(Last Updated on : 13-12-2012)
Ganesh Govind Bodas was born in Shevgaon village, Ahmadnagar district, in the year of 1880. His schooling was up to the secondary level. He grew interest in both music and acting. He was an amateur actor in school, but his official entry in theatre took place in 1895 when he joined the Kirloskar Natak Mandali. Though he did not have proper training in classical music, he developed a very good musical sensibility when G. B. Deval coached him for minor female roles in the Mandali's plays such as Kirloskar's Sanbhadra, Deval's Samshaykallol, S. K. Kolhatkar's Mukanayak or 'Speechless Protagonist' in 1901, and Khadilkar's Manapaman i.e. 'Honour and Dishonour' in 1911.
After some time, because of his fine singing and graceful acting style, Ganesh Govind Boda was given the lead in these productions. He became very famous for his extraordinary histrionic abilities. He did a wide variety of roles, mythological to social and serious to comic. Along with Govindrao Tembe, he helped Bal Gandharva to form the Gandharva Natak Mandali in 1913. His unforgettable characterizations included the farcical Phalgunrao in Samshaykallol, Krishna in Khadilkar's Sivayamvar i.e. 'Choice of Groom in 1916, and the alcoholic Sudhakar in Gadkari's Ekach pyala i.e. 'Just One Glass in 1919. After it disintegrated, he acted with many other companies, such as the Yashwant Sangeet Natak Mandali, till 1956. He popularized the 'night' system in Marathi theatre whereby actors got paid by the number of nights they performed. His autobiography, Majhi bhumika or 'My Role' came out in 1940. Ganesh Govind Bodas died in 1965 at the age of 85.
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