Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 27:
Odisha’s eminent nonagenarian actor-director-producer Gopal Ghosh today passed away at SCB Medical College and Hospital here following a protracted illness.
He was admitted to the premier referral hospital after a cardiac arrest. He breathed his last this morning at the age of 95. His body was brought to his Nandi Sahi residence in Cuttack where relatives, friends, close acquaintances and people from film fraternity paid their last respects.
Born on May 1,920 at Raghunathpur village in Jagatsinghpur district, Ghosh proved his acting mettle since childhood through drama and theatre. His fascination towards film making and creative sense won him many accolades and distinct recognition in the Ollywood industry.
He was an accomplished actor, producer as well as a director. His contributions on and off the screen were a source of inspiration for the subsequent generations. He was also a documentary filmmaker par excellence.
Among his popular movies–“Gaon Jhia”, “Sri Lokanath”, “Bhai Bhauja”, “Ghara Sansara” and “Amar Prem” bagged critical acclaim among the viewers.
Ghosh was awarded with President’s Award in 1960 for “Sri Jagannath” in which he played the protagonist.
He has directed and produced over 50 documentary films.
He was bestowed with Odisha Living legend Award for his lifetime contribution to Ollywood in 2014. His documentary “Black Pagoda” gathered much appreciation in the year 1949 and was sent to the USA for screening by the then US ambassador to India. Besides, he was also conferred with Odisha Sangeet Nataka Akademi award 1997-98 for his contribution to the industry as an actor.
The movie fraternity, politicians and film lovers expressed their grief over the demise of the veteran personality.
“Though he was away from film industry for quite some time, he was instrumental in providing succour to artists through Artist Pension scheme in the state,” Director Bapu Lenka said.
Ghosh was considered a mentor to many young directors in the state.
‘‘The Odia movie industry has lost a multifaceted and talented personality. The movies directed by Gopal Ghosh depicted the contemporary society well. His directorial venture “Ghara Sansara” was an exceptional offering to the industry. May God give strength to the bereaved members to bear with the loss,’’ Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in his condolence message.
Scores of people from Ollywood industry, politicians and denizens thronged the Nandi Sahi residence of Ghosh to pay their last respects to the departed soul.
His last rites will be performed at Khan Nagar crematorium in the city this evening, family sources said.
It may be recalled that Ollywood lost another gifted director Nirad Mahapatra early this month. Besides, it paid tearful adieu to actor-producer-director Hara Patnaik, comedienne Runu Parija, versatile female actor Mamina Satpathy, veteran actor Gloria Mohanty and Sarat Pujari in last ten months.