Bengali actor and former MP Tapas Paul dead

| | Kolkata
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Bengali actor and former MP Tapas Paul dead

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 | PTI | Kolkata

Bengali actor and former MP Tapas Paul dead

Veteran Bengali actor and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul died of cardiac arrest early Tuesday, a family source said.

He was 61.

Paul, who had gone to Mumbai to visit his daughter, complained of chest pain at the Mumbai airport during his return to Kolkata and was rushed to a hospital in Juhu but died around 4 am, the source said.

He had been suffering from heart ailments and been to hospitals several times for treatment during the past two years.

Paul, a two-term MP from Krishnanagar and an MLA from Alipore, is survived by his daughter and wife.

He was born in Chandannagar in Hooghly district and graduated from Hooghly Mohsin College in bioscience.

Paul moved away from films and active politics after the CBI arrested him in the Rose Valley chit-fund scam in December 2016 and was given bail after 13 months.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in her condolence message, said Paul's death has left a deep void in films and politics.

"Saddened and shocked to hear about the demise of Tapas Paul. He was a superstar of Bengali cinema who was a member of the Trinamool family. Tapas served the people as a two-term MP and MLA. We will miss him dearly. My condolences to his wife Nandini, daughter Sohini and his many fans," Banerjee tweeted.

A romantic hero, having endeared himself to the Bengali audience since his debut film "Dadar Kirti" in 1980, Paul became a household name courtesy his lead roles in "Saheb" (1981), "Parabat Priya" (1984), "Bhalobasa Bhalobasa" (1985), "Anurager Choyan" (1986) and "Amar Bandhan" (1986).

He made his Bollywood debut in Hiren Nag's "Abodh" (1984) opposite Madhuri Dixit Nene.

He was awarded the Filmfare Award for "Saheb" (1981).

In a career spanning over three decades, Paul had worked with veteran actors Prosenjit Chatterjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Ranjit Mallick and Raakhee Gulzar.

Some of his last appearances were in films such as "Khiladi" and "Aat ta Aater Bongaon Local".

Actor Ranjit Mallick described Paul's death as "untimely".

"I am yet to come to terms with the news. He was like my younger brother. He was not keeping well for some time," Mallick said.

After the TMC was formed in 1998, Paul, inspired by Banerjee and her fight against the Left Front regime, had joined the political party in 2000.

He was elected as the MLA from Alipore Assembly seat in 2001.

During the 2008-09 period, when West Bengal was witnessing winds of change, Paul had played an instrumental role in helping the party penetrate the Bengali film industry, which till then was under the firm control of the Left Front-aligned actors and directors.

After Paul's arrest in the Rose Valley chit-fund scam, his family members had time and again alleged that the party did not bother to enquire about him.

Post his release from prison in 2018, Paul withdrew from active politics and communicated to the TMC his unwillingness to contest elections.

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