Born Name: Samyamoy Bandyopadhyay
Date of Birth: 26 August 1920
Place of Birth: Munshiganj, Bengal Presidency, British India (Present day Bangladesh)
Died: 4 March 1983 (aged 62), Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Education: St. Gregory's High School & College, Jagannath University, University of Dhaka
Occupation: Actor, comedian, singer
Spouse(s): Nilima Mukhopadhyay (m. 1946; his death 1983)
Children: Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Basabi Ghatak Bandyopadhyay, Pinaki Bandyopadhyay
Parents: Jitendranath Bandyopadhyay (father), Suniti Bandyopadhyay (mother)
Bhanu Bandyopadhyay (born as Samyamoy Bandyopadhyay; 26 August 1920 – 4 March 1983) was an Indian actor, known for his work in Bengali cinema. He acted in over 300 movies, in numerous plays and performed frequently on the radio.
Bandyopadhyay was born on 26 August 1920 at Munshigonj, Dhaka Division, present day Bangladesh. He studied at Kazi Pagla A. T. Institute, Lohajong, Pogose School and St. Gregory's High School in Dhaka followed by Jagannath College for his B.A. He then moved to Calcutta in the 1950s. In his initial years Bandyopadhyay worked at the Iron & Steel Control Board.
He was associated with the freedom fighter group Anushilan Samity in the Dhaka Dist. He was kept under house arrest for 30 days when he was a teenager as the police suspected him to be involved in seditious activities. After the Quit India movement he joined with the Revolutionary Socialist Party. Later founded the Kranti Shilpi Sangha with writer (later film maker) Salil Sen, staging the latter’s landmark play Natun Yahudi (1951, filmed 1953) about East Bengal refugees for fund-raising on their behalf in Calcutta.
Bandyopadhyay started his acting career as a stand-up comedian in Dhaka. He performed at office parties and then moved on to larger venues. In 1943, he released his first major comic gramophone record Dhakar Gadoane. Its success prompted him to release a new record every year during Durga Puja. He made his big screen debut with Debi Mukherjee and Sumitra Devi starrer Bengali film Abhijog (1947). Bandyopadhyay's breakthrough film role was in Nirmal Dey's Basu Parivar (1952) where he played a Bangal businessman. The next year his role as Kedar in Share Chuattar made him rise to fame. His quote in the film Mashima, malpoa khamu. (Aunty, I want to eat malpoa) became a popular catchphrase. He went on to act in over 300 movies like Bhrantibilash and Pasher Bari. In most of his films he played comedic roles in which he exaggerated Bengali accents and mannerisms for comic effect. He teamed up with his best friend comedian Jahor Roy for many films like Bhanu Pelo Lottery and the humorous detective story Bhanu Goenda Johar Assistant. Typically, in the pair's films Bandyopadhyay would take the role of the Bangal and Roy would be the comical Ghoti character (although in real life, both were Bangals). Although chiefly known as a comedian, Bandyopadhyay played serious roles in the film Galpo Holeo Satti. He also played the lead roles in Jamalaye Jibanta Manush, Personal Assistant, Miss Priyambada and Ashite Ashiona. Later in his career Bandyopadhyay founded his own Jatra group called Mukto Mancha. He produced, directed and acted in his own productions, traveling around the country with the troupe.
Bandyopadhyay was married to Nilima Mukhopadhyay, a playback singer. They had three children – Basabi Ghatak (née Bandyopadhyay), Gautam and Pinaki. Earlier the family stayed in Jubilee Park, Tollygunge. Later shifted to 42A, Charu Avenue, Rabindra Sarobar in 1960.
Death and legacy
Bandyopadhyay died of a heart-related illness on 4 March 1983. On 26 August 2011 his film Nirdharito Shilpir Onupasthitite (1959) was released on DVD. His son, Gautam Bandyopadhyay, has confirmed the release which coincided with his father's 91st birth anniversary.