indian cinema heritage foundation

Abhi Bhattacharya

  • Died: 11 September, 1993 (Mumbai)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Born in a Bengali family, Abhi Bhattacharya started his career as an actor in 1947. His debut film was in the Bombay Talkies film, Naukadaubi.  Directed by Nitin Bose, the film was based on a Tagore story. Its Hindi remake starred Dilip Kumar in the lead. 

Over the next two decades, Abhi Bhattacharya starred in several hit Hindi and Bengali movies. He made a name for himself by starring in movies such as Biraj Bahu (1954), Jagriti (1954), Apradhi Kaun (1957), Anuradha (1960) and Shola Aur Shabnam (1961). Through the 1960s and early 1970s he continued acting in several famous movies – such as Dosti (1964), Aradhana (1969), Seema (1971) and Amar Prem (1971). His roles in Biraj Bahu and Jagriti were praised by audiences. 

In his illustrious career he worked with legends such as Bimal Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, Shakti Samanta and Satyen Bose. His lead performance in Ghatak’s Subarnarekha (1965) earned him great acclaim, while the film itself is widely regarded as one of the best films ever made. He also acted as the lead in Debaki Bose's Tamil film Ratna Deepam (1953). One of the most recognisable character artists of Indian cinema, he wont on to act in 166 films in his career. 

In 1971, he turned towards spirituality when he came into contact with a spiritual master called Dadaji. His life underwent a massive transformation, and he spent a lot of his time with his Guruji.  Even though he continued to act off and on in movies, Abhi Bhattacharya’s focus was spirituality and the experiences he shared with Dadaji. He summed up his experiences – natural and supernatural- in a book titled Destiny with Dadaji. 

During this phase he acted in several mythological films such as Harishchandra Shaibya (1983) and Hari Darshan (1983). His last film was Professor Ki Padosan (1993). 

He died on 11 August in Mumbai in 1993.