The silver screen of Bengali cinema has always been overflowed with unsurpassable beauties. Be it a siren like Supriya Devi or the drop-dead gorgeous Roopa Ganguly, the picturesque Suchitra Sen or the peerless Sumitra Devi, the silver screen of Bengali cinema has an elongated record of charm. Among this mound of beauties ten actresses have been picked up by Filmsack as the Ten Most Beautiful Actresses of Bengali cinema.
One of the exquisite beauties of her time, Suchitra Sen had that flawless face that mesmerized the viewers of Bengali cinema for a decade long. She has been acclaimed as "This is the face that launched a thousand films." In an industry where heroines are used for glamour quotient, Sen was an exception; she was beautiful in an unusual way and managed to draw the viewers’ attention to her character. It was more or less the same with Devdas, Bimal Roy’s 1955 classic in which Sen played Paro and more than matched the subtle charms of Vyjayantimala, cast as Chandramukhi. Though it was her first Hindi film, Sen’s powerful portrayal is said to be the best projection of Devdas’s innocent lover though the film has been remade many times ever since.
With her sharp features, those hypnotizing eyes and a strong sensible approach to the art of acting, Roopa Ganguly has been one of the most beautiful as well as cerebral actresses of Bengali cinema. She has been acclaimed as a noted beauty in numerous articles after she had mesmerized the audience of late eighties by her portrayal of the character of Draupadee in the 1988 televised version of Mahabharata. She looked extremely beautiful and vibrant as Droupadee, especially in the Vastraharan sequence and never looked such beautiful in any of her films or telefilms. It was the Vastraharan seauence that acquired the biggest TRP among all the episodes. She was furious and magnificent with her asserting tone and was credited with the acknowledgement from most of the Indians that she was born to play Draupadee. She acted in Hindi as well as Bengali commercial films but most of them flopped at box office. But that did not cut down the glory she achieved by her cerebral performance in Bengali films like Janani (1993), Padma Nadir Majhi (1993), Yugant (1996), Krantikaal (2005), Antarmahal (2005). She played a cameo role in Goutam Ghose's Dekha but she scorched screen with her small but seductive approach especially in the Eki Labonyo Purna Prane song sequence where the character played by Soumitra Chatterjee recalls up a moment of Roopa Ganguly looking back with a pair of those killer eyes. In almost all of her films, directors cast her in characters of those strong, resolute and confident women. The reason, perhaps is that she is personally also a woman of strong resolution. She has always spoken out against the patriarchal institution. A believer in free will, Roopa Ganguly did not want to compromise with her marital status and that was why she got seperated from her husband who had been jealous of her stardom. She has been a life long pursuer of love and once fell for a man who is much more junior to her. But she has always been fetterless to openly confess her love for a man much junior to her.
Kaberi Bose had those eyes that juxtaposed a childlike vibrance to the sombre mystery of womanhood. In all her films she had been expressively beautiful. Her debut film was Raikamal and she was paired with Uttam Kumar in this film. In this film, she played the character of a girl in quest of eternal and spiritual truth. Uttam Kumar was mesmerized by her charm and on the set of this film, he often used to gaze at her for long. Throughout the nineteen fifties Bose appeared in other films like Devi Malini, Drishti, Asamapta, Paradhin, Shankar Narayan Bank, Madhumalati to name a few. She took a long sabbatical throughout the nineteen sixties. In 1970 she came back with Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri. Can we ever forget the sequence where Shubhendu Chatterjee kept on waiting for her to have cup of coffee with him and when she appeared out of the darkness, the previous figure of innocence was gone. Now she looked ardently seductive, intimidatingly alluring. With her eloquent eyes and arresting voice Kaberi Bose was her own star; she worked on her terms. She also appeared in another two Bengali films in nineteen seventies.
Paoli Dam is not only beautiful but also bold. Her grace has always been compared to that of Smita Patil or that of Suchitra Sen. Paoli Dam began her career in tv serials. After that she appeared in Ravi Kinagi's Bengali film I Love You where she played sister of the character played by Dev. She shot to fame after she had appeared in Goutam Ghose's Kaalbela (2009) where she played the character of Madhabilata. The film certified her as an actress of substantial performance.
What should be the exact adjective to define Sumitra Devi - a goddess with luminous face or a seductress with those hypnotizing eyes. She is beautiful in the peakest meaning of the term. She was born in 1923 at Shiuri, in Birbhum district of undivided Bengal in a Brahmin orthodox family but was brought up in Muzaffarpur, district of Bihar. She was originally named as Nilima. In her teenage, she was fascinated with the then silver screen beauties like Kanan Devi or Leela Desai and this fascination once turned into a strong desire to be an actress. Films of New Theatres were household names by then. She sent an application along with a photograph to New Theatres. No one but her younger brother Ranajit was in the secret of doing this. Her letter was answered and she was called for an interview at N.T. Sumitra Devi was asked to read an article and she performed what she had been asked to do. While reading she once looked at the personas surrounding her and found them in a complete state of being mesmerized. Nilima adopted the screen name Sumitra. On the family front she faced a lot of opposition from her father. However she could overcome all odds only through her determination to enter the world of acting and it was the prestigious New Theatres where she signed her first film contract for My Sister. However, she was immediately offered another role by Debaki Kumar Bose in Sandhi which actually happened as Sumitra Devi’s debut film. Apurba Mitra was credited as the director of Sandhi but it was Debaki Bose, uncle to Apurba Mitra, who originally did the job of direction for this film that was remade several years later.
Sandhi was released on 26th October, 1944 and became a huge hit. Sumitra Devi became star with her first film and she was credited as an actress having an "outstanding luminous screen presence." Even her first film won her the BFJA Award in the Best Actress in A Leading Role category. My Sister was released after Sandhi. Even after becoming a star she had to confront strong opposition from her non co-operative family and her first marriage at Bhagalpur ended in a divorce. During this time she became personally close to her Pather Dabi co-actor Debi Mukherjee and she got married to him in 1946. In 1945, she appeared as the drop dead gorgeous Rohini in Soumyen Mukherji's Hindi film Wasiyatnama based on Krishnakanter Will, the celebrated novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. The then film critic society praised Mr. Mukherji for casting her in this enticing character of Rohini as she simply got into that character by nature. In the late forties she appeared in Bengali films like Abhijog (1947), Pather Dabi (1947), Pratibad (1948), Joyjatra (1948), Swami (1949), Debi Chowdhurani (1949). In the early fifties, she accepted more offers from Bollywood. She appeared in Hindi films like Mashaal (1950), Deewana (1952), Mamta (1952), Ghungroo (1952), Raja Harischandra (1952), Mayurpankh (1954), Chor Bazaar (1954) to name a few. In 1955, she again returned to Bengali cinema with the blockbuster Dasyu Mohan (1955). Pradeep Kumar who was a part of this venture used to come to the set of this film and sat by watching Sumitra Devi for long even when he had no schedule for shooting. "I felt honoured in becoming an ardent spectator of her deeds" said Pradeep Kumar, "She is an instance of the perfect harmonization of beauty and glory." Once she was questioned by a journalist whether she knew that she was irrestible to the actors around and her answer followed that famous coy but confident smile of hers, "I never keep counting on that." In 1956, she appeared in Kartik Chattopadhyay's Saheb Bibi Golam which is an adaptation of Bimal Mitra's classic novel of the same name. The film was a blockbuster at that time. She played the character of a beautiful alcoholic wife of a landlord who is indifferent towards her. During the shooting of this film, Uttam Kumar was, often caught in red hand gazing intently at Sumitra Devi whom the icon certified as "the queen bee of Bengali cinema." In 1957, she appeared in Kartik Chattopadhyay's Nilachaley Mahaprabhu which again became a blockbuster. In the same year, she appeared in Haridas Bhattacharya's National Award winning Bengali film Aandhare Alo which was an adaptation of the renowned Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's short story of the same name.
Moushumi Chatterjee has, in her beauty, the innocence of a child juxtaposed to the majesty of a philosopher.
She has been the queen bee at millions of heart. Whenever she gazes up, her large beautiful eyes at once bewitch us. Debasree Roy shot to recognition after she had appeared in Aparna Sen's much acclaimed film 36, Chowringhee Lane (1981). Her first Hindi film was Jiyo To Aise Jiyo (1981) by Kanak Mishra. In 1985, she appeared in Akash Jain's Hindi film Kabhi Ajnabi The. She looked tremendously beautiful in the song sequence Geet Mere Hothon Ko De Gaya Koi that was bet to be the biggest crowd pulling factor of this film. her chemistry with Sandeep Patil in the film was highly talked about in media. Even it was rumoured at that time that she had been having a secret affair with Patil. Unfortunately the film flopped at box office and her Bollywood career came to a collapse. After the towering appreciation of his film Mouna Ragam (1986), Mani Ratnam was looking for a pretty face for Nayakan and approached to Debasree to play the lead opposite Kamal Hassan. Roy made a tremendous mistake by refusing the role and regretted this refusal made by her for the rest of her life as the film went on to become an enormous critical and commercial success. Later during an interview she gave the logic for rejecting the proposal from Mani Ratnam that she had refused it because she had thought that dialogue delivery in Tamil language would not be easy for her.
In 1985, she was paired with Tapas Paul in Tarun Majumdar's Bengali Bengali film Bhalobasa Bhalobasa which turned out to be a blockbuster of the year. It was then only when she decided to sign a host of Bengali films and this decision of her was quite right as she later became a highly successful actress in Bengali cinema. Back then Bengali cinema was on the verge of collapse due to the untimely death of Mahua Roychoudhury. Debasree Roy who stepped in to compensate the slot and monopolised the market of Bengali cinema till Satabdi Roy rose to stardom at the beginning of the nineties.