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Uttar Pradesh, India

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Sashadhar Mukherjee


Sashadhar Mukherjee (29 September 1909 – 3 November 1990) was an Indian filmmaker in Hindi cinema. He started his career with Bombay Talkies in the 1930s and later established Filmistan Studio with Rai Bahadur Chunilal (father of music director Madan Mohan), Ashok Kumar, and Gyan Mukherjee in 1943.


 In the 1950s, he went on to start his independent studio, Filmalaya. He is noted for films like Dil Deke Dekho (1959), Love in Simla (1960), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962), and Leader (1964). He is part of the distinguished Mukherjee clan of Bollywood.


He won the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1956 for Jagriti. In 1967, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor by the Government of India.


Mukherjee was born on 29 September 1909 in Jhansi into an educated, middle-class Bengali Hindu family, the second of four brothers. His father, who belonged to the minor gentry, had received an English education and was in government service. 


The family, at that time, had nothing to do with the entertainment business or any other trade; however, not only Sasadhar but also two of his three brothers were to make a name for themselves in the film industry. 


Mukherjee's younger brothers were film director Subodh Mukherjee and film producer Prabodh Mukherjee. His elder brother was Ravindramohan Mukherjee, who had little contact with the film industry, but whose granddaughter is the successful actress Rani Mukerji.


Mukherjee was married when he was a teenager to Sati Devi Mukherjee (nee Ganguli), a teenage girl of his own Bengali Hindu community and similar family background, in a match arranged by their parents in the usual Indian way. 


Sati Devi's father was also in government service, and that family was also settled in the Hindi-speaking provinces; resultantly, both families spoke Hindi with native-level fluency. This proved important because, mostly due to Mukherjee's influence, all three of Sati Devi's brothers were to become actors and big names in the Hindi film industry. 


Her brothers were the venerable actor Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar, and Kishore Kumar, who was an actor, but more famously a playback singer. Sasadhar Mukherjee was instrumental in helping his own brothers and his wife's brothers to establish themselves in the film industry, and this is perhaps his most important and enduring contribution to Indian films.

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