Early Life of Debashree Roy
Debashree Roy was born and raised up in Kolkata. She was passionate about dancing from a young age and took formal training in the performing arts. She was also seen dancing on stage for several dance programmes in Kolkata and though out Bengal. She did her debut in films at an early age, as a child actor in 'Balak Gadadhar' in 1969. Debashree Roy also acted along with her sister, as a little girl, in the thriller 'Kuheli'.
Moreover, she and her sister formed a lovable duo performing film choreography in shows organized in rural areas of West Bengal. This acted as a platform, and helped her in getting roles, as a child artiste, in some Bengali productions. She acted in Pagol Thakur (1968) and Balak Gadadhar (1969), which were two films based on the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Debashree Roy was called Kumari Chumki at that time.
Career of Debashree Roy
The director Tarun Majumdar gave young Debashree the opportunity to make her first appearance as an adult actress in the super-hit 'Dadar Kirti' (1980). Then followed by 'Nadi Theke Sagare' released in 1978. In 1981, she was featured in Aparna Sen's first directorial debut '36 Chowrangee Lane' which was hugely appreciated. In 1996, she received the national award for best actress for her performance in Rituparno Ghosh's film 'Unishe April'.
Soon, Debashree Roy was offered more challenging roles, both in mainstream and offbeat films. Tapas Pal and Debashree Roy were considered as the leading romantic pair in Bengali commercial films during the 1980s. The on-screen couple had several popular films together, namely Parabat Priya (1983), Nishant (1985), Tarun Majumdar's Bhalobasha Bhalobasha (1985) and Surer Sathi (1988). Some of Debashree's distinguished films include Aurobindo Mukherjee's Nishi Bhor (1983), Dinen Gupta's Sagar Balaka (1984), Ajoy Kar's Bishobrikhsha (1984). Debashree Roy also worked with notable actors like Amol Palekar, Moushumi Chatterjee and Victor Banerjee.
The late 1980s was the period when Prasenjit Chatterjee emerged as the leading actor of the Bengali films. Prasenjit and Debashree's first film in lead roles was Prem Bandhan (1986). The film was a huge hit and eventually established the pair as the favourite of the masses. Ora Charjon (1988) and Chhokher Aloy (1989) was a love triangle plot that featured Debashree Roy.
Debashree Roy also featured in popular films like Aparanher Alo and Ahankaar (1991). She played the protagonist in Purushottam (1992). Soon, the screen romance of Debashree and Prasenjit was transformed into real life and the pair got married. But the marriage did not last for long. However, even after the separation, the couple never shared any bitter relationship, rather during interviews; Prasenjit graciously admitted that Debashree has been the best co-actor he has ever worked with.
Debashree Roy was not only a heroine in mainstream films, but has also shown her capabilities in the films made by some of the critically admired and artistically superior filmmakers of the Bengali film industry. She became more involved with the offbeat and artistic films during the 1990s when her position in Bengali Film industry was well established.
Debashree Roy was also excellent in Rituparno Ghosh's film Asookh (1999) portraying the protagonist character Rohini. Debashree also did a very commendable performance as a working woman in Subrata Sen's offbeat debut film Ek Je Acche Kanya (2000) which was also the first film of Konkona Sen Sharma, the daughter of Aparna Sen. In Gautam Ghose's innovative venture Dekha (2001), Debashree Roy received much critical acclaim for her performance.
In the 1990s, Debashree Roy was flowing with her career doing meaningful roles in some of the better mainstream movies including Dinen Gupta's Nati Binodini (1994), where she offered a superb performance. Some of her other commercially successful movies include Prabhat Roy's Sandhya Tara (1994) and Lathi (1996), Mrinmoy Chakraborty's Cinemay Jemon Hoy (1994) and Bhoy (1996).
During her initial days, Debashree Roy tried a few times to enter Bollywood with the films like Jiyo To Aise Jiyo (1981), Phulwari (1984) and Kabhi Ajnabhi The (1985) - all of which received moderate recognition. One of her brilliant non-Bengali films has been by the Assamese director Bhaben Saikia's Trisandhya (2000) where she played the role of a housewife troubled with a loveless marriage.
More recently she was seen as Mithun Chakraborty's wife in the super-hit MLA Phatakesto (2005) and Tiger (2007). Debashree, once again, has shown her talent in the challenging role of a sex-worker with a kind heart in Nilanjan Bhattacharya's first film Lal Ronger Duniya.
Debashree Roy is also a very proficient and trained dancer-choreographer, and performs innovative dance programs with her troupe Nataraj, renowned in both India and abroad. With over 130 films, Debashree Roy has been able to establish herself as one of the most powerful women of the Bengali cinema and is widely respected for her talents and professionalism.
Debashree Roy, currently a Trinamool Congress MLA, had successfully contested the West Bengal assembly elections 2011, against heavyweight CPI(M) candidate and former minister Kanti Ganguly, from the Raidighi (Vidhan Sabha constituency).
Filmography of Debashree Roy
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