Jamuna Barua was a leading Indian actress of the yesteryears. She was born on 10th October 1919 to Puran Gupta in Agra as Jamuna Gupta. She was one of the six daughters on Puran Gupta. Each of her sisters, like her, was named after a particular river of India, with names like Ganga, Bhagirathi, etc. She married the legendary film director and actor Pramathesh Barua, also known as P.C. Barua, and moved to West Bengal.
In those times, the Indian film industry had its center at West Bengal and not Mumbai. P.C. Barua was a prolific director and actor in the film industry. It was he, who got his wife, Jamuna Barua into acting. Jamuna got her first role in the 1934 film ‘Mohabbat ki Kasauti’. She had a small role in the film, which was directed by her husband. The film was a bilingual film, consisting of Hindi and Bengali languages. Her next film, which also happened by surprise, was
P.C. Barua was making the film in Bengali, and the actress who was supposed to play the role of “Parvati/Paro” canceled at the last moment. This led to Jamuna Barua getting her first major role in any film. P.C. Barua liked her so much that he cast her again in the 1935 Hindi remake of the same film.
Jamuna played the role of Paro in the Hindi “Devdas” as well. The film was a big hit, and it gave Jamuna Barua recognition and exposure. The audience applauded her performance. Jamuna Barua then became a regular face in P.C. Barua’s movies. She acted in Grihadaha in 1936, Maya in 1936, Adhikar in 1939, Uttarayan in 1941, Shesh Uttar in 1942, Chander Kalanka in 1944, all directed by her husband.
All of these movies were shot in Bengali, as well as in Hindi. As a result, Jamuna Barua became a leading star in Bengali as well as Hindi cinema. Jamuna also did Bengali and Assamese films that were not directed by P.C. Barua, and proved that she could do well without her husband as well. Some of these films include Debar, Nilanguria, and Malancha. Jamuna Barua stopped acting with her husband’s unfortunate death in 1951.
Her last Hindi film was Phulwari (1953). Jamuna Barua had health and family troubles and property issues in her later life. She was bed ridden for about six months before her death in 2005 due to illness. She was 86.