Pune: Shanta alias Bimba Modak, eminent Marathi film and stage actress of yesteryear, has passed away here. She was 97. The actress died of old age last night, family members said. Modak, who entered the industry when it was a taboo for women to work in cinema, made her debut in the film “Chul aani Mul” directed by noted playwright and writer Vishram Bedekar in 1946.

Around the same time, she played her first role on the Marathi stage in “Bhavabandhan”, earning wide acclaim in both the art streams. Modak later learned “Natyasangeet” from legendary Bal Gandharva’s musicals and acted in “Swayamwar”, “Saubhadra”and “Manapaman”, the plays that held sway over Marathi audience with its content of mythology and classical music. Her other films included “In Min Sadetin” and “Un Paus”. She was honoured with a lifetime award by Maharashtra government in 1980 for her versatile acting talent.

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