Early Bengali Actors
In the earlier times it was Pramathesh Chandra Barua's films that were popular with the audience. He teamed up with Kanan Devi to deliver several quality films. Along with Pramathesh Chandra Barua it was Debaki Bose who also contributed to the Bengali films. Apart from Devdas he has also acted in movies like, Charitraheen, Grihadaha, Aparadhi, Mukti and others. Kanan Devi got the first opportunity to act in a silent movie in 1926, Jaideb. Later she was often paired with PC Barua or KL Saigal. The lady also used to sing for her own films. In 1976 she received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
The other stalwarts of Bengali cinema are Chhaya Devi and Chhabi Biswas. In 1936, Chhabi Biswas acted in his first film, Annapurnar Mandir. The film was directed by Tinkari Chakraborty and the actor played the role of Bishu, the husband of the heroine. He was also associated with Bengali theatres and in no time became a popular actor of the silver screen and proved to his sharp histrionic skills. But probably the two roles that immortalized him were Tapan Sinha's screen adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's Kabuliwala and Satyajit Ray's Jalsaghar. What followed Jalsaghar was another two movies with Ray, Devi and Kanchanjungha. Chhaya Devi, on the other hand, started off with Sansar. A powerhouse performer the actress is one of the most revered actors of Bengali celluloid. With an amazing screen presence she has acted in over 150 Bengali films. Her famed films include Tapan Sinha's Nirjan Saikate (1963), Hatey Bazarey (1967) and Apanjan (1968).
Modern Bengali Actors
The name, Uttam Kumar, is probably synonymous with the history of Bengali Cinema. He was the hero in every sense of the term. His charismatic personality has hypnotized the audience for years. There have been many lead actors in Bengali cinema but no one could match the magic of Uttam Kumar. Suchitra Sen was another stalwart in this arena who garnered national as well as international acclamations for her performances. Her unparalleled charisma and dramatic dexterity established her as one of the most admired actresses of Bengali film industry. She paired up with Uttam Kumar for several flicks and those movies still continue to be the landmarks of Bengali cinema. Supriya Devi is another noted actress from this era, who starred in a number of Bengali films garnering applauses for her excellent dramatic skills.
Pahadi Sanyal was one of the most gifted actors in Bengali cinema. He played the character roles in many films such as Kanchenjungha, Harano Sur, Saat Paake Badha and others. Another Bengali actor who deserves special mention is Utpal Dutta. Hailing from theatre his acting capabilities were indisputable. He is a versatile actor who could perform in serious vein, comic role and as a villain. Soumitra Chatterjee and his histrionic skill are unquestionable. Some of the landmark movies in Bengali are attributed to Soumitra Chatterjee. Sabitri Chatterjee is also one of the noted Bengali actresses, who has gathered applauses from critics and masses alike. Kamal Mitra and Bikash Roy also add to the list of prominent modern Bengali actors. Aparna Sen is a critically acclaimed actress who has been the winner of three National Film Awards and has carved a distinct niche for herself in celluloid. Victor Banerjee, Moonmoon Sen, Dhritimaan Chatterjee, Ranjit Mallick, Madhabi Mukherjee, Laboni Sarkar, Shubhendu Chatterjee, Anju Ghosh, are other notable names among the modern Bengali actors.
Contemporary Bengali Actors
Contributions of contemporary film actors in Bengali cinema is no less as they are till date enriching the industry with their admirable works. Prasenjit Chatterjee is the most prominent name among these who is known for his versatility and proficiency as an actor in both commercial as well as parallel films. His performances in films like Moner Manush, Autograph, Baishe Srabon, Jaatishwar and many others won him immense critical acclaims. Tapas Pal has also been a popular actor who has worked in several flicks. Rituparna Sengupta has ruled over the Bengali film industry for a long phase gaining applauses in mainstream and parallel films. Debashree Roy is another undisputedly talented actress who began her career as a child actress. A winner of National Film Award, her name is associated with many noted films. Jisshu Sengupta has shown his acting dexterity through a number of acclaimed films and has worked with some of the most renowned filmmakers. Parambrata Chatterjee is another skilled Bengali actor who worked in commercial as well as parallel cinema. Being a versatile actor, he has stepped up the ladder of success in a short span of time. Raima Sen has also drawn the praises of critics through her performances in several flicks. Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Jeet, Mamata Shankar, Arpita Pal, Koel Mallick, Dev, Saswata Chatterjee, Abir Chatterjee, Indraneil Sengupta, Swastika Mukherjee, Subhashree Ganguly are other prominent contemporary Bengali actors.