Gita Dey (5 August 1931 – 17 January 2011) was a well-known actress in Bengali film, theatre and Bengali folk theatre. She acted in over two hundred Bengali language films and over two thousand stage shows.
She started as an actress in the Bengali film industry based in Kolkata’s Tollygunge since 1938. Her first role was as a child artiste when she was six years old in Ahutee directed by Dhiren Ganguly
She has been associated with All India Radio since 1954, and enacted character roles in radio plays. However, her last play was Badsahi Chaal (1996), which was directed by Ganesh Mukherjee, and was staged at the Rangana theatre in north Kolkata.
She acted diverse roles in a wide variety of films, and is known for her versatile outlook in her many roles. Her acting even caught the attention of the legendary Laurence Olivier.
Proficient in both negative and comic roles, Dey was brilliant in the role of torn and scheming mother in Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara.
Throughout her long career, she worked with directors like Sisir Bhaduri, Ritwik Ghatak, Debaki Bose and Satyajit Ray. She also acted in a Bollywood musical based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Parineeta, starring Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan.
Though ailing, she went on acting and won applause in recent films like Tolly Lights and Chirodini Tumi Je Amar.
Dey died on 17 January 2011 in Kolkata, aged 79.
For her lifetime contributions to Bengali cinema, in 1998 she received a star medal from the University of Calcutta from the then Governor of West Bengal Saiyid Nurul Hasan. She also got the presidential award for lifetime contribution to Bengali cinema and theater.