Imphal: Manipur’s popular actor Wahengbam Somoraj, who shot to fame for his role in the film – Cheina – died after suffering a long spell of depression in his residence at Tera Sapam Leirak here Monday.
He was 48 and is survived by his wife.
Somoraj played ‘Thambou’, a sincere Pradhan who dreamt of development and progress for his village. However, he developed mental health issues and succumbed to it. After his sterling role as psychiatric Pradhan, many film projects flooded him. However, he chose only to act in projects which interested him. Beside his roles in digital film, he was a popular face in Manipuri music videos, notable ones being, “Mitta Karigi Kajal No Yekliba” and “Nungshi Maithong do Yengjage”.
Manipur State Film Development Society, MSFDS, deeply mourned the demise of Wahengbam Somoraj, stating that Manipuri cinema has lost a talented and extremely dedicated film actor. MSFDS shared the grief of the bereaved family. Although he is gone, his memory will be cherished by the film community, said a statement issued by its secretary Sunzu Bachaspatimayum.
National award winning filmmaker, Oken Amakcham, who directed, “Cheina” recalled Somoraj as a soft-spoken, dedicated aspiring actor when he casted him for his film after seeing his performance in the hit music video, ”Mayara Mayara”.
“Somoroj came to me when I was scouting out for a main protagonist for “Cheina”. He bowed and touched my feet and requested me to mould him into a good film actor. I assured him to do the same if he dedicates and willing to discipline himself as a professional. In fact, “Cheina was his training ground as an actor and I must say he transformed into a fine actor, playing his role very well,” said Amakcham, who won the best director award for “Cheina” and the film itself was adjudged the best feature film at the 6th Manipur State Film Awards 2006.
As a mark of respect and homage to the departed actor, a candlelight memorial was observed at the Manipuri Cinema Memorial at MSFDS complex at Palace gate at the film community.