Debashree Roy, also known as Debasree Roy, is an Indian actress, dancer, choreographer, politician and animal rights activist. As an actress, she is known for her work in Hindi and Bengali cinema. She has been cited as the reigning queen of Bengali commercial cinema. She acted in more than a hundred films and won over forty awards, including a National Award, three BFJA Awards, five Kalakar Awards and an Anandalok Award. As a dancer, she is known for her stage adaptations of the various forms of Indian folk dances as well as her innovative dance forms imbued with elements from Indian classical, tribal and folk dance. She runs Natraj dance troupe. She is the founder of Debasree Roy Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works for the cause of stray animals. Roy was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Raidighi constituency since 2011 till 2021. Her first acting assignment was Hiranmoy Sen's Bengali devotional film Pagal Thakur (1966) where she was cast as an infant Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Her first leading role came with Arabinda Mukhopadhyay's Bengali film Nadi Theke Sagare (1978). She shot to wider recognition for her role in Aparna Sen's National Award winning directorial debut 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) and Kanak Mishra's Jiyo To Aise Jiyo (1981) under Rajshri Productions. She also appeared in several other Hindi films such as Bura Aadmi (1982), Justice Chaudhury (1983), Phulwari (1984), Kabhie Ajnabi The (1985), Seepeeyan (1986) and Pyar Ka Sawan (1989). After her Bengali film Troyee (1982) became a major success at box office, she concentrated more in Bengali cinema. Her other major hits at the box office include films such as Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Lalmahal (1986), Chokher Aloy (1989), Jhankar (1989), Ahankar (1991) and Yuddha (2005) to name a few. She made her small screen debut in Soumitra Chatterjee starrer Bengali tv series Dena Paona. Her other famous roles from Bengali TV series are that of Louhakapat, Ratnadeep, Nagarpare Roopnagar and Biraj Bou to name a few. In 1988, she appeared as Satyavati in B.R.Chopra's Mahabharat. In 1997, she gave birth to speculation and controversy for her role as Tishyarakshita in Nitish Roy's Samarpan aired on Zee Tv.Roy was conferred with BFJA Award for Best Actress (1992) for the first time for her performance in Indar Sen's Bengali film Thikana (1991). She was conferred with the National Film Award for Best Actress (1995) as well as BFJA Award for Best Actress (1997) for her role in Rituparno Ghosh's National Award winning Bengali film Unishe April (1994). She collaborated with Rituparno Ghosh for the second time in his National Award winning Bengali film Asukh (1999) which once again earned her the BFJA Award for Best Actress (2000). She was also critically acclaimed for her performances in films such as Anutap (1992), Sandhyatara (1994), Kaal Sandhya (1997), Prohor (2002) and Shilpantar (2004). Roy was trained in Odissi by Kelucharan Mahapatra. She was exposed to the various forms of Indian folk dances as well by Mahapatra and took a sincere interest to adapt them on stage. In 1991, she formed the dance troupe Natraj and their first venture Vasavdatta went on to receive full seat occupancy every time it was staged. She, onwards ventured into an attempt to manifest the forms of folk dance of Bengal in Swapner Sandhane, an acclaimed production of Natraj. She was most applauded for her wider attempt to present the various forms of Indian folk dance in Bichitro, the first abroad production of Natraj. In Navras, she exhibited an innovative dance form imbued with elements from Indian classical, tribal and folk dance.
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