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Original Paro of 'Devdas' passes away

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Jamuna Barua, who stole hearts with her portrayal of Paro in the 1935 double versions of "Devdas" opposite K.L. Saigal and the legendary Promothesh Chandra Barua, died here Thursday. She was 87.

Jamuna is survived by three sons and grandchildren.

"She was suffering from old age ailments and was confined to bed after a fracture in the leg. She died at home around 2:50 a.m. Thursday," son Dev Kumar Baruah told IANS.

Originally from Goripur of Assam's Goalpara district, Jamuna was married to the legendary actor director Pramathesh Chandra Barua, or P.C. Barua, who passed away in 1950.

Jamuna dominated the film world in the 1930s and was remembered for her stellar performance in "Devdas" that was made in both Hindi and Bengali.

While the role of Paro was later played by many Indian actors ranging from Suchitra Sen to the present day Aishwarya Rai, Jamuna was the first to bring alive the famous Saratchandra Chattopadhaya character on screen and win accolades.

While husband P.C. Barua played Devdas in the Bengali version, singer K.L. Saigal was cast opposite her in the Hindi version. Later, she acted in several other films like "Mukti", "Adhikar" and "Sesh Uttar".

She stopped acting after P.C. Barua died. Though Jamuna also got numerous offers from the Mumbai film industry, she turned down all after her husband's death.

"In those days, it was difficult for a widow to put on the greasepaint and continue acting and so my mother returned to family life," said her son.


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