BHUBANESWAR: Parvati Ghosh, iconic actress of yesteryears and the first woman director and producer of Odia film industry, passed away late on Sunday after prolonged illness. She was 85.
Ghosh complained of uneasiness and was admitted to a city-based private hospital here, where she breathed her last. She was given a State funeral.
Born in 1933 in Cuttack’s Manasinghpatana, Ghosh hit the spotlight at the age of 16 as a child artiste in the film ‘Shri Jagannath’ in 1950. Three years later, she entered the industry as leading lady in ‘Amari Gaan Jhia’ which was followed by ‘Bhai Bhai’ (1956), ‘Maa’ (1958), ‘Laxmi’ (1962), ‘Kaa’ (1966), ‘Stree’ (1968) and ‘Sansara’ (1973).
Three films, ‘Laxmi’, ‘Kaa’ and ‘Stree’ won her National Award in the Best Regional Film category. The actress, known for her stellar performances, appeared in 10 films during the 50s until the late-80s.
Married to actor-director Gour Ghosh, she was best known for her character Saria in the film ‘Chha Mana Aatha Guntha’ (1986), based on Fakir Mohan Senapati’s novel by the same name. This also marked her debut as a director. She not only wrote dialogues but also gave her voice to one of the songs in the movie. Considered the pioneer woman director in the country, Ghosh’s films mostly dealt with social themes.
‘Sansara’ was the second film that she directed while producing as many as six movies. ‘Salabega’ (1998) was her last film as a producer-director which she gave to Films Division of India. She had also made two telefilms for Doordarshan, ‘Prasna’ and ‘Sopaan’.
Ghosh’s demise was condoled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who described her as an icon of women’s empowerment and one of the greatest gifts to Odia cinema. Naveen said, she will always be remembered for her contribution to Odia cinema. “Her departure is a great loss to the film industry,” he tweeted.
Ollywood fraternity and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and MP Baijayant Panda also expressed grief on her death.