Chhabi Biswas

Chhabi Biswas

Date of Birth: July 12, 1900
Chhabi Biswas
Chhabi Biswas

Chhabi Biswas (Bengali:Chhobi Bishshash) (12 July 1900 – 11 June 1962) was a Bengali character actor, known for his excellent career in Bengali Films with numerous outstanding performances including  Tapan Sinha’s Kabuliwala and Satyajit Ray’s films Jalshaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi (The Goddess, 1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).

It is not only incomplete, but also impossible to talk about Bengali Films without Chhabi Biswas. He was one of of the most successful person to capture screen in numerous Bengali Films during the Black and White days. His strong voice, manly appearance, great sense of humor – made him a legendary person in Bengali Film Industry.

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 12th July, 1900. His father Bhupatinath Biswas was well known for his charitable works. His actual name was Sachindranath De Biswas but his mother nicknamed her handsome son Chhabi (a beautiful picture!) and the name stuck throughout his life and career.

Chhabi Biswas was a student of central collegiate school and appeared in exam from Hindu School. After finishing his higher secondary, he enrolled at the Presidency College and later at the Vidyasagar College for higher studies. 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 Chhabi Biswas’s popularity among the theatre lovers of the day. Chhabi Biswas got married to Niharbala Debi in 1929. 

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, Chhabi 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 Chhabi 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), Shahjehan (1941), made him a much admired figure both among the audience and his peers.

In 1936, Chhabi Biswas made his cinematic debut in a film called Annapurnar Mandir. The film was directed by Tinkari Chakraborty and Chhabibabu played the role of Bishu, the husband of the heroine. Trained in the over-melodramatic acting style of the contemporary Bengali stage, Chhabi 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.

Due to his acute health crisis, he stepped away from acting from 1938 to 1950. After this long gap, he again joined his most loved workplace, Theatre and worked in Star theatre. His great performances in the ‘Sabar Upare’ ‘Saptapodi’, ‘Khudita Pasan’, ‘Dada thakur’ are unforgettable.

Chhabibabu’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 Chhabi 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.

In 1959, his hard work got rewarded and he received the much coveted Sangeet Natyak Award for Best Actor. As a tribute to this legend, Khankul Road was renamed as Chabi Biswas Sarani.

Chhabi Biswas died in an automobile accident on 11th June, 1962. After Biswas’s demise in 1962, Ray admitted that he did not write a single male middle-aged part that called for a high degree of professional talent.

Born July 12, 1900(1900-07-12)
Ahiritola, Kolkata, West Bengal
Died June 11, 1962 (aged 61)
Kolkata, West Bengal
Occupation Actor
Years active 1931 to 1962
Spouse(s) Gauri Chatterjee

Chhabi Biswas 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
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
Dikshul (1943) Premankur Atorthey 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 Actor
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 Bhor (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
Nilachale 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 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
Chup 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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