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Gurudas Banerjee

Gurudas Banerjee

Indian actor
The basics
About
Occupations Actor
Countries India
Gender male
The details
Biography

Gurudas Banerjee, also known as Gurudas Bandyopadhyay, is a Bengali stage and film actor who was active from the 1940s through the 1980s. As an actor, he commonly played holy men, especially the 19th century Bengali mystic Sri Ramakrishna, a role he was said to "almost monopolize." He acted in more than 80 films, mostly in Bengali. With his wife, actress Molina Devi, he also directed a Calcutta-based theatre troupe, M. G. Enterprises.

Biography

Gurudas Banerjee had his stage debut in 1948 at Calcutta's Kalika Theatre in the role of Sri Ramakrishna in Yugadevata. He continued acting in theatre and cinema until the 1980s. Banerjee married Molina Devi (1917-1977), who has been characterized as "one of the finest actresses of Indian theatre and cinema." Together, they operated their own touring theatre, M. G. Enterprises, which "specialized in commercial productions of devotional drama"

in which Banerjee played the role of Sri Ramakrishna and other holy men.

Roles

Gurudas Banerjee acted in a variety of roles, very commonly as Sri Ramakrishna, which he played on both stage and in film. Other roles that Banerjee played in film included Sadhak Bamakhyapa (Sadhak Bamakshyapa, 1958; Joy Maa Tara, 1978), Gobinda, Husband Of Chandi (Swayamsiddha, 1947), Ramola's Father (Sare Chuattar, 1953), Jitu, Anita's Father (Ekti Raat, 1956), Pishemashai (Indranath, Srikanta O Annadadidi, 1959), Neepa's Father (Mouchak, 1975), and Agniswar's Father-in-law (Agniswar, 1975).

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Gurudas Banerjee commonly portrayed Ramakrishna in the Bengali Theatre and films. Beginning in the late 1940s, "he almost monopolized this role [of Ramakrishna] as a specialist, both on the stage and on the screen," and was still portraying Ramakrishna in the late-1970s. Sushil Mukherjee explains that the drama Jugadevata, which debuted on the Calcutta stage on 19 November 1948,

was a devotional drama... on the life of the Saint of Dakshineswar [Ramakrishna] [that] became immensely popular and established two artistes who became wholly identified with the two characters they represented. These were Gurudas Banerjee who was seen as Sri Ramkrishna and Molina Debi who appeared as Rani Rasmoni, the founder of the famous Bhabatarini (Kali) temple at Dakshineswar. Since their appearance in Jugadevata at Kalika in 1948 Gurudas and Molina have appeared in the characters of these two persons in a number of other plays, both on the stage and on the screen....

Films in which Banerjee played the role of Ramakrishna included Rani Rashmoni (1955), Mahakavi Girish Chandra (1956), Bireswar Vivekananda (1964), and Jata Mat Tata Path (1979).

Theatrical plays in which Banerjee played Ramakrishna included Jugadebata (1948), Thakur Sri Ramakrishna (1955), and Nata Nati (1975).

Reception

According to Sushil Mukherjee, in the many screen and stage appearances since 1948 in which Banerjee and Molina Devi have played Ramakrishna and Rani Rashmoni together, they "have carried the audience with them in every performance."

In 1966, the The Illustrated Weekly of India mentioned Banerjee's troupe's performance in a review of the 1965-66 theatre season in Delhi. The Weekly stated that

Milan Samity of Delhi sponsored the M. G. Enterprise of Calcutta, who brought two plays, Thakur Shri Ramakrishna and Baskunther Will, and an able company of actors. The credit for composing Thakur Shri Ramakrishna, round the story of Rani Rashmoni, and for bringing this legendary figure to life on the stage, goes to Molina Devi and Gurudas, who headed the company.... It is not easy to put across a religious theme, but Molina and Gurudas did so convincingly, helped greatly by the telling effects of light and music.

Filmography

Gurudas Banerjee acted in more than 80 films, mostly in Bengali, as listed here (including year released, and role if available; all films in Bengali unless otherwise noted):

  • Banglar Meye (1941)
  • Swayamsiddha (1947) (Gobinda, Husband Of Chandi)
  • Kalo Chhaya (1948)
  • Ultorath (1949)
  • Paribartan (1949)
  • Mayajaal (1949)
  • Kuasha (1949)
  • Cartoon (1949)
  • Vidyasagar (1950)
  • Sree Tulsidas (1950)
  • Sanchali (1950)
  • Sahodar (1950)
  • Kankantala Light Railway (1950)
  • Jugadebata (1950)
  • Gypsy Meye (1950)
  • Apabad (1950)
  • Ganyer Meye (1951)
  • Bhakta Raghunath (1951)
  • Bhairab Mantra (1951)
  • Anandamath (1951)
  • Vidyasagar (1952, Hindi)
  • Sabitri Satyaban (1952)
  • Nildarpan (1952)
  • Mahishasur Badh (1952)
  • Sanjibani (1952)
  • Sarala (1953)
  • Rami Chandidas (1953)
  • Maharaja Nandakumar (1953)
  • Bhagaban Srikrishna Chaitanya (1953)
  • Sare Chuattar (1953) (Ramola's Father)
  • Makarsar Jaal (1953)
  • Shibashakti (1954)
  • Sada Kalo (1954)
  • Naa (1954)
  • Rani Rashmoni (1955) (Sri Ramakrishna)
  • Katha Kao (1955)
  • Joy Maa Kali Boarding (1955)
  • Chatujye Banrujye (1955)
  • Atmadarshan (1955)
  • Aparadhi (1955)
  • Sajher Pradip (1955)
  • Debatra (1955)
  • Subholagna (1956)
  • Sadhak Ramprasad (1956)
  • Rajpath (1956)
  • Mahakabi Girishchandra (1956) (Sri Ramakrishna)
  • Bhola Master (1956)
  • Asamapta (1956)
  • Abhagir Swarga (1956)
  • Ekti Raat (1956) (Jitu, Anita's Father)
  • Tamasa (1957)
  • Nilachale Mahaprabhu (1957)
  • Ami Baro Habo (1957)
  • Sree Sree Maa (1958)
  • Sadhak Bamakshyapa (1958) (Sadhak Bamakhyapa)
  • Purir Mandir (1958)
  • Mejo Jamai (1958)
  • Kangsa (1958)
  • Jonakir Alo (1958)
  • Indranath, Srikanta O Annadadidi (1959) (Pishemashai)
  • Abhishap (1959)
  • Tailangaswami (1960)
  • Nader Nimai (1960)
  • Kono Ek Din (1960)
  • Sadhak Kamalakanta (1961)
  • Carey Saheber Munsi (1961)
  • Taranisen Badh (1962)
  • Bireswar Viveknanda (1964) (Sri Ramakrishna)
  • Rup Sanatan (1965)
  • Bharater Sadhak (1965)
  • Debitirtha Kamrup Kamakshya (1967)
  • Adyashakti Mahamayay (1968)
  • Trinayani Maa (1971)
  • Umno O Jhumno (1975)
  • Swayamsiddha (1975)
  • Mouchak (1975) (Neepa's Father)
  • Agniswar (1975) (Agniswar's Father-in-law)
  • Nagar Darpane (1975)
  • Sree Sree Maa Lakshmi (1977)
  • Baba Taraknath (1977)
  • Jaal Sanyasi (1977)
  • Joy Maa Tara (1978) (Sadhak Bamakhyapa)
  • Balak Saratchandra (1978)
  • Aguner Phulki (1978)
  • Jato Mat Tato Path (1979) (Sri Ramakrishna)
  • Dub De Mon Kali Bole (1979)
  • Matribhakta Ramprasad (1980)
  • Abhi (1980)
  • Maa Bhabani Maa Amar (1982)
  • Kshyapa Thakur (1987) (Mohanto baba)
  • Bile Naren (1988)

Film table with references

Further details on selected films appear in the table below. Films known to be dubbed versions of other films have not been listed. Any films known to be multilinguals (separately filmed in multiple languages) are explicitly noted as multilinguals.

Year Film Title Banerjee Role Film Director Notes & Sources
(DB=data base)
1950 Jugadebata Sri Ramakrishna Bidhayak Bhattacharya Bengali; Sources: DBs, other
1950 Vidyasagar Sri Ramakrishna Kali Prasad Ghosh Bengali; Sources: DBs, other
1952 Vidyasagar Sri Ramakrishna Kali Prasad Ghosh Hindi; Sources: DBs
1955 Rani Rashmoni Sri Ramakrishna Kali Prasad Ghosh Bengali; Sources: DBs Molina Devi as Rani Rashmoni
1958 Sadhak Bamakhyapa Sadhak Bamakhyapa Banshi Ash Bengali; Sources: DBs
1956 Mahakavi Girish Chandra Sri Ramakrishna Madhu Bose Bengali; Sources: DBs Pahadi Sanyal as Girish Chandra Ghosh. The film won a 1956 Certificate of Merit.
1964 Bireswar Vivekananda Sri Ramakrishna Madhu Bose Bengali; Sources: DBs Amaresh Das as Vivekananda
1979 Jata Mat Tata Path (As Many Views, As Many Ways) Sri Ramakrishna Gurudas Bagchi Bengali; Sources: DBs

Theatre roles

The following table chronicles Gurudas Banerjee's stage career. It is not complete.

Opening date Title Role Location
Calcutta unless otherwise specified
Playwright Director Notes and other cast
19 Nov. 1948 Jugadebata Sri Ramakrishna Kalika Theatre Tarak Mukherjee Source; Also Molina Debi (Rani Rashmoni)
1955 Thakur Sri Ramakrishna Sri Ramakrishna Minerva Theatre Source; Also Molina Debi (Rani Rashmoni). Part of a state Congress celebration
1975 Nata Nati Sri Ramakrishna Rangana Theatre Ganesh Mukherjee Ganesh Mukherjee Source; Kartick Banerjee (Girish Gose), Basanti Chaterjee (Binodini), Sudhangsu Maiti (Narendranath), and others. Over 300 performances
Oct. 1977 Rajadrohi  ?? Rungmahal Theatre Saradindu Banerjee Source; Dilip Roy (hero), Lily Chakraverti (heroine)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Lists
Gurudas Banerjee is in following lists
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Biography Roles Reception Filmography Theatre roles
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