Veteran Odia actor Manimala Devi breathed her last on Thursday (June 16) afternoon at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Her son Shankar Ghosh told media that the 90-year-old actor passed away around 2.45 pm due to age-related issues. She was suffering from severe chest congestion and was put on ventilation after her condition deteriorated.
Her last rites were performed at Swargadwar cremation ground in Puri.
Condoling her death, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “Her demise is a great loss for the cultural fraternity of Odisha.”
Here are 12 facts you may want to know about Manimala Devi:
1. She was born on June 19, 1931 at Balibishi village of Kendrapara district in the state.
2. She began her acting career at the age of eight when she joined Annapurna Theatre. She performed as a child artiste in Annapurna Group B.
3.Manimala Devi was a trained classical singer. She learnt singing from noted Odissi vocal singer Sangeeta Sudhakara Balakrushna Das and Dhiren Das.
4. She was also selected as an accredited singer at All India Radio (AIR), aka, Akashvani.
5. Manimala Devi was trained into Odissi dance by Kabichandra Kalicharan Patnaik.
6. She had performed in at least 100 plays in her entire career spanning over 50 years.
7. Manimala Devi acted in over 40 Odia films out of which 14 were National Award winning ones.
8. Her debut film was Sri Lokanath (1960). It bagged the National Film Award that year.
9. Some of Manimala Devi’s award-winning films include ‘Lakshmi’ (1962), ‘Bhai Bhauja’ (1967), ‘Kaa’ (1966), ‘Malajanha’ (1965), ‘Abhinetri’, ‘Jeevan Sathi’ (1963) and ‘Suryamukhi’ (1963).
10. In 1984, she acted in ‘Maya Miriga’, directed by eminent filmmaker Nirad N. Mohapatra. The film was presented with the Rashtrapati Award for the Second Best Film of the Year.
11. She also acted in National Award winner director Manmohan Mohapatra in films like ‘Bhinna Samaya’, ‘Andha Diganta’ and ‘Klanta Aparanha’.
12. In 2000, Manimala Devi was conferred with Odisha’s highest cine award – ‘Jayadev Puraskar’ – for her lifetime achievement.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.