Was Supposed to Debut in Apur Sansar: Lily Chakravarty

RBN Web Desk: Actress Lily Chakravarty, who worked for director Satyajit Ray in two of his films, was supposed to play the female lead in Apur Sansar (1959). Directed by Ray, Apur Sansar had Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore in key roles.

Chakravarty recently told a leading Bengali daily that director Asit Sen had sent her to Ray when the latter was looking for a suitable girl to play the lead opposite Soumitra in Apur Sansar. Bijoya Ray designed her look and makeup. Ray took a number of photographs of the actress from various angles, and said that he has already spoken to Sharmila about the role, and would cast Chakravarty if she was unable to do it. Sharmila reportedly had some school exams coinciding with the shooting dates, but that was later sorted out, the 76-year old actress added.

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The auteur was later impressed by her performance in Tarun Majumdar’s 1974 film Phuleswari. Ray shot her a letter asking whether she would like to play a role in Jana Aranya. Chakravarty said yes instantly. She also played a major role in Ray’s 1991 film Shakha Proshakha.

Chakravarty made her film debut in Bhanu Pelo Lottery (1958). It went on the floors after Apur Sansar but was released before Ray’s film.

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In a six-decade long career, Lily Chakravarty has worked with all leading directors including Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen, Ajoy Kar, Rituparno Ghosh, Kaushik Ganguly, Sriit Mukherji, Suman Ghosh, Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, and others.

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