Veteran dancer and actor Arati Das passed away of cardiac arrest in West Bengal on Thursday. As reported by news agency PTI, the 76-year-old actor, who was more popularly known as ‘Miss Shefali’ died at 6 am at her Sodepur residence in North 24 Paraganas district of the state. The news of the death was confirmed by her niece named Elvin Shefali who told the agency that her aunt complained of ‘chest pain and uneasiness’ before dying of cardiac arrest.
Das, who rose to fame in the 60s and 70s, was known as the ‘Queen of Cabaret’ for her prolific dancing skills. She had worked with celebrated filmmaker Satyajit Ray in films like Pratidwandi and Seemabaddha. As reported by the agency, she had also been suffering from kidney disease for a long time. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee offered her condolences to the family of the first Bengali Cabaret dancer on Twitter and wrote, “Saddened at the passing away of actress Arati Das, famous under her screen name, Miss Shefali. She appeared in two of Satyajit Rays films, Pratidwandi and Seemabaddha. Condolences to her family and her admirers” (sic)
After making her cinema debut with Chowringhee, Shefali went on to star in popular plays like Samrat o Sundari, Saheb Bibi Golam and Ashlil. Her autobiography Sandhyarater Miss Shefali was published recently. Popular actor and director Konkona Sensharma was reportedly making her digital directorial debut with a web-series based on the life of Arati Das.
May her soul rest in peace!