Veteran Bengali actor and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul died of cardiac arrest early Tuesday in a private hospital in Mumbai. The 61-year-old actor-turned-politician had gone to Mumbai to visit his daughter but later complained of chest pain at the airport during his return to Kolkata. He was then rushed to a hospital in Juhu and he breathed his last at around 4 am, the actor’s family said.
Tapas Paul had been suffering from heart ailments and been to hospitals several times for treatment during the past two years. He is survived by his wife Nandini Paul, who is a participant of the ongoing season of Bigg Boss Bangla, and daughter Sohini Paul, who is also an actor.
Tapas Paul became politically active, aligning with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress against Left rule in West Bengal. He was a two-term TMC MP from Krishnanagar (2009-2019 and MLA from Alipore (2001-2009). Paul remained away from films after CBI arrested him in the Rose Valley chit fund scam in December 2016 and was given bail after 13 months.
A romantic hero, having endeared himself to the Bengali audience since his debut film Dadar Kirti in 1980, Paul became a known household name because of his lead roles in Saheb (1981), Parabat Priya (1984), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Anurager Choyan (1986) and Amar Bandhan (1986). He was awarded the Filmfare Award for Saheb (1981). Paul made his Bollywood debut in Hiren Nag’s Abodh (1984) opposite Madhuri Dixit.
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.