Debashree Roy


Born: Calcutta, West Bengal, India


Debashree Roy is an Indian actress, classical dancer, and animal rights activist. As a dancer she is known for her synthesis of different elements of Indian classical, tribal and folk dance. She is the producer, choreographer and motivator of Nataraj dance troupe. As an actress she is known for her work in Bengali cinema. She has been a highly successful leading actress in Bengali cinema throughout eighties and nineties as well as a critically acclaimed actress. She has acted in more than hundred films and has won over forty awards, including a National Award, three BFJA Awards and an Anandalok Award. She acted under the screen name Chintamani in the Tamil film industry. She is known for her empathy for animals and the institutor of Debasree Roy Foundation, a non-profit organization that works for the cause of stray animals. Roy is a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Raidighi constituency since 2011.Roy rose to prominence of a dancer after her Vasavdatta had been staged in 1991. She was further recognized as a dancer after her Bichitro had been staged abroad. It exhibited her keenness in the coalescence of Indian classical, tribal and folk dance. Some of her other acclaimed stage ventures are Subarna Bharati, Swapner Sandhane, Shraddanjali, Navras.Roy acted for the first time when she was mere a child and became a starlet after she was cast in Tarun Majumdars Bengali thriller Kuheli (1971). As an adult actress her first film was Nadi Theke Sagare (1978). In 1980, she was cast in the role of a chirpy sister of Mahua Roychoudhry in Tarun Majumdars romantic flick Dadar Kirti that turned her into a star. In 1981, she appeared in Aparna Sens much acclaimed film 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981). She appeared in Hindi films like Jiyo To Aise Jiyo (1981), Bura Aadmi (1983), Justice Chaudhury (1983), Phulwari (1984), Seepeeyan (1984) to name a few. In 1985, she appeared in Vijay Singh’s romantic flick Kabhi Ajnabi The which was presumed to be a huge hit at box office but it turned out to be a major failure leading her Bollywood career to an abrupt halt. In the same year she acted in Tarun Majumdars romantic flick Bhalobasa Bhalobasa which was a major success at box office. This film ensured Roys pairing with Tapas Paul as the most bankable one of the nineteen eighties. Her other hits with Paul are Parabat Priya (1984), Arpan (1987), Surer Akashe (1988), Surer Sathi (1988), Nayanmani (1989), Chokher Aloy (1989), Shubha Kamana (1991), Mayabini (1992), Tobu Mone Rekho (1994) to name a few. She had hits with Prosenjit Chatterjee and Chiranjeet Chakraborty also. Her pairing with Chakraborty conveyed major hits like Heerer Shikal (1988), Tomar Rakte Amar Sohag (1993), Beyadap (1996), Jiban Jouban (1997), Joddha (1997) to name a few. Her hits with Prosenjit Chatterjee are Samrat O Sundari (1987), Ora Charjon (1988), Jhankar (1989), Ahankar (1991), Raktelekha (1992), Shraddanjali (1993), Nati Binodini (1994). She acted opposite Chatterjee for the last time in Rituparno Ghosh’s National Award winning Bengali film Unishe April (1996) where she essayed the role of a doctor who gets interrupted by her mother on her verge of committing suicide. The film won her the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1994 as well as the Bengal Film Journalists Association – Best Actress Award in 1997.Onwards she put her career more into the meaningful cinema. In 1997, she appeared in Bhabendra Nath Saikias Hindi crime drama Kaal Sandhya. She again collaborated with Rituparno Ghosh in Asukh where she essayed the role of an actress who suspects that her mother has got AIDS disease due to his fathers secret lechery. The film won her the Bengal Film Journalists Association – Best Actress Award in 2000. She appeared in Goutam Ghoses National Award winning Bengali film Dekha (2001) alongside Soumitra Chatterjee. In Bappaditya Bandopadhyays Bengali film Shilpantar (2002), she essayed the role a woman who works in a circus and draws mass by her act of eating raw live snake or hen. In Subhadro Chowdhurys National Award winning Bengali film Prohor (2004), she essayed the role of a nurse who donates her blood for a criminal who raped her in the past. Prosenjit Chatterjee described her as the finest actress of her time.

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