A commemorative postage stamp on Kanan Devi, an Indian actress and singer, considered as the first star of Bengali 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 Kanan devi.
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 : Kanan Bala Devi
Born on Apr 22, 1916 at Howrah, Bengal, British India [now in West Bengal]
Died on Jul 17, 1992 at Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Kanan Devi, actress and singer, started with the name Kananbala. Debuting as child actress in Joydev, she worked under contract with Radha Films where she acted in Jyotish Bannerjee Films. P.C. Barua was unable to obtain her for the role of Paro in ‘Devdas‘ (1935) but she played the lead in his next film, Mukti, which made her a star and launched her long association with New Theatres. The success of ‘Bidyapati‘, and her duets with K.C. Dey, made her the top star of this studio 1937-40. An untrained singer when she entered films, she later studied briefly with Ustad Allah Rakha at Lucknow. She was employed as singer at Megaphone Gramophone and received further training from Bhishmaadev Chatterjee, who was possibly responsible for her distinctive Bengali style. She later learnt Rabindra Sangeet with Anadi Dastidar. She considered Rai Chand Boral to be her real teacher. One of the few New Theatres lead players not to have a stage background, her impact on Bengali film paralleled Shanta Apte‘s on Marathi cinema. Her singing style, usually in rapid tempo, is still identified with some of the biggest studio era hits (esp. Bidyapati, Street Singer, Sapurey). She resigned from New Theatres, (1941) and freelanced in Bengali and Hindi films. She turned producer with Shrimati Pics (1949) and later launched the Sabhyasachi collective with the film ‘Ananya‘. She wrote an autobiography Sabare Ami Nomi (1973).
- Text : Text provided by the Film Archives.