Manoj Mitra (born 22 December 1938) is an Indian theatre, film and television actor, director and playwright.[1]

Manoj Mitra
Mitra in December 2013
Born (1938-12-22) 22 December 1938 (age 85)
Occupation(s)Actor, Theatre Artist, Dramatist
Known forTheatre, acting
FamilyAmar Mitra (writer) (brother)

Early life edit

Mitra was born on 22 December 1938 in Dhulihar village of Satkhira, Khulna, Bangladesh.[2] Initially he used to study at home because his father Ashok Kumar Mitra, who had a transferable job. Mitra was attracted to the Jatras and plays that used to be held in their courtyard during the Durga Pujas but was forbidden by senior family members to participate in any way. His school life began after the Partition at Dandirhat N.K.U.S. Niketan near Basirhat. Later he joined the Scottish Church College with honours in philosophy and graduated in 1958.[3] He used to write short stories and many of them appeared in various magazines.

Theatre career edit

It was at Scottish Church that he got initiated to theatre. There were regular shows at the college where the likes of Badal Sarkar, Rudraprasad Sengupta and others were students.[4] He did his MA in philosophy from the University of Calcutta and began research for a doctorate. But by then he and friends like theatre and film director Partha Pratim Chowdhury had begun the group Sundaram.[1] He began by teaching philosophy in the Suri Vidyasagar College (only one day) and later joined the drama department at the Rabindra Bharati University, where he became the head of department and retired as Sisirkumar Bhaduri professor of the University. But by then he was a leading playwright of West Bengal. He was writing, directing and acting in plays. His first play Mrityur Chokhe Jal won him first prize at the statewide competition. He has written over a hundred plays like Mrityur Chokhe Jal, Sajano Bagaan, Chokhe Angul Dada, Kaalbihongo, Parabas, Alokanandar Putra Kanya, Narak Guljar, Aswathama, Chakbhanga Madhu, Mesh O Rakhash, Noisho Bhoj, Chhayar Prashad, Galpo Hekim Saheb, Rajdarshan, Debi Swarpamasta, Munni O Saat Chowkidar, Ranger haat, Ja Nei Bharatey. While most of these plays were produced by Sundaram, Bohurupee etc. He also played a soulful role in the movie "Hothat Bristy" (Sudden Rain) in 1998 was produced by both Bangladesh & India. His works have been translated into many languages. Mitra has written several books on film and theatre.[5]

He was the President of the Paschim Banga Natya Akademi from which he resigned citing health issues on August, 2019.

Awards and honours edit

  • Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for Best Playwright (1985)
  • Calcutta University Award for Best Playwright (1986)
  • West Bengal State Government Award for Best Playwright (1983 & 1989)
  • Asiatic Society's Gold Medal (2005)
  • Filmfare Award East for Best Actor (1980)
  • Munir Chowdhury Award from Bangladesh Theatre Society (2011)
  • Dinabandhu Puraskar (25 May 2012)
  • Kalakar Awards[6]

Career in cinema edit

Mitra has acted in films by a diverse variety of directors such as Tapan Sinha, Satyajit Ray, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Basu Chatterjee, Tarun Majumdar, Shakti Samanta and Goutam Ghose.

He is best known for the lead role in Tapan Sinha's film Banchharamer Bagan, which is based on Mitra's play Sajano Bagaan (The Arranged Garden).[7] and his roles in Satyajit Ray's Ghare Baire and Ganashatru. He played a comedy and antagonist roles in hundreds of Bengali movies.[8]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "At play with a pack of cards". The Telegraph. India. 3 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  2. ^ "The Constant Gardener". Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  3. ^ Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, p. 589
  4. ^ Interview with Manoj Mitra in Scottish Church College Magazine, 2001, volume 89. page 42
  5. ^ "আচমকা মনোজ মিত্রর মৃত্যুর গুজব, বিরক্ত পরিবার, এখন কেমন আছেন শিল্পী?". sangbadpratidin. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  6. ^ "Kalakar award winners" (PDF). Kalakar website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  7. ^ "The Films of Tapan Sinha". Archived from the original on 18 October 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  8. ^ "৮০ বছর বয়সে করুণ পরিস্থিতির সম্মুখীন, কীভাবে দিন কাটছে 'বাঞ্ছারাম' মনোজ মিত্রের". Hindustantimes Bangla (in Bengali). 25 March 2023. Retrieved 28 February 2024.

External links edit