Mini Biography : BALRAJ SAHNI WAS one of the best actors Indian cinema ever produced. If he hasn’t got his rightful place in the pantheon of stars, it is because he was always an actor and a gentleman, and unfortunately, he passed away before the celebrity-worshipping culture came into being.
After a stint at teaching and radio broadcasting, Sahni started his acting career with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (in plays like ‘The Inspector General’ and ‘Doll’s House’) and like the rest of his IPTA comrades, he was politically conscious and Left-leaning (he was also arrested in the Communist witchhunt of the early fifties). His debut film in a lead role, ‘Dharti Ke Lai’ (1946) by K.A. Abbas, was about the Bengal famine and though it got much appreciation for its portrayal of the bitter truth, it did not get Sahni Ã¢â‚¬â€ who played a starving peasant Ã¢â‚¬â€ immediate attention. Apparently, he stayed hungry for several days to get that look of deprivation on his face. The film also featured his wife Damyanti in a lead role.