What more can be said about Sumitra Devi that hasn’t been said already, not only is she considered as one of the most beautiful actresses of all time, but she matched her acting skills with that beauty as well! Born on 22nd July 1923, in Birbhum, West Bengal, Sumitra's birth name was Nilima Chattopadhyay. Her father was a top advocate of that time, he used to work in one of the top office jobs in pre-independent India. She was born in West Bengal but brought up in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Then, later their family moved back to Calcutta when a major crisis happened at their Muzaffarpur home. Growing up, during her teenage years she was heavily inspired by the whole persona of actresses like Chandrabati Devi and
. She loved their rebellious attitude of breaking stereotypes by portraying strong women on-screen. Soon, Sumitra decided that she will try to get into the acting world as well. Sumitra decided to write a written application, along with her own pictures and mail in a letter form to the offices of New Theatres, an Indian Film Studios founded by B.N. Sircar.
Sumitra’s family was quite an orthodox and conservative family, and she knew her father would never approve of sending an application to get into acting, and hence Sumitra got help from her brother. Her brother arranged Sumitra to make a trip to the offices of New Theatres. At the auditions, Sumitra was asked to read an excerpt from an article, her expressions and absolutely melodic voice thoroughly impressed the producers and BN Sircar and she was offered the lead role on the spot. She made her debut in 1944 in Meri Behen opposite K.L. Saighal. It was in that movie, from where Nilima got her name, Sumitra Devi. Her next movie was released only a few months after, Sandhi, which was her first commercial success. The movie’s box-office success really solidified Sumitra Devi’s position and she started getting offers after offers. Sumitra won the award of Bengal Film’s Association Best Actress for her sensational acting in Sandhi. Sumitra went on to have an absolutely stellar career, working with some of the biggest names in both Hindi and Bengali cinema. Making over 60 movies in total in both Hindi and Bengali. She married actor Debi Mukherjee in 1946 and sadly passed away in 1990.