Brief history of the Ganguly family
The celebrated Ganguly family – epitomised by Ashok Kumar (born 1911), Sati Rani Devi (born 1916), Anoop Kumar (born 1924) and Kishore Kumar (born 1929) – serve as one of the most important bridges between the powerhouse families of Indian cinema. The Ganguly family connection is carried further through the networks created by Kishore Kumar's multiple marriages. He was married to Ruma Guha Thakurta (1950–58), Madhubala (1960–69), Yogeeta Bali (1975–78) and Leena Chandavarkar (1980–87).
History of the Ganguly family begins with Kunjalal Ganguly, a pleader (advocate) by profession coming from a long line of lawyers, and his wife Gouri Rani Devi, granddaughter of Raja Shibchandra Banerjee and sister of classical singer Dhananjay Banerjee. The celebrated brothers and their sister, who gave birth to the Mukherjees of Bollywood, were born to these two. Supposedly, Kishore Kumar inherited his sense of comedy from Kunjalal. Also, the most popular film featuring all three Ganguly brothers – Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi – was, supposedly, inspired by Kunjalal's Chrysler that he bought in 1928, a year before the birth of his youngest son.
If Rattan Bai from their extended family network is ignored, Ashok Kumar was the first person in the family to go into the film industry. His daughter Preeti Ganguly, son-in-law Deven Verma, married to his elder daughter Rupa Ganguly and granddaughter Anuradha Patel also became accomplished actors. Ashok Kumar' son Arun Ganguly never joined film.
Kishore Kumar's wives
Kishore Kumar was married four times. His wives were Ruma, Madhubala, Yogita Bali and Leena Chandavarkar (current widow of Kishore Kumar).
Among Kishore's wives Ruma (now Ruma Guha Thakurta) was the daughter of Satyen Ghosh (better known as Montey Ghosh) and a niece to Smt. Bijoya Roy, the wife of the legendary film director Satyajit Ray (son of writer Sukumar Ray and grandson of writer and publisher Upendrakishore Raychowdhury). Her mother Sati Devi, a talented singer, was the elder sister of Bijoya, the legendary director's wife. Amit Kumar, her son with Kishore Kumar eventually became a celebrity in his own right. Amit later sang duets with Krishna Mukherjee, a niece to his paternal aunt Satirani.
Yogeeta was a niece to Geeta Bali, who in turn was Shammi Kapoor's first wife. Kishore's second son Sumit Kumar was born to Leena and is also a singer. Ruma later married Arup Guha Thakurta and had a son, Ayan, and a daughter, Sromana, with him. Shammi Kapoor, a scion of the Kapoor family and Geeta Bali's daughter Kanchan Desai got married to Ketan Desai, son of director Manmohan Desai, who was engaged to actress Nanda (actor-director Master Vinayak's daughter) before his death.
Yogeeta eventually divorced Kishore Kumar and married Mithun Chakravorty, who married Sridevi for a brief stint. Sridevi later married producer Surinder Kapoor's son Boney Kapoor, a producer who has two famous actors for brothers – Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor. Surinder, on the other hand, began his career as Geeta Bali's secretary. His only daughter, Reena, is married to showbiz tycoon Sandeep Marwah. Satyajit and Bijoya's son Sandip Ray is an accomplished film director.
The only sister of the famous Ganguly brothers, Sati Devi, was married to Sashadhar Mukherjee (brother of Subodh Mukherjee) of the Mukherjee-Samarth family. She gave birth to actors Joy Mukherjee (father of actor Boy Mukherjee) and Deb Mukherjee (father of Ayan Mukherjee, as well as director Shomu Mukherjee (husband of Tanuja and father of Kajol and Tanisha). Kajol, in turn, is married to actor Ajay Devgan, the son of fight choreographer Veeru Devgan.
Actresses Rani Mukherjee (daughter of director Ram Mukherjee and singer Krishna Mukherjee), Sharbani Mukherjee and actor Mohnish Behl comes from the extended Mukherjee-Samarth family. The film involvement of the clan began with actress Rattan Bai, mother of actress Shobhna Samarth, and grandmother of actresses Tanuja and Nutan. Reportedly, music director Bappi Lahiri is also in the Mukherjee's extended family tree. Actress Chhaya Devi was first cousin of actor Ashok Kumar's wife Shobha Ganguly, thus related to the Ganguly family.
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- Through the Looking Glass, Screen Weekly, 12 August 2005 (retrieved: 2007-19-05)
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- Film world, Volume 16. T.M. Ramachandran. 1979. p. 43.