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Renowned actor, director, and Padma Shri awardee Sadhu Meher breathed his last

Mumbai:2/2/24: Renowned actor, director, and Padma Shri awardee Sadhu Meher breathed his last on Friday at his Mumbai residence. The 84-year-old legend was celebrated for his impactful performances and contributions to both Bollywood and Odia cinema.

Born on January 1, 1940, Sadhu Meher was one of the central figures of the Indian New Wave movement in the ‘70s. Actor, director, writer, and producer Meher is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute India in Pune. He began his career as an actor and later emerged as a prominent filmmaker from Orissa. His debut role was playing a junior railway official called Jadhav Patel in the landmark Mrinal Sen film “Bhuvan Shome” (1969), often described as the first of the New Wave films. Next, he played a role in “Icchapuram” (1970), the only children’s film directed by Mrinal Sen based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore.

Meher won a National Award for his performance in Shyam Benegal’s debut film “Ankur” (1974) as Kishtayya, a deaf-mute alcoholic Dalit potter who communicates only through gestures. He went on to act in two more of Benegal’s award-winning films “Nishant” (1975) and “Manthan” (1976). He played a role in Bhimsain Khurana’s acclaimed film “Gharaonda” (1977) and a greedy uncle in Tapan Sinha’s children’s film “Safed Haathi” (1978). He played a disgruntled tribal in Mrinal Sen’s film award-winning film “Mrigaya” (1976)

Along with Hindi films he also made his mark in the Odia film industry acting in 38 films and directing five: “Abhimaan”(1977), “Aparachita”(1980), “Abhilash” (1983), “Gopa Re Badhhuchhi Kala Kanhei”(1994) and “Babula” (1985). Meher’s directorial debut “Abhimaan” (1977) was the first film to be produced in the North Odisha town of Baripada. It introduced Baripada-born actor Uttam Mohanty who became a superstar of Odia cinema along with his celebrated actress wife Aparajita Mohanty. He also starred in Sabyasachi Mohapatra’s first Koshali language film BHUKHA and multilingual masterpiece “Jai Jagannath,” leaving an indelible mark on Indian cinema. Sadhu Meherhad also acted in Manmohan Mahapatra” ‘s debut film SEETA RATI which was first showcased in an Indian Panorama in 1982. Sadhu Meher was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award, in 2017 and was conferred Jayadev Award in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to Odia cinema.

 

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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