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Sarajubala Devi

Sarajubala Devi (1912-1994) stage and film actress, born in 24-Parganas. Losing her father in childhood, she started acting from the age of nine to meet the needs of her family.

Sarajubala Devi first appeared on the stage in the role of a boy in Kumar Singha and got a prize of Rupees 5 and a silver medal for her outstanding performance. She was associated with Nirmalendu Lahiri's New Manomohan Theatre. Her performance as Krishna in Mirabai won her acclaim and she was compared to her contemporaries tara sundari and Kusum Kumari. Subsequently, she joined the troupe of Dani Babu, the greatest actor of the period. At the age of fourteen, she acted with Dani Babu in Daksa-Yajva, performing the role of Sati. Her acting the role of Kunda Nandini in Bisbrksa earned her the status of first class actress. Subsequently, she performed with famous contemporary actors such as Durgadas Banerjee and shishir kumar bhaduri in Chandra-Sekhar, Mahuya, Mrgaya, Gairik Pataka, Shyamali, Karagar etc. Among her outstanding performances were the roles of Jahanara in dwijendralal roy's Sajahan and Lutfa in sachindra nath sengupta's Sirajuddaula. She also acted in a number of movies such as Rsir Prem and Krishvakanter Will. She had a melodious voice and had learned singing from kazi nazrul islam and Krishan Chandra Dey among others.

Sarajubala Devi was honoured with the title of 'Empress of Acting'. She won several prizes for her performance as both singer and actress, among them, the Academy Prize (1970) and the Calcutta University Gold Medal. [Dulal Bhowmik]