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Chhabi Biswas

Chhabi Biswas
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Personal Information

Gender
Male
Birthday
12-July-1900
Marital Status
NotKnown

About Chhabi Biswas

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 Chhabi 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, 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. 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.

Chhabi Biswas died in an automobile accident on 11 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.
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