Today is the birth date of famous singer, actress, and filmmaker Kanan Devi. He was born on 22 April 1916 in Howrah, British Bengal, into a middle-class Bengali family. Kanan Devi's name is remembered in the Indian cine world as a person who made her special recognition among the audience not only from the mode of filmmaking but also from acting and playback singing. Without training, Kanan entered the world of singing and also made her mark in the field of acting. She was the first Bengali artist to be awarded the 'Dada Saheb Phalke Award' in 1976 for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.
Kanan's adopted father Rameshchandra Das died when she was just 10 years old. After this, seeing the financial responsibility of the family, Kanan Devi started sharing her work with her mother. Then, with the help of a family friend, he got an opportunity to work in the film 'Jayadeva' produced by Jyoti Studio. After this, Kanan Devi acted as a child artist in several films made under the banner of Radha Films under the direction of Jyotis Banerjee.
After some time Kanan Devi joined the New Theater. Meanwhile, he met Raichand Boral, who proposed to work in Hindi films in front of Kanan Devi. In the thirties and forties, film actors or actresses had to play the role of playback singer as well as acting in films. Keeping this situation in mind, Kanan Devi also started learning music. He took music training from Ustad Allarakha and Bhishmadev Chatterjee. The film 'Mukti' released in the year 1937 proved to be a super hit film of actress Kanan Devi's cine career. After the success of this film, directed by PC Barua, Kanan Devi was counted among the top performers of the New Theater.
Kanan Devi left New Theater in 1941 and now she started working independently. 'Jawab', which came out in 1942, proved to be the biggest hit in Kanan Devi's Hindi film career. The song 'World Hai Hurricane Mail', which was filmed on him in this film, became very popular in those days. This was followed by films like Kanan Devi's 'Hospital', 'Onefool' and 'Rajalakshmi'. 'Chandrasekhar' in 1948 was Kanan Devi's last Hindi film as an actress. In this film, his opposite was Ashok Kumar.
Even though Kanan succeeded in films, he faced a lot of hardships and pain in his personal life. In 1940, Kanan Devi married Ashok Maitra, son of the famous educationist of Brahma Samaj, Haramba Chandra Maitra, but the whole society was against this marriage because it was not considered good for women to work in films at that time. At the same time, when the famous poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore gave a gift and blessing on the marriage of Kanan and Ashoka, the Brahmo Samaj also criticized him a lot. However, the marriage later broke up and Kanan had to divorce. Kanan was saddened by this and despite the divorce, his own in-laws, especially mother-in-law and sister-in-law, continued to have a good relationship.
Then in the year 1949, Kanan got married to Haridas Bhattacharya, a naval officer. Kanan Devi said goodbye to this world on 17 July 1992. In his three-decade-long cine career, he acted in about 60 films. Kanan's contribution to the cinema world was conferred with the 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award' in 1976. He was also awarded the Padma Shri by the government in 1968.