Kolkata: Veteran Bengali actor and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 61 at a private hospital in Mumbai. Pal is survived by his wife Nandini Paul, who is a contestant in this year’s Bigg Boss Bangla, and their daughter Sohini, who is also an actor.
Paul, who had gone to Mumbai to visit his daughter, complained of chest pain at the Mumbai airport during his return to Kolkata and was rushed to a hospital in Juhu but died around 4 am, family sources said.
He had been suffering from heart ailments and been to hospitals several times for treatment during the past two years.
Born on September 29, 1958, Pal made his debut in Bengali cinema at the age of 22 and shot to fame with his debut film Dadar Kirti, which was critically acclaimed, in 1980. Soon, Pal emerged as the blue-eyed boy of the Tollywood industry and managed to garner a huge fanfare.
Pal won accolades for films like Saheb (1981), Parabat Priya (1984), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Anurager Choyan (1986), Amar Bandhan (1986) and Guru Dakshina (1987). Pal won a Filmfare Award for his role in Saheb. Pal also worked in Bollywood films. He was also cast opposite Madhuri Dixit in his first Bollywood movies “Abodh”.
Veteran Bengali actor Ranjit Mallick described Paul's death as "untimely". "I am yet to come to terms with the news. He was like my younger brother. Yes he was not keeping well for some time," Mallick said.
A two-term MP from Krishnanagar and MLA from Alipore, Pal was one of the first actors to add sheen to the TMC with his star power in the 2009 assembly elections in West Bengal that decimated the Left Front and elected Mamata Banerjee as the Chief Minister of the state.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Pal won from the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket. That year, Pal had raked up a storm with his comments where he threatened to kill CPI(M) workers on camera and have their women raped if any of his party workers were attacked.
Pal was arrested in 2016 by the CBI for his alleged involvement in Rose Valley group chit fund scam and he was questioned for 4 hours. Pal was believed to be a former director with the Rose Valley group. Pal, was granted bail after 13 months and hence remained away from films.
The Rose Valley Group chit fund scam is believed to be allegedly bigger than the Saradha one.