Moushumi Chatterjee was considered one of the most beautiful faces to hit the Hindi screen in the 1970s. She is an actress originally from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), West Bengal. She made her film debut in the Bengali hit, Balika Badhu (1967) directed by Tarun Majumdar when she was in her early teens. Her debut as heroine in the Hindi film Anuraag (1972) came courtesy of another famous Bengali director Shakti Samanta. She played a blind girl who falls in love, and her performance earned her a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. Her rape sequence in the film is still considered to be one of the most disturbing scenes in Hindi cinema. Her performance earned her a Filmfare Nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
For her 65th birthday, we look at some of Chatterjee’s important film roles from Hindi and Bengali cinema.
Balika Badhu (1967)
Moushumi Chatterjee was just entering her teens when she became a household name with the Bengali film Balika Badhu, directed by Tarun Majumdar. The young fifth- standard student played a child bride in the period drama, which became a platinum jubilee hit with a run of 75 weeks at the box office. The Bengal Film Journalists’ Association (BFJA) voted her Best Actress for her debut.
Moushumi Chatterjee made her debut in Hindi films with Anuraag (1972). Produced and directed by Shakti Samanta, the film went on to celebrate a silver jubilee. Rajesh Khanna, who encouraged Samanta to make the film, also made a special appearance in it.
Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974)
In Manoj Kumar’s multi-starrer, Moushumi Chatterjee played a young woman, Tulsi, whom Manoj Kumar’s Bharat rescues from a gang of hooligans. The actress had a difficult scene in the film where the goons attempt to rape her. The film also featured Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman.
Anand Ashram (1977)
Shakti Samanta cast Moushumi Chatterjee as the second lead in Anand Ashram (1977), a multi-generational film starring Ashok Kumar, Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. Ashok Kumar and Uttam Kumar played father and son, respectively, who don’t see eye to eye when the son falls for a woman not of his father’s choosing.
After Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974) and Benaam (1974), Amitabh Bachchan and Moushumi Chatterjee came together again in Basu Chatterjee’s Manzil (1979). In the film, Bachchan played Ajay, an aspiring businessman, who meets Aruna (Chatterjee), a rich man’s daughter, and falls in love with her. She, too, reciprocates his feelings.
In Gulzar’s take on William Shakespeare’s play The Comedy Of Errors, Moushumi Chatterjee got the chance to hone her comedic skills and timing opposite Sanjeev Kumar, Deven Varma, Utpal Dutt, Aruna Irani and Deepti Naval. The film is hailed by comedy buffs even today as a gem and the entire cast contributed ably to the crazy antics on screen when two sets of twins create chaos for their families and friends.