Kanan Devi, considered the first star of Bengali cinema, died on this day. She was 76. She turned to films for a living when she was 10. She was first noticed in Jor Barat (1931), which was followed by Manomoyee Girls’ School (1935). Pramathesh Barua had wanted her in Devdas, but it did not materialise. She worked for New Theatres, Kolkata, for a number of years. Here she acted with Barua in Mukti. She was also emerging as a popular singing star. Her other well-known films include Vidyapati, Street Singer and Lagan, among many others. She turned a producer herself later, making several films. She founded an organisation for the welfare of actresses. She got the Padma Shri and Dada Saheb Phalke awards. At a time when actresses were admired but not easily accepted in society, Kanan Devi brought a new dignity and pride to her profession.