Chhabi Biswas, a Bengali actor, was born in West Bengal
, on 12th July 1900. He came from a rich family and his father, Bhupatinath Biswas, was a well known charity worker. Biswas was christened Sachindranath but his mother nicknamed him Chhabi (which means a beautiful picture). The nickname stuck to him for the rest of his life and career. Chhabi is most remembered for his roles in Jalshaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi
(The Goddess, 1960) and Kanchenjungha
(1962) all directed by Satyajit Ray
Life and Career
Chhabi passed his examinations at Hindu
school and enrolled at the Presidency college, Calcutta, India
. He later moved to Vidyasagar college, during which he started amateur acting after meeting Sisir Kumar Bhaduri, a legendary Bengali star. Chhabi started performing in amateur theaters and his role as Sri Gouranga in the play Nader Nimai made him popular among theater goers of the day. Chhabi left theater and formed a company which sold jute products. He then returned to acting, making his professional debut as an actor in the play Samaj. He became very successful but still maintained ties with professional stage. Great performances in plays like Shoroshi (1940), Sita (1940), Kedar Roy (1941), Shahjehan (1941) increased his popularity.
Chhabi made his cinema debut in 1936 in the film Annapurnar Mandir. He was accorded major roles in films like Chokker Bali (1937), Nimai Sannyas (1940), Nartaki (1940) and Pratisruti (1941). Chhabi stood out as an excellent actor among his peers; he was instrumental in delivering a unique dramatic dialogue, which was first said in English before being repeated, after a slight pause, into Bengali. Chhabi was involved in a car accident on 11th June, 1962 and he died. He is regarded as one of the most gifted Bengali actors.