(Last Updated on : 20/06/2012)
Vishnupant Pagnis was an actor in Marathi theatre. At the age of 10 he joined Janubhau Nimkar's Swadesh Hitachintak Natak Mandali in Kolhapur as an actor of female roles. His portrayals of Deval's Sharada and Shakuntala in command performances for Shahu Maharaja won him popularity. He gained fame for creating the heroines of Warerkar's first play Kunjavihari or 'Wanderer in Gardens' in 1908 and Govindrao Tembe's Shivraj Natak Mandali production in Hindi of Manishankar Trivedi's Siddha-sansar or 'Successful Life' in 1916.
The style of the celebrated Gujarati female impersonator, Jaishankar Sundari, is said to have influenced him. He appeared in Warerkar's early silent film, Poona Raided in 1924. After his Sangitnatak career flagged, he taught music in a municipal school. A last-minute casting decision for the eponymous role in the successful movie Sant Tukaram or 'Saint Tukaram' in 1936, he went on to play the lead in such''saint' films as Sant Tulsidas in 1939, Narsi Bhagat in 1940, and Mahatma Vidur in 1943, and grew famous as a Kirtan singer. He also headed a short-lived theatre company, Jagchhitradarshak Natak Mandali. Vishnupant Pagnis died in 1943.
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