Born on January 2, 1944 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand in India, 'Samit Bhanja' was a prominent actor. He was born to Pritimoy Bhanja and Shila Bhanja. He was a Bengali by birth and was immensely popular in Bengali Cinema. Not only an actor, but he was also a talented writer and director. Samit did his schooling from Jamshedpur and then moved to Kolkata for higher studies. He then went to the St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College in Kolkata. An insight into his personal life also tells us that he attended the Polytechnic School in Jhargram, Kolkata.
Samit started his acting career in the year 1965 with the film, Surer Agun. Samit used to sing really well which saw him cast as a tabla player in this movie. His next movie was Tapan Sinha’s Apanjan (1968), in which he portrayed the character of Chheno. Chheno was the leader of a political group and this movie essays the story of politically motivated violence. Chheno’s character was immensely appreciated and hence Samit became a famous name in the Bengali Cinema. Apanjan has a rating of 8.7 on IMDb. Samit has also performed in plays, jatras, and theatre. He was also a part of the Rupkar Group Theatre.
Not only in Bengali films, but he also acted in Hindi movies. In 1971, he rose to prominence with the Hindi movie, “Guddi”. Samit played Navin in this movie and was cast opposite ‘
Jaya Bachchan’. This film revolves around the story of Guddi, ‘
Dharmendra’ and Navin and how Guddi develops feelings for superstar Dharmendra but in the end ends up tying the knot with Navin.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed flick Guddi, was a huge success. Initially, ‘
Amitabh Bachchan’ was Hrishikesh’s first choice to play the role of Navin in Guddi but later he finalized Samit to act in this film.
Samit has acted in many Bengali films including Aranyer Din Ratri (1970), Kabita (1977), Ganadevata (1978), Dadar Kirti (1980) and the list goes on. He has worked with famous directors including ‘
Satyajit Ray’, ‘
Tarun Majumdar’, ‘Tapan Sinha’ and various others. He himself directed movies like Banaphul (1996) and Bhalobasa (1997). In 2003, Samit got the opportunity to work under Goutom Ghosh in the movie, “Abar Aranye”. The name Abar Aranye means In the Forest Again. This film narrates the story of people living in the forest but it didn’t go well with the viewers and critics. Samit played the role of Hari, an ill-patient. While working for this film, Samit was actually diagnosed with Cancer. Samit lost his battle to cancer on July 24, 2003 in Kolkata.