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Himanshu Rai

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Native name  হিমাংশু রায়
Name  Himanshu Rai
Nationality  India
Role  Devika Rani's husband

Occupation  Actor, Director
Died  May 16, 1940, Mumbai
Religion  Hinduism
Education  University of Calcutta
Himanshu Rai Portrait of Himanshu Rai one of the pioneers of Indian
Born  1892Cuttack, [Orissa Presidency
Spouse  Devika Rani (m. 1929–1940)
Movies  Karma, Prem Sanyas, A Throw of Dice, Achhut Kannya, Jeevan Prabhat
Similar People  Devika Rani, Franz Osten, Seeta Devi, Niranjan Pal, Saraswati Devi

Himanshu Rai (1892 – 16 May 1940), one of the pioneers of Indian cinema, is best known as the founder of the Bombay Talkies studio in 1934, along with Devika Rani. He was associated with a number of movies, including Goddess (1922), The Light of Asia (1925), Shiraz (1928), A Throw of Dice (1928) and Karma (1933). He was married to actress Devika Rani Chaudhuri (1908-1994).



Himanshu Rai httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Born into an aristocratic Bengali family, he spent several years in Santiniketan for his schooling. After obtaining a law-degree from Kolkata, he went to London to become a barrister. There he met a playwright and screenwriter Niranjan Pal. That association led to making of a film The Light of Asia, which he co-directed with Franz Osten. Rai was also one of the main actors in this film. While making his third film, A Throw of Dice, he met and fell in love with beautiful Devika Rani, a great-grandniece of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Before this film was complete, he married her.

Bombay Talkies

Himanshu Rai Himanshu Rai and Nayantara at their wedding reception at

At Bombay Talkies studio, Rai partnered with Sashadhar Mukherjee, and Mukherjee's brother in law worked as a technician in the studio. Due to suspected romantic liaisons between his wife and the leading man in one film, Himanshu sacked the leading man and cast the gawky, awkward-looking and reluctant brother-in-law Ashok Kumar as the leading man. Kumar went on to have a successful career in films.

After Rai's death, there was a struggle for studio control. His widow Devika Rani was in conflict with Sashadhar Mukherjee. Eventually there was dual control and alternate production of films by the two camps. During this era Mukherjee produced the studio's biggest hit Kismet in 1943. Then Mukherjee broke away to form Filmistan Studio in partnership, and Devika Rani, fully in charge of the studio, did not have as much success.

In 1945 Devika Rani married Svetoslav Roerich and moved away from Bombay and films. Ashok Kumar and Mukherjee made a bid to revive Bombay talkies and produced one big hit in Mahal. Eventually the studio shut down and is now a decrepit property in Malad.


  • Kangan (1939) / The Bangle (English title)
  • Izzat (1937)
  • Jeevan Prabhat (1937)
  • Savitri (1937)
  • Achhut Kanya (1936) / Untouchable Girl (English title)
  • Janmabhoomi (1936)
  • Jeevan Naiya (1936)
  • Jawani Ki Hawa (1935) / Leichtsinn der Jugend (Germany title)
  • Karma (1933)
  • Prapancha Pash (1929) / A Throw of Dice (English title) / Schicksalswürfel (Germany title)
  • Shiraz (1928) / Grabmal einer großen Liebe (Germany title)
  • Actor

  • Karma (1933)
  • Prapancha Pash (1929) / A Throw of Dice (English title) / Schicksalswürfel (Germany title)
  • Shiraz (1928) / Grabmal einer großen Liebe (Germany title)
  • Prem Sanyas (1925) / Leuchte Asiens (Germany title)
  • Writer

  • Achhut Kanya (1936) / Untouchable Girl (English title)
  • Director

  • Prem Sanyas (1925) / Leuchte Asiens (Germany title)
  • References

    Himanshu Rai Wikipedia