Banwari Taneja



Born in Sargodha, Punjab, now in Pakistan, shortly after the Partition in 1947, Shri Banwari Lal Taneja grew up in Delhi. Working his way through amateur theatricals, he has risen to be a noted actor of the Delhi stage. Trishanku, directed by Shri B.M. Shah in 1969, was the first major production in which Shri Taneja played a role. This was the start of a long association between the actor and the director. Besides B.M. Shah, Shri Taneja acted in Hindi/ Hindustani plays directed by a host of creative directors, including Ebrahim Alkazi, B.V. Karanth, Rajinder Nath, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Om Shivpuri, Rati Bartholomew, Sai Paranjape, Mohan Mahrishi, M.K. Raina, Wolfram Mehring, Anuradha Kapur, Ranjit Kapoor, Ravi Vaswani, and Nadira Zaheer Babbar. Some of the roles his audiences have cherished are Alyosha in Lower Depths, Shahabuddin in Tughlaq, Rokde in Khamosh! Adalat Jari Hai, Ashok in Adhe Adhure, Nasir in Kanjoos, Kapil in Hayavadana, Shwetang in Lehron ke Rajhans, Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar, Yehudi in Yehudi ki Ladki, and Vilom in Ashad ka Ek Din. Shri Taneja has also acted in Punjabi plays including Matrei Mitti na Howe directed by Shrimati Kavita Nagpal, Kikkar de Kande directed by Chaman Bagga, and Kanak di Balli directed by Pankaj Kapoor. In recent years, he has won acclaim for his performances in Laila Majnu directed by Ram Gopal Bajaj, and Tyagpatra directed by Rajinder Nath. A major role in the television serial 12/24 Karol Bagh has won him many admiring viewers. He has also acted in over five hundred radio plays. Shri Taneja has been felicitated by many theatre institutions for his work. Shri Banwari Lal Taneja receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Indian theatre as an actor.