A commemorative postage stamp on Devika Rani Chaudhuri (Roerich), first lady of Indian cinema [a part of the series ‘Legendary Heroines of India‘] :
Issued on Feb 13, 2011
Issued for : India Post is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Devika Rani.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paisa
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million (0.3 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011)
Miniature Sheets : 0.3 Million (0.2 million for normal distribution and 0.1 million for Indipex-2011)
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Devika Rani Chaudhuri
Born on Mar 30, 1908 at Visakhapatnam, British India [now in Andhra Pradesh]
Died on Mar 9, 1994 at Bangalore, Karnataka, India
- Devika Rani was the star and late manager of Bombay Talkies, from where she dominated the first decade of the Indian sound film and set the standard for the post-1950 Hindi film heroine. Daughter of Col. Choudhury, surgeon-general of Madras, and grandniece of Tagore, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and also held a degree in architecture and was a successful designer of Paisley textiles. She married Himansu Rai in 1929. Her first film produced by Rai and directed by Osten, was as costume designer (and probably as an extra) for “Prapancha Pash” (1929). In Germany, where the film was edited. Rani was able to see Fritz Lang, G.W. Pabst and Sternberg at work and assisted Marlene Dietrich on the set of ‘Derblaue Engel‘ (1930). She also worked briefly with Max Reinhardt. One of the early BBC broadcasts to India featured a Devika Rani recital (15 May 1933). When European Co-Production, especially with Germany, became difficult after 1933, the couple returned to India. She starred in Rai‘s first sound film, ‘Karma‘, made in English and sold as ‘the first Indian talkie with English dialogue‘. The couple started Bombay Talkies in 1934. In ‘Achhut Kanya‘, her arched eyebrows, beads and the vaguely Rajasthani-style, knee-length dress defined the ‘village belle’ for the Hindi cinema.
- She and Ashok Kumar remained the studio’s stars until Rai died (1940) and she took over its management until she retired in 1945. She later married the Russian emigre painter Svetoslav Roerich.
- Text : Text provided by the Film Archives.