Moushumi Chatterjee is an Indian actress who has worked in several Bollywood and Bengali films. She was also the highest paid Hindi actress during 1973-78. She married producer Jayanta Mukherjee and is the mother of Payal and Megha.
Moushumi’s father, Prantosh Chattopadhyaya was in the army, and her grandfather was a judge, and she was born in Kolkata. She wasn’t considered as glamorous, and she also had crooked teeth, yet she was recognized as a gorgeous face in Bollywood, in the 1970s. At the tender age of 15, Moushumi made her film debut in a Bengali movie Balika Badhu in 1967, which was directed by
Tarun Majumdar. Followed by which she was offered roles in numerous Bengali movies but had to decline them because of her academic commitments.
During her class X, a close aunt of her fell gravely ill and wished to see Moushumi getting married before she bid farewell to the world and Moushumi couldn’t say no. She tied the knot to Jayanta Mukherjee, who was the son of music composer and singer,
Hemant Kumar. However, not following the usual trend, Moushumi started her career in Bollywood after her marriage, which was unexpected among women from that era. Her debut in Hindi movies came in 1972, through the film “Anuraag”, also directed by another Bengali director Shakti Samanta.
In the movie, Moushumi essayed the role of a blind girl who falls in love. Moushumi received a nomination in the category of “Filmfare Best Actress” for her work. Subsequently, she was flooded with offers in various other films such as Naina, Kuchhe Dhaage, Benaam and Uss Paar. In 1974, she was cast in Manoj Kumar’s “Roti Kapada Aur Makaan” where she plays the role of a rape survivor. The film went on to be a huge hit and the scene involving her rape is considered as one of the most touching in Hindi film history and is bound to leave the witness scarred. She gathered another nomination for a Filmfare award, but, in the category of “Best Supporting Actress".
Moushumi also featured in other hits such as Swarg Narak, Anand Ashram, and Angoor. Throughout her career, she has been cast as the leading lady to almost all top actors of that era such as Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra, then-struggling Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar. Moushumi and Vinod Mehra as were last as the lead in 10 of the 13 films in which they’ve worked together. After having reached the pinnacle of her career, she was then offered character roles in movies where she played a mother or mother in law, usually cast opposite Dharmendra or Sunil Dutt.
Moushumi also appeared in Doordarshan produced television serials such as Talaash and Shyam Benegal directed Katha Sagar. Moushmi would also go on to make brief appearances in movies right up to 2015, where she starred in the Bollywood movie “Piku”. She also was presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” during the 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards.