BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: The sudden death of Bengali actor Tapas Pal has sent shockwaves throughout Tollywood with many Bengali film celebrities such as Ranjit Mallick, Haranath Chakraborty, Rituparna Sengupta, Jeet, Dev, Ankush, Arpita Chatterjee, and Nusrat Jahan mourning and expressing their condolences.
Pal passed away at 3.35 am on February 18 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Holy Family hospital in Mumbai. He was 61 and is survived by his wife Nandini and daughter Sohini.
The Dadarkirti actor had gone to Mumbai to visit Sohini. However, then he started complaining of chest pain on his way back home at the airport and was admitted to the hospital there.
Pal, who was last seen on the big screen in Bengali film Khiladi in 2013, was suffering from nerve problem for a long time.
Born in West Bengal’s Chandannagar, Pal completed his graduation from Hooghly’s Mohsin College in Bio-Science. However, it was during his college days when acclaimed director Tarun Majumdar spotted him and decided to cast him in his 1980 film Dadarkirti. As simpleton Kedar Chatujye, Pal won the love of the audience from his very first screen appearance.
Thereafter, Pal went onto do films like Saheb, Bhalobasha Bhalobasha, Gurudakshina and Mangal Deep to name a few. In fact, in all the films the actor’s was made to play an innocent, gullible and virtuous character. And soon, he became a star of the Bengali film industry.
If Pal has worked with hardcore potboiler filmmakers like Haranath Chakraborty, Anup Sengupta, Ravi Kinagi, Sukhen Das, he has also done films with Buddhadeb Dasgupta too. In fact, Pal’s work in Dasgupta’s Uttara and Mondo Meyer Upakhyan do stand out.
Not many know superstar Madhuri Dixit Nene made her debut in Bollywood alongside Pal in Abodh in 1984. And after the demise of Pal, the actress took to Twitter to remember her Abodh co-star. “The loss of Tapas Paul who was one of the very first actors, I have worked with is felt by many. May God bless and comfort his family during this difficult period,” Madhuri tweeted.
The loss of Tapas Paul who was one of the very first actors, I have worked with is felt by many. May God bless and comfort his family during this difficult period 🙏
— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) February 18, 2020
Ranjit Mallick, who has done innumerable films with Pal, was at a loss for words. “I could not come to terms with his death. I have lost a brother,” said Mallick.
Haranath, who has done blockbuster films like Mangal Deep, Sangharsha with Pal, said he has lost a dear friend. “Tapas used to love to eat. He was given so many hits for the Bengali film industry,” he said.
“With the death of Tapas da, it’s an end of an era for Bengali cinema. He had a smile to die for. He has been with Bengali cinema in the toughest phases too. I have received a lot of love and respect from him. May be, he was in a lot of agony in the later phase of his life,” said Rituparna, her voice choked with emotion.
Actor and TMC MP Dev, who has done Sedin Dekha Hoyechilo with Pal tweeted, “Sad to hear about Tapas Da…May his soul rest in Peace….Ur contribution to Bengali films will always be celebrated.”
Jeet took to Twitter to condole his death. “Saddened and shocked to know about sudden demise of Tapas Pal. Condolences to the bereaved family. RIP,” he posted.
Bhulbona tomay tapas da.. jibone akta chobi hoeche tomar sathe kintu akta chobitei onek kichu sikhlam tomar theke.. jekhanei theko valo theko.. tumii chile ashol #khiladi .. #rip tapas da.. pic.twitter.com/wWAcOgwYzY
— ANKUSH (@AnkushLoveUAll) February 18, 2020
Pal was a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP of Krishnanagar since 2009 to 2019. But his political career begun in the year 2001 when became the MLA from Alipore. He again repeated his victory in 2006. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief on the sudden demise of the actor on Twitter.
“Saddened & shocked to hear about the demise of Tapas Paul. He was a superstar of Bengali cinema who was a member of the Trinamool family. Tapas served the people as a two-term MP and MLA. We will miss him dearly. My condolences to his wife Nandini, daughter Sohini & his many fans,” Mamata tweeted.
Saddened & shocked to hear about the demise of Tapas Paul. He was a superstar of Bengali cinema who was a member of the Trinamool family.Tapas served the people as a two-term MP and MLA. We will miss him dearly. My condolences to his wife Nandini, daughter Sohini & his many fans
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 18, 2020
Though Pal was a celebrated Bengali actor, the later phase of his career wasn’t really smooth. Pal courted maximum controversies during his political career. In 2014, Pal, who was the go-to Bengali actor for all next-door characters in Bengali films during the 1990s, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. And 2014 changed his life forever.
A video of Pal where he is shown screaming on camera to kill CPI (M) cadres and rape their women surfaced on social media. In the video, he introduces himself as “Chandannager maal”. It went viral and Pal’s image changed for the worst.
Later on December 30, 2016, the CBI arrested the Sangharsha actor for his alleged connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. After being locked up in Odisha jail for almost 13 months, finally on February 1, 2018 the actor managed to get bail.
Jyesthoputro actress Sudiptaa Chakraborty paid her tribute to Pal on Facebook. However, she also posted how life could have been different for him in the recent past. “I pay my homage to my senior actor Tapas Pal and my sincere condolences to Nandini di, his wife and Sohini,his daughter. Life has been quite difficult and different for all of them in recent past. Hope Tapas da finally finds peace and his family finds solace !! #AnActorNeverDies……,” Sudiptaa posted on Facebook.