Veteran Odia actor Bijay Mohanty died at a private hospital here on Monday (July 20) night following a prolonged illness, family sources said. He was 70.
Mohanty was admitted to hospital in the evening after his condition deteriorated, they said.
He was suffering from a heart ailment and underwent treatment at Hyderabad, from where he was brought to Bhubaneswar in a special ambulance last month.
He is survived by his wife Tandra Ray, an actor in the Odia film industry, and daughter Jasmine.
A host of dignitaries including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan mourned Mohanty’s death.
Patnaik described Mohanty as a legendary personality who enriched the Odia film industry through his versatile talents.
“He occupies a very special place in the hearts of millions of fans across the state and outside. His death marks the end of an era in the Odia film industry and has created a deep void in the industry. His contributions to Odia films will leave an unforgettable imprint for all times to come,” Patnaik said in a message.
Expressing his deep sympathy to Mohanty’s bereaved family, the chief minister announced that the veteran actor’s mortal remains will be cremated with state honours.
“His demise marks the end of an era in the Odia film world. Bijay Mohanty, who won the hearts of millions through his acting, will be remembered for the times to come,” Pradhan said in a message.
Born in 1950, Mohanty had started acting during his school days. He had passed from the National School of Drama and had devoted himself to directing plays in the mid-seventies.
He had started his career in the Odia cinema in 1977 with Chilika Tire which had won the national award for that year. He had acted in a number of Odia films including Naga Phasa, Samay Bada Balaban, Danda Balunga, Sahari Bagha, Chaka Bhaunri and Chaka Akhi Sabu Dekhuchi.
He had joined the drama department of the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya and had retired as a professor from the institute.
Mohanty also had a brief stint in politics when he joined the Congress in 2014 and unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections in the same year from Bhubaneswar. He quit politics soon after that.