Tulsi Chakraborty

3 Mar 1899
11 Dec 1961
Film Industry
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Tulsi Chakraborty or Tulsi Chakrabarti (Bengali: তুলসী চক্রবর্তী; 3 March 1899 – 11 December 1961) was an Indian actor and comedian who worked in Bengali cinema in 1940s and 1950s. His most notable role could be the lead role in Parash Pathar, directed by Satyajit Ray.

Chakraborty was born on 3 March 1899 in the small village called Goari. His father, Ashutosh Chakraborty, was an employee of the Indian Railways and the family had to move around various places in undivided Bengal. So, young Tulsi had to spend a lot of time in Calcutta staying with his paternal uncle Prasad Chakraborty. Prasadbabu was a talented tabla and harmonium player who was an employee of the renowned Star Theatre the legendary Bengali commercial theatre stage and production company. It was through his uncle’s contacts that Tulsi was able to watch the finest actors of the generation at work and this fostered his own ambitions to become a singer-actor. He was known for his realistic acting. He never used any make-up or extra arrangements. Usually he was clad in a white dhoti accompanied by a sacred thread on his shoulder.

One of Chakraborti’s notable performances was in Sharey Chuattor, which was the debut film of the popular pair of Bengali Cinema: Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar. In Parash Pathar directed by Satyajit Ray, he acted in the lead role. He unleashed yet another memorable role in a Uttam Kumar-Suchitra Sen starrer where Chakraborty played a sceptical inn owner. He also had a small role that of a village pandit in Pather Panchali. Satyajit Ray once said that had Mr. Chakraborty been born in the USA, he would have been awarded an Oscar for his acting.

Died on 11 December in the year of 1961.

Chakraborti spent the latter part of his life in utmost poverty.His widow was also known to have lived in abject poverty as was revealed by a television programme. Due to his poverty he had to take a walk from Tollygunge studio to his home in Shibpur, Howrah.

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