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Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Unforgettable Legend Chabbi Biswas

The Unforgettable Legend
Chabbi Biswas

Chhabi Biswas (Bengali: ছবি বিশ্বাস Chhobi Bishshash) (12 July 1900 – 11 June 1962) was a Bengali character actor, primarily known for his performances in Tapan Sinha's Kabuliwala and Satyajit Ray's film Jalshaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi (The Goddess, 1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).
He is the best remembered for his numerous roles as the quintessential aristocratic patriarch, was himself the scion of a rich and cultured North Kolkata family. He was born on 12 July 1900. His father Bhupatinath Biswas was well known for his charitable works. His first name was Sachindranath but his mother nicknamed her handsome son Chhabi (a beautiful picture!) and the name stuck throughout his life and career. His portrayal of the formidable father figure, though often typecast, yet was powerful and convincing enough to earn both popular and critical accolades. That portrayal was culturally significant too as in the British Raj, enlightened Bengali used to combined both the hoary tradition and the Anglicized urbanity.
Passing his matriculation examinations from the Hindu School, Chhabi Biswas enrolled at the Presidency College and later at the Vidyasagar College. It was during this time he got into amateur theatrics and got in touch with Sisir Kumar Bhaduri, the legendary star of Bengali theatre. The young actor was deeply impressed by Sisir Kumar’s histrionic abilities and he got heavily involved with several amateur theatrical clubs. His powerful performance as Sri Gouranga in the play Nader Nimai sealed Biswas's popularity among the theatre lovers of the day.
He then took a break from acting and joined an insurance company, and later started a business dealing in jute products. But soon, unable to resist the temptations of the stage, Biswas rejoined the theatre circuit and made his debut as a professional actor in a social-melodrama Samaj. Even after his success as a film actor Biswas continued his association with the professional stage and Jatra circuit. His performance in major roles in hit plays like Shoroshi (1940), Sita (1940), Kedar Roy (1941), and Shahjehan (1941), made him a much admired figure both among the audience and his peers.
In 1936, Biswas made his cinematic debut in a film called Annapurnar Mandir. The film was directed by Tinkari Chakraborty and Biswas played the role of Bishu, the husband of the heroine. Trained in the over-melodramatic acting style of the contemporary Bengali stage, Biswas soon grasped the finer nuances of acting for cinema. He became a regular in films produced by the New Theatres and had major roles in Chokker Bali (1937), Nimai Sannyas (1940) and Pratisruti (1941). He was absolutely marvellous as a 90 year old ascetic in Debaki Bose's film Nartaki (1940). Ironically, it was the success of his acting in Nartaki that limited his opportunities in lead roles but his reputation as a character actor par excellence was by now firmly in place. Biswas's second innings as an actor began with this film and he almost became an automatic choice as the paterfamilias or the suave noble. Using his perfect English diction to the hilt Biswas (along with Pahadi Sanyal and Bikash Roy to a certain extent) developed a unique way of delivering a dramatic dialogue, first in English, and then after a pause repeating the same in Bengali. Films such as Ashok (1942), Parineeta (1942), Dwanda (1943), Matir Ghar (1944), Dui Purush (1945), Biraj Bou (1946) and Mandana (1950) showcased his talents as an actor of great quality.
Chhabi Biswas died in an automobile accident on 11 June 1962. After Biswas's demise in 1962, Satyajit Ray admitted that he did not write a single male middle-aged part that called for a high degree of professional talent.
Filmography 
Film (year)
Director
Role
Annapurnar Mandir (1936)
Tinkari Chakraborty
Actor
Haranidhi (1937)
Tinkari Chakraborty
Actor
Chokher Bali (1938)
Satu Sen
Actor
Chanakya (1939)
Sisir Kumar Bhaduri
Actor
Sharmistha (1939)
Naresh Mitra
Actor
Nartaki (1940)
Debaki Bose
Actor
Nimai Sanyasi (1940)
Phani Burma
Actor
Swami Stri (1940)
Satu Sen
Actor
Pratisruti (1941)
Hemchandra Chunder
Actor
Pratishodh (1941)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Banglar Meye (1941)
Naresh Mitra
Actor
Epar Opar (1941)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Pashan Devata (1942)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Shodhbodh (1942)
Saumyen Mukherji
Actor
Avayer Biye (1942)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Nari (1942)
Prafulla Roy
Actor
Karnarjun (1942)
Jyotish Bannerji
Actor
Jiban Sangini (1942)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Garmil (1942)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Bondi (1942)
Sailajanand Mukherji
Actor
Parineeta (1942)
Pasupati Chatterjee
Actor
Saugandh (1942)
Hemchandra Chunder
Actor
Mahakabi Kalidas (1942)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Ashok (1942)
Ajay Bhattacharya
Actor
Pativrata (1942)
Jagadish Chakraborty
Actor
Mahakavi Kalidas (1942)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Milan (1942)
Jyotish Bannerji
Actor
Nilanguriya (1943)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Dikshul (1943)
Premankur Atorthy
Actor
Devar (1943)
Jyotish Bannerji
Actor
Daabi (1943)
Dhirendranath Ganguly
Actor
Dwanda (1943)
Hemen Gupta
Actor
Dampati (1943)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Aleya (1943)
Nabendusundar
Actor
Samadhan (1943)
Premendra Mitra
Actor
Chhadmabeshi (1944)
Ajay Bhattacharya
Actor
Pratikar (1944)
Chhabi Biswas
Actor, Director
Matir Ghar 1944
Hari Bhanja
Actor
Dui Purush (1945)
Subodh Mitra
Actor
Path Bendhe Dilo (1945)
Premendra Mitra
Actor
Bondita (1945)
Hemanta Gupta
Actor
Sree Durga (1945)
Sailajananda Mukherjee
Actor
Raj Lakshmi (1945)
Premendra Mitra
Actor
Vande Mataram (1946)
Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
Actor
Nibedita (1946)
Pratibha Sasmal
Actor
Sangram (1946)
Ardhendu Mukherjee
Actor
Saat Number Bari (1946)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Tumi Aar Aami (1946)
Apurba Kumar Mitra
Actor
Biraj Bou (1946)
Amar Mullick
Actor
Mandir (1947)
Phani Burma
Actor
Chandrasekhar (1947)
Debaki Bose
Actor
Nurse Sisi (1947)
Subodh Mitra
Actor
Abhijog (1947)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Anirban (1948)
Soumyen Mukherjee
Actor
Nandaranir Sansar (1948)
Surendraranjan Sarkar
Actor
Shesh Nibedan (1948)
Dhirendranath Ganguly
Actor
Shankha Sindur (1948)
Manujendra Bhanja
Actor
Umar Prem (1948)
Khagen Roy
Actor
Sadharan Meye (1948)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Drishtidaan (1948)
Nitin Bose
Actor
Manzoor (1949)
Subodh Mitra
Actor
Debi Chowdhurani (1949)
Satish Dangupta
Actor
Jar Jetha Ghar (1949)
Chhabi Biswas
Actor, Director
Singhdwar (1949)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Vidyasagar (1950)
Kali Prasad Ghose
Actor
Garabini (1950)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Mandanda (1950)
Ratan Chatterjee
Actor
Mahasampad (1950)
Surendraranjan Sarkar
Actor
Anurag (1951)
Jatin Das
Actor
Kalsap (1951)
Khagen Roy
Actor
Maldar (1951)
Amit Moitra
Actor
Biplabi Kshudiram (1951)
Hiranmoy Sen
Actor
Aparajita (1951)
Partha Sarathy Drama
Actor
Durgesh Nandini (1951)
Amar Mullick
Actor
Sunandar Biye (1951)
Sudhir Sarkar
Actor
Ratrir Tapashya (1952)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Krishnakanter Will (1952)
Khagen Roy
Actor
Nirakshar (1952)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Prarthana (1952)
Pranab Roy
Actor
Alladdin-o-ashcharya Pradeep (1952)
Bijon Sen
Actor
Vidyasagar (1952)
Kali Prasad Ghose
Actor
Kar Pape (1952)
Kali Prasad Ghose
Actor
Jabanbondi (1952)
Amar Dutta
Actor
Subhada (1952)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Sati Behula (1953)
Sunil Ganguly
Actor
Raja Krishnachandra (1953)
Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
Actor
Jog Biyog (1953)
Pinaki Mukherji
Actor
Boudir Bon (1953)
Khagen Roy
Actor
Sabuj Paharh (1953)
Apurba Kumar Mitra
Actor
Saat Number Kayedi (1953)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Baimanik (1953)
Shyam Chakraborty
Actor
Blind Lane (1953)
Sailajananda Mukherjee
Actor
Shesher Kabita (1953)
Modhu Bose
Actor
Lakh Taka (1953)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Makarsar Jaal (1953)
Pashupati Kundu
Actor
Prafulla (1954)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Jadubhatta (1954)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Bhanga-gara (1954)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Banglar Nari (1954)
Sailajananda Mukherjee
Actor
Ora Thake Odhare (1954)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Naa (1954)
Shri Tarashankar
Actor
Dhuli (1954)
Pinaki Mukherjee
Actor
Shobha (1954)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Shorashi (1954)
Pasupati Chatterjee
Actor
Chhele Kar (1954)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Maa-o-chhele (1954)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Kalyani (1954)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Sadanander Mela (1954)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Bidhilipi (1955)
Manu Sen
Actor
Debi Malini (1955)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Dattak (1955)
Kamal Ganguly
Actor
Kalo Bou (1955)
Silpi Sangha
Actor
Rani Rashmoni (1955)
Kali Prasad Ghose
Actor
Katha Kao (1955)
Sailajananda Mukherjee
Actor
Pather Sheshey (1955)
Ardhendu Chatterjee
Actor
Sanjher Pradeep (1955)
Sudhangsu Mukherjee
Actor
Prashna (1955)
Chandrasekhar Bose
Actor
Hrad (1955)
Ardhendu Sen
Actor
Shribatsa Chinta (1955)
Phani Burma
Actor
Bhagaban Sree Sree Ramkrishna (1955)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Mathur
Drishti (1955)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Upahar (1955)
Tapan Sinha
Actor
Parishodh (1955)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Joy Maa Kali Boarding (1955)
Sadhan Sarkar
Actor
Bratacharini (1955)
Kamal Ganguly
Actor
Jharer Pare (1955)
Debnarayan Gupta
Actor
Sabar Upare (1955)
Agradoot
Actor
Falgu (1956)
Satish Dasgupta
Actor
Asamapta (1956)
Ratan Chatterjee
Actor
Trijama (1956)
Agradoot
Actor
Rajpath (1956)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Shankar Narayan Bank (1956)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Govindadas (1956)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Actor
Asabarna (1956)
Pinaki Mukherjee
Actor
Kabuliwala (1956)
Tapan Sinha
Actor
Daner Maryada (1956)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Mamlar Phal (1956)
Pasupati Chatterjee
Actor
Madan Mohan (1956)
Amal Kumar Bose
Actor
Raat Bhore (1956)
Mrinal Sen
Actor
Ekdin Ratre (1956)
Sombhu Mitra
Actor
Chhaya Sangini (1956)
Bidyapati Ghosh
Actor
Bhola Master (1956)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Shubharatri (1956)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Sadhak Ramprosad (1956)
Bangsi Ash
Actor
Suryamukhi (1956)
Bikash Ray
Actor
Saheb Bibi Golam (1956)
Kartick Chattopadhyay
Actor
Putrabadhu (1956)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Taka-ana-pai (1956)
Jyotirmoy Roy
Actor
Paradhin (1956)
Modhu Bose
Actor
Sinthir Sindoor (1956)
Ardhendu Sen
Actor
Kirti Garh (1956)
Soumyen Mukherjee
Actor
Manraksha (1956)
Satish Dasgupta
Actor
Kari-o-komal (1957)
Moni Ghosh
Actor
Bardidi (1957)
Ajay Kar
Actor
Abhishek (1957)
Chitra Pali
Actor
Adarsha Hindu Hotel (1957)
Ardhendu Sen
Actor
Parash Pathar (1957)
Satyajit Ray
Actor
Tapasi (1957)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Prithibi Amare Chay (1957)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Shesh Parichoy (1957)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Madhabir Jonye (1957)
Nitin Bose
Actor
Chhaya Path (1957)
Gunamaya Bannerjee
Actor
Antariksha (1957)
Rajen Tarafdar
Actor
Mathur (1957)
Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
Actor
Ghum (1957)
Agrani
Actor
Pathe Holo Deri (1957)
Agradoot
Actor
Kancha-mithey (1957)
Jyotirmoy Roy
Actor
Baksiddha (1957)
Bireswar Bose
Actor
Khela Bhangar Khela (1957)
Ratan Chatterjee
Actor
Sandhan (1957)
Chitta Sen
Actor
Natun Prabhat (1957)
Bikash Ray
Actor
Rastar Chhele (1957)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Surer Parashe (1957)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Bara Maa (1957)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Ektara (1957)
Hiren Bose
Actor
Louha-kapat (1957)
Tapan Sinha
Actor
Harishchandra (1957)
Phani Burma
Actor
Garer Math (1957)
Aaj Production Unit
Actor
Abhoyer Biye (1957)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Nilachaley Mahaprabhu (1957)
Kartick Chattopadhyay
Actor
Marmabani (1958)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Tansen (1958)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Indrani (1958)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Nagini Kanyar Kahini (1958)
Salil Sen
Actor
Daily Passenger (1958)
Sadhan Sarkar
Actor
O Amar Desher Mati (1958)
Pathikrit
Actor
Jamalaye Jibanta Manush (1958)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Actor
Nupur (1958)
Dilip Nag
Actor
Jalsaghar (1958)
Satyajit Ray Drama
Actor
Bandhu (1958)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Surya Toran (1958)
Agradoot
Actor
Sadhak Bamakshyapa (1958)
Narayan Ghosh (2)
Actor
Headmaster (1958)
Agragami
Actor
Chaowa Pawa (1958)
Tarun Majumdar, Yatrik
Actor
Priya (1958)
Salil Sen
Actor
Dhoomketu (1958)
Gouranga Prasad Basu
Actor
Sashibabur Sansar (1959)
Sudhir Mukherjee
Actor
Kshaniker Atithi (1959)
Tapan Sinha
Actor
Chhabi (1959)
Niren Lahiri
Actor
Amrapali (1959)
Shri Tarashankar
Actor
Nirdharita Silpir Anupastithi Tey (1959)
Nirmal Dey
Actor
Gali Theke Rajpath (1959)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Actor
Mriter Martye Agaman (1959)
Pasupati Chatterjee
Actor
Shubha Bibaha (1959)
Sombhu Mitra
Actor
Khelaghar (1959)
Ajay Kar
Actor
Sonar Harin (1959)
Mangal Chakraborty
Actor
Rater Andhakare (1959)
Agrani
Actor
Thakur Haridas (1959)
Gobinda Ray
Actor
Derso Khokhar Kando (1959)
Kamal Ganguly
Actor
Bicharak (1959)
Prabhat Mukherjee
Actor
Bhranti (1959)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Actor
Agnisambhabha (1959)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Nrityeri Tale Tale (1959)
Sudhirbandhu Bannerjee
Actor
Kshudista Pashan (1960)
Tapan Sinha
Actor
Gariber Meye (1960)
Ardhendu Mukherjee
Actor
Nader Nimai (1960)
Bimal Roy Jr.
Actor
Hospital (1960)
Sushil Majumdar
Actor
Shesh Paryanta (1960)
Sudhir Mukherjee
Actor
Shuno Baranari (1960)
Ajay Kar
Actor
Tailangaswami (1960)
Chitrasarathi
Actor
Maya Mriga (1960)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Smriti Tuku Thaak (1960)
Tarun Majumdar
Actor
Raja-saja (1960)
Bikash Ray
Actor
Surer Piyasi (1960)
Bishu Dasgupta
Actor
Haat Baralei Bandhu (1960)
Sukumar Dasgupta
Actor
Sakher Chor (1960)
Prafulla Chakraborty
Actor
Debarshi Narader Sansar (1960)
Panchaboot
Actor
Ajana Kahini (1960)
Sunil Baran
Actor
Chupi Chupi Ase (1960)
Premendra Mitra
Actor
Devi (1960)
Satyajit Ray
Actor
Carey Saheber Munsi (1961)
Bikash Ray
Actor
Manik (1961)
Bijoli Baran Sen
Actor
Agni Sanskar (1961)
Agradoot
Actor
Madhya Rater Tara (1961)
Pinaki Mukherjee
Actor
Madhureno (1961)
Shanti Bannerjee
Actor
Kanchanmulya (1961)
Nirmal Mitra
Actor
Kancher Swarga (1961)
Tarun Majumdar
Actor
Saptapadi (1961)
Ajay Kar
Actor
Ashay Bandhinu Ghar (1961)
Kanak Mukherjee
Actor
Necklace (1961)
Dilip Nag
Actor
Maa (1961)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Swayambara (1961)
Asit Sen
Actor
Bishkanya (1961)
Shri Jayadratha
Actor
Dainee (1961)
Manoj Bhattacharya
Actor
Dada Thakur (1962)
Sudhir Mukherjee
Actor
Kanchenjungha (1962)
Satyajit Ray
Actor
Shubhoddristi (1962)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Bipasha (1962)
Agradoot
Actor
Bodhu (1962)
Bhupen Roy
Actor
Suryasnan (1962)
Ajay Kumar
Actor
Atal Jaler Ahwan (1962)
Ajay Kar
Actor
Sorry Madam (1962)
Dilip Bose
Actor
Shiulibari (1962)
Pijush Bose
Actor
Agnisikha (1962)
Rajen Tarafdar
Actor
Dhupchhaya (1962)
Chitta Bose
Actor
Mayar Sansar (1962)
Kanak Mukherjee
Actor
Kajal (1962)
Sunil Bannerjee
Actor
Surya Sikha (1963)
Salil Dutta
Actor
High Heel (1963)
Dilip Bose
Actor
Chhakka Panja (1963)
Prafulla Roy
Actor
Kantatar (1964)
Bireshwar Mukherjee
Actor
Bignam O Bidhata (1973)
Bimal Roy Jr.
Actor
Shri Shri Maa Lakshmi (1977)
Prabhat Chakraborty
Actor


 
              
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