Bharati Debi was born in Kolkata on October 22nd, 1922. Her real name was Mahamaya. Amar Mallick named her Bharati. Her father’s name was Hari Krishna Das.
She studied in Bharati Bidyalaya but could not sit for the higher Secondary Examination for her busy schedule of film acting. Her family friend was internationally famous body builder Bishnu Charan Ghosh. He introduced Bharati Debi to music director Raichand Baral. For Raychand’s recommendation she got a chance of a leading lady in the film “Daktar”, that was her debut film released in the year 1940 directed by Nitin Basu and Sailajananda Mukhopadhay.
She started learning Hindi, Urdu and Gujrathi to act in films in those languages. She learnt singing from Amir Khan and Asraf Hussain. She used to do playback in many films.
Her first marriage was with body building teacher Mani Ray in Kashi Hindu Biswabidyalaya when she was only 13. This marriage life was not very happy. She changed her religion to Islam and divorced her first husband. After this she again changed her religion to Hinduism to marry Amar Mallick. She received President Award in 1959 for her role in “Sagar Sangam”. She also acted in commercial stages. She has written many short stories in a pen-name Mahasweta.