Bhubaneswar: Veteran film actor Bijay Mohanty breathed his last at a private hospital here, Monday evening. He was 70 and is survived by his wife Tandra Ray and daughter Jasmine Mohanty.
Bijay was perhaps the only actor in Odisha who made a smooth transition from a hero to playing negative roles and then to doing character roles with ease. Bijay Mohanty’s demise is certainly a huge loss and the Odia film industry will take a long time to recover. No doubt, the entire film industry including his fans will be pained and stunned at the death of Bijay Mohanty.
Orissa POST takes a look at the life and times of one of the most celebrated Odia actors of this generation.
Born at Pandiri of Kendrapara district and brought up in Baripada, Bijay started acting when he was in schools After completing his graduation, Bijay joined the National School of Drama where he studied with actors of the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Raj Babbar and Om Puri. After his return to Odisha in 1975, Bijay was mostly involved in directing plays.
Big screen innings
After directing several plays, Bijay got an opportunity to work in Chilika Tire in 1977 which went on to win the National Award that year. After that there was no looking back for him. He acted in more than 200 films in a career spanning over 40 years. He also directed the film Bhuli Huena, his only directorial venture. Bijay also appeared in several TV serials including Asara Aloka, Sri Jagannath, Subhadra, Sara Akasa, Samaya Chaka, Sakalara Apekhya Re, Nadekhile Loka Dekhe, Mahayagyan and Bidhatara KhelaI.
Apart from being a great actor, Bijay also played a long innings while teaching students of drama in ‘Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay’. He joined the Drama Department of the college in 1977 after the release f his first film. He took voluntary retirement from the job to concentrate on his film career.
Brief political innings
Bijay joined the Indian National Congress in 2014 to contest as a Lok Sabha MP from Bhubaneswar but didn’t succeed. Later, he quit politics stating that it was not his favourite profession.
He was married to Tandra Ray, an actress of the Oriya film industry and the two acted opposite each other in several films. The two have a daughter Jasmine Mohanty.
The actor had returned to the city in June. Prior to that, he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Hyderabad for various ailments. He had expressed his desire to return here. Since his return last month, he had not been keeping well.
Jewels in Bijay Mohanty’s crown
Jayadev Award – 2014
Six Odia Film Awards in 1981, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1993 1994
Odisha Cine Critics Award in 1987 for Best Actor of the Decade
Honoured with National Award for his contribution to art and literature.