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Veteran Odia actor Atal Bihari Panda has died aged 92

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Veteran Odia actor Atal Bihari Panda, who was also a renowned playwright and lyricist, died of age-related illnesses at VIMSAR, Burla, Sambalpur district on Saturday, family sources said.

He was 92 years old.

Panda had lost his wife a few days ago, they said.

Born in Binika Village in Subarnapur District, Panda started acting in 1944. He had acted in over 100 dramas and had also written 65 plays and radio plays, many of which were in the Sambalpuri language.

Panda was considered one of the pioneering playwrights of the Sambalpuri theater. “Phata Kapal” written by him was Sambalpuri’s first printed play. His second language drama, ‘Bhains Aage Nagdhuni’ also caused quite a stir.

After seeing one of his plays, Odisha’s former chief minister, Dr Harekrushna Mahtab, suggested that he write opera scripts.

Panda, who was in the service of the government, then wrote six opera scripts during his assignment at Cuttack.

‘Baagha Matichi’, an opera written by him, had created a feeling of high tension. ‘Mani Sangraha’ and ‘Klanta Aparanha’ are among his popular Odia plays.

His Sambalpuri play ‘Sadgati’ had won numerous awards in different competitions.

Panda was also a renowned lyricist who wrote many famous Sambalpuri songs. Most of the popular songs sung by the late Fakir Patnaik were written by him.

He left people in awe as he ventured into the world of cinema at the age of 83, making his acting debut in the 2013 Sambalpuri film “Sala Budha”. Panda continued to mesmerize audiences with his next two films “Adim Vichar” and “Sala Budhar Badla” directed by Sabyasachi Mahapatra.

Panda received two consecutive Odisha State Film Awards for Best Actor. He also donated D Litt by Sambalpur University at his 30th convocation in 2019.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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