With Bengali theatre and cinema already so popular and talked about, its stars do dabble between the two industries.
Here's looking at some of the major Bengali names who have entertained us on screen and off it as well.
The maverick director made some of the most iconic films Bollywood has seen. Festivals pay tribute to him each year, and even today, a lot of his scripts and ideas serve as inspiration to movies even today. His style of cinema was heavily influenced by Akiro Kurosawa.
The man who made his mark in films of recent with LSD, and Shanghai has proven to be a great innovator of story and technique. His narratives have been simple- and often, you get to see actors make their mark in the minds of their audience in the kind of roles he has in mind for them.
He made his on-screen debut in his teens, and hasn't looked back even today. A face that Bengali cinema loves, his cameo in Shanghai recently did not go unnoticed, and soon he will be seen in a movie with Ankeeta Mukherjee, Kajol's cousin.
This model-turned-actress made her Bollywood debut in 2001's Ajnabee opposite Akshay Kumar. She later made an impact with movies and her signature fitness regimes. Bipasha Basu is not only in Bollywood, but will soon be seen in a Hollywood venture with Josh Hartnett, called 'Singularity'.
One of Bollywood's most offbeat actresses, Konkona has been part of several parallel as well as mainstream projects. Her roles are usually meaty, and she has associated herself with several kinds of cinema, such as drama, romance, art.
Moonmoon Sen belongs to a family that has three generations of entertainers. Her daring role in her debut film Andar Bahar got her into the spotlight. She has acted not only in HIndi and Bengali films, but has also been part of Telugu, Tamil, Malayali films. The actress wasn't that great a success in Bengali cinema, but made her mark in the Hindi industry.
Raima Sen is the most acclaimed actor of her clan. Born to Moonmoon Sen, she made her mark in the Hindi film industry while dabbling with brojects in Bengali films as well. Her better known films in Bengal are Chokher Bali, The Bong Connection and The Japanese Wife, and in Bollywood are Parineeta, Manorama Six Feet Under, and Honeymoon Travels.
Riya Sen is a former model and actress. She made her début in Bollywood with the 2001 sex-comedy STyle. Though she hasn't delivered any spectacular performance yet, this lady has been part of projects like 'Jhankar Beats' and 'Heyy Babyy', which were commercial hits. She has been part of many movies in the Malayalam film industry.
Mithun Chakraborty is definitely one of the biggest stars of the Hindi film industry, born in Bengal. The actor made his mark as a dance star with 'Disco Dancer'. He has won several National Awards for his performances. Mithunda has been part of over 500 movies, in various languages including Hindi, Bengali, Bhojpuri- and is undoubtedly one of Bollywood's favourite veterans.
Sharmila Tagore, famous for her dimples and her shy look, has been part of several famlous Bengali and Hindi films. In the Bengali film industry, the actress played lead roles in some movies by Satyajit Ray, such as APur Sansar and Devi- and made her debut in Bollywood with Shakti Samanta's Kashmir ki Kali. She has won several awards and her latest film was 'Break ke Baad' in 2010.
The actress Rakhee Gulzar made her mark in the film industry for picking roles of substance rather than star status. She made a great on-screen pairing with Amitabh Bachchan in films like Kasme Vaade, Muqaddar ka Sikandar etc. Her films included Bengali projects like Shubho Mahurat and Paroma. SHubho Mahurat was her last film, after which she has retired from the film industry.
Multiple award-winning director Rituparno Ghosh has made one HIndi movie till date, while the rest have mostly been in Bengali. However, he's a director that actors look forward to working with. His films touch sensitive topics even with a fictional base. Rituparno has been recipient of over 10 National Awards. His contribution to contemporary Bengali cinema is immense.
Salil Chowdhury – Music Director
Poet, playwright and music composer, Salilda has made music for movies in Bengali, Malayalam and Hindi. His music was influenced by western and Indian classical styles. He gave movies like Madhumati, Kabuliwala, Biraj Bahu and Anand the memorable tunes that they are famous for. In Bengali cinema, he gave music for several films.
Think disco in Bollywood, and the compass points to Bappi Lahiri. Born and Brought up in a family influenced heavily by music, and with maternal uncle Kishore Kumar as an influence, Bappi Da is one of the names synonymous with the retro-culture of BOllywood. His signature disco style gave the music of movies like Disco Dancer and Namak Halaal. His partnership with Mithun-da for Bollywood music is a class apart!
Rahul Dev Burman is one of the most iconic music Directors of Bollywood. Born to SD Burman, his music defined the pop generation of Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. He composed the music for the OSTs of epic movies like Sholay, Shalimar, Shaan, 1942- A love story. Fondly called Pancham-da, his contribution to Bollywood as music composer and singer has been immense.
Shakti Samanta was a Bollywood producer-director, who can be credited for epic films such as Amar Prem, Kashmir Ki Kali, Howrah Bridge, An Evening in Paris, Kati Patang etc. His movies were of mass emotional appeal and are still watched as timeless entertainers. Some of his films have been shown at international festivals in Berlin, Tashkent, Moscow, Cairo and Beirut.
Bimal Roy has been immortalised in the Hindi Film Industry by works such as Do Bheega Zameen, Madhumati, Sujata and Bandini. His stories usually had dramatic turns and extremely emotion-centric. He won several awards, including National Awards for his contribution to Indian Cinema.
Scriptwriter, director, actor of Bengali cinema, Ritwik Ghatak, was part of the trio- Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and himself- who defined the path for parallel cinema in India. His epic and most recognised work in Bollywood was Madhumati- but his contribution to Bengali cinema is unmatched.
Victor Banerjee has made a niche for himself in Bollywood. The actor has been part of key projects, by even international filmmakers- such as Jerry London and James Ivory. In Bollywood, the actor has been part of many movies, even off-track ones like Bhoot, Joggers' Park, Bow Barracks Forever, and My Brother...Nikhil.
Originally a playwright and stage actor, Utpal Dutt was part of a theatre group in Bengal, which, around the Independence era, were staged on many ideologies. He was part of Satyajit Ray films such as Agantuk, and made an enormous impact in Bollywood in movies such as Golmaal, Rang Birangi, Safed Haathi etc. His play- Aajker Sahajan, was adapted into the script of teh Amitabh Bachchan-starrer- The Last Lees.
Born in Kolkata, Biswajit started his career in Bengali films, after which he moved to Bollywood. He has been in the industry for close to 54 years, from 1959-2002, and has acted with some of the biggest names that ruled each era. His association with Bengali films continued. He also introduced his son Prosenjit into cinema, and today, Prosenjit is one of the biggest names of Bengali entertainment.