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Nanasaheb Phatak

Marathi Actor Nanasaheb Phatak
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Written By - Team Nettv4u

Nanasaheb Phatak was a great actor and theatre artist in Marathi theatre. He left a memorable impression with his deep and heavy voice and strong dialogue interpretation. He was born on June 24, 1899. He started performing on stage at a very young age. He is believed to have begun in Marathi theatre in the play Raksha Bandhan, in which he performed the role of Giridhar. One of his earliest performances was in 1919 in Yashwant Tipnis's Matsyagandha as Shantanu the old king. With the help of his mentor, Shri Ganpatrao Joshi, a proficient actor widely known as 'The Garrick of Maharashtra', Nanasaheb Phatak reached the peak of his career from 1921 to 1936 during his time with the Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali.

Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali was founded by singer and actor Sangeet Surya Keshavrao Bhosale. On September 20, 1913, the mandala (troupe) launched a new play, Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha (Demonic Ambition), at the Bombay Theatre, which was written by the highly honoured playwright Veer Vamanrao Gopal Joshi. The play settled Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali as a well-reputed company in the industry, and eminent playwrights began to hand over their scripts to be performed by the troupe. Keshavrao Bhosle also introduced the use of red velvet curtains in the Marathi theatre.

In the course of his tenure with the mandali, Phatak received tremendous admiration and appreciation for performing in plays, which included Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha in 1914, Sonyacha Kalash (Golden Spire) in 1932, and Warerkar's Sanyasyacha Sansar (Sanyasi's Life) in 1919. Nanasaheb Phatak also worked in films, and his significant screen credits include in 1925 the silent movie Bajirao-Mastani, his character as the evil Kamsa in Akashvani in 1934, the rival poet in Pratibha in 1937, the hero Mansingh in Rajput Ramani in 1936, and Shivaji in Thoratanchi Kamala in 1941. He played the role of Sudhakar, the alcoholic, in Gadkari's Ekach Pyala in 1945, which laid down a new standard for other Marathi theatre actors.

Phatak performed this role for over 15 years. His skills to embody different characters led him to act across genres in drama, varying from social to Shakespearean and historical to mythological. In 1954, the prominent Marathi writer Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar, widely known by his pen name Kusumagraj, altered Shakespeare’s Macbeth as Rajmukut in Marathi for the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. This play was directed by a British director, Herbert Marshall, and it starred Durga Khote Durga Khote is a legendary actress of Indian cinem >> Read More... as Lady Macbeth and Nanasaheb Phatak as Macbeth. Nanasaheb Phatak was continuously interested in Shakespeare. Phatak remained a supreme figure for over 35 years on the Marathi stage. Nanasaheb Phatak is well known for Rajput Ramani (1936), Thoratanchi Kamla (1941), and Pratibha (1937). He was awarded the Akademi Award in 1959 for Marathi stage acting. He passed away on April 8, 1974.

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