Atmaram Bhende is the unsung hero who revived the Maratha theatre when it was dying. Known for the contributions, he made to the Maratha theatre, Bapu, as he was often lovingly called, appeared in several ads and films. His wife shared the stage with him in some of them. He was part of the star-studded cast of Hirani’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai. He was also a part of Marathi movie Yanda Kartavya Aahe. His was a brilliant and endearing appearance in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. It turned out to be one of his most popular appearances ever.
In the 1960’s, he introduced the concept of the revolving stage to the Marathi theatre. He also brought much innovation and experiment to the same. He also introduced farce to the Marathi theater in the 60 years he graced its stage. He is a published author who wrote a Marathi play. He also translated two of Thornton Wilder’s famous plays- ‘Our Town’ and ‘The Matchmaker’ -to Marathi, which were also published. He wrote, for radio, several children’s plays. They are now also available in book form. He has written several detailed and brilliant articles on acting and theater for different magazines. He appeared in several ads and popular television shows. Between 1954 and 1960, he was the Joint Secretary of the Marathi Natya Parishad.
Mr Bhende was a versatile person who ruled the Marathi theater's stage as an actor, director and producer for over half a century. He produced and directed, including several children’s dramas, over seventy plays in the course of his lifetime. At least two plays he directed ran for more than 500 shows. Atmaram Bhinde’s wife was the sister of famous author Nissim Ezekiel. She had passed away in 2010. His son, popularly known as
, was a rockstar. He died on 11th April 2014, following a cardiac arrest. The legend, aged 91, passed away in Ratna Memorial Hospital, Pune in 2014.