Karuna Banerjee in Pather Panchali (1955)
December 25, 1919
|Died||November 13, 2001 (aged 81)
Karuna Banerjee (Bengali: করুণা ব্যানার্জী) (December 25, 1919 – November 13, 2001) was a Bengali actress immortalized by her roles in Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) as the long suffering mother, Sarbajaya. She was nominated for Best Actress at the 1959 BAFTA Awards for her performance in Aparajito (1956), the second part of The Apu Trilogy. She appeared in a number of other films after that, including Ray's Devi (1960) and Kanchenjungha (1962).
Early life 
Acting career 
Karuna Banerjee (aka Karuna Bandhyopadhyay) had an acting career of more than two decades in Bengali cinema and theatre. She is best known for her memorable performance as Sarbajaya, the mother in the first two parts of Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali (1955) and Aparajito (1956). Her performance in the latter earned her a Best Actress nomination at the 1959 BAFTA Awards. She went on to act in a few more films, including two more by Ray, one by Mrinal Sen, and one by Ritwik Ghatak that was never officially released.
- Pather Panchali (1955), directed by Satyajit Ray
- Aparajito (1956), directed by Satyajit Ray
- Headmaster (1959), directed by Agragami
- Shubha Bibaha (1959), directed by Sombhu Mitra and Amit Maitra
- Kato Ajanare (1959), directed by Ritwik Ghatak
- Devi (1960), directed by Satyajit Ray
- Kanchenjungha (1962), directed by Satyajit Ray
- To Light a Candle, directed by Shanti P. Chowdhury
- Interview (1971), directed by Mrinal Sen
Further reading 
- Satyajit Ray, the filmmaker, the book of the films, The Apu Trilogy (ISBN 0-85647-100-3)
- Karuna Banerjee's collection of writings were published as a book, entitled An Actress in Her Time (A Celluloid Chapter Persona Series) in English and in Bengali.
- Sarbajaya: Selected Writings of Karuna Banerjee (ISBN 81-86017-13-5)
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