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Molina Devi

A prominent Bengali theatre and film actor, Molina Devi made her stage debut at the age of eight in a silent film in 1924. She was mentored in acting by Aparesh Chandra Mukhopadhyay. In the 1920s she played a dancing girl in a number of mythological and historical Bengali plays. This was followed by a phase of playing the roles of young boys after which she finally became an accomplished heroine.

In films she played memorable characters in Abhigyan (1938), Abhagin (1938) and Baikunther Will (1950). Her role of Rani Rashmoni in the play Jugadebata in 1948 set the tone for her later popular devotional characterizations in films and theatre. Molina Devi married Gurudas Banerjee and they started their own touring theatre, M.G. Enterprises, which created its niche with commercial productions of devotional drama.

Molina Devi also made her mark as a singer, releasing a number of discs, and performing on radio. One of her major contributions was the formation of Mahila Silpi Mahal, which, apart from various welfare activities for female artists, often staged plays with all-women casts.

She passed away in 1977.

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