of their significant roles , cultural prominence and the number of Satyajit Ray films done , we have created a list for your convenience.
Suchitra Sen along with Uttam Kumar brought in the concept of block busters in the films. She was the one to fetch star power. She acted with dignity and was often praised for posing with grace. Her debut movie was ‘Shesh kothaay’. She was an actress known for her acting in romantic films. Some of her drama based performance are outstanding like in ‘Deep Jwele Jaai’ in the year 1963, ‘Uttar Falguni” in 1963, ‘Khamoshi’ in 1969. Sen was the super star of Romantic drama and broke all barriers in a Bengali Romantic Drama named ‘Saptapadi’ in the year 1961. The actress was defined the Bengali Cinema is none other than Suchitra Sen herself.
A very well known face in the history of Bengali cinema, Madhabi Mukherjee.She has been known for her roles in most critical movies of her times. She acted in Mrinal sen’s movie based on World War and earned her first critical applaud. She got the opportunity to work with Ritwik Ghatak before moving forward to Satyajit Ray’s films.Some of her finest performance to be mentioned are Mahanagar in the year 1960, Charulata in the year 1964 and Apu Trilogy. She surpassed the ordinary standards of judgement in the cinema industry.
The versatile actor turned director in the recent times have been successful throughout her career. At the age of 15 she was a debut for Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Teen Kanya’ in 1961. It could be seen that her acting roots were well defined as she gave outstanding performances soon after giving her debut performance. In the 80s and 90s she performed in critical movies just before taking up as a director. Some of the names of her finest films are Aparachito in the year 1969,Sujata in 1974, Mahaprithivi in 1991 and also Abhishapta Prem in 1996. She gifted the cinema a trustworthy star and raised it to newer heights. You will be able to elate to her easily once the name of her daughter is mentioned, she is none other than Konkona Sen Sharma,s mother!
Actress Sharmila Tagore is a decendent of the Tagore family and marked her named among the bright actresses of the sixties. She debuted in Satya Jit Ray’s film named ‘Apur Sansar in the year 1959 and easily gained prominence in the world of bollywood cinema. With a successful pairing with the great actor Rajesh Khanna she gave phenomenal hit movies in Bollywood, a few to name are ‘Aradhana ‘ in the year 1969, Safar in 1970, Amar Prem in 1972, Daag in 1973 and many more. The fine actress earned a National award as the Best Actress for her performance in Gulzar’s movie Mausam. She was then one of the highest paid actresses of her times.
It was in the late 90s and the early 2000s when Bollywood was focussing majorly on the male roles while the female characters were being used only as eye candy. This was the period when Mukherjee created strong feminine role in the commercial cinema . She debuted in her father’s film named ‘Biyer Phool’ in the year 1996. Soon after she broke into stardom at Bollywood. Karan Johar’s movie ‘Kuch Kuch hota hai’ fetched her The Film Fare award for the Best Actress in supporting role!
Kajol the leading name among the actresses of Bollywood. In the nineties Kajol was the raging star winning six Film Fare Awards along with Padma Shri. In the year 1994 her movie ‘Ye Dillagi’ was liked and appreciated. More movies followed in the coming years that made her favourite among the others namely, Ishq in 1997, Pyar Kiya toh darna Kya in 1998, Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha in 1998, Hum Aapke Dil Me Rehte hain in the year 1999. Despite of all these successes the actress agreed to take up a negative role in the movie Gupt which broke the records of many such stereo types.
Konkona Sen Sharma
The most underrated actresses in Bengali Cinema is Konkona Sen Sharma. A very hard working and deserving actress who has proved her worth in many movies. It feels like the Industry does not deserve her talent , yet she has been a favourite among the critic circle. Ofcourse her mothers name supports her in making her a sensation in the cinema.
The beauty of mid 1950s brings the name of Sumitra Devi. A well known name among the sensitive role plays in Hindi Movies. Her roles in the movies named Mashal in 1950, Deewana in 1952, Mamta in 1952 and few more impacted the Bengali Cinema to a great extent.
Sabitri Chatterjee, a name of the 50s of the actress who has been famous among the big personalities. She debuted in the movie Paser Bari an soon acted in satyajit Ray’s movie ‘ Pather Panchali’ in the year 1955 & Aparajito which fetched her critical acclaim.
Sandhya Roy was a sweet and bubbling actress. She was among the favourite Bengali actress and proved to be versatile in the coming years of her film career.