Karuna Bandopadhay was born in Kolkata on December 25th, 1919. Her father was Sachindranath Sen and mother Sudha Sen. She received her masters degree in English form Calcutta University in the year 1941. She was basically interested in stage acting. She was associated with Jana Natya Sangstha and Little Theatre Group. In LTG she plays like GRSTS (1950) and Doll’s House(1952).
After attaining masters degree she was married to Subrata Bandopadhay in 1941. She shifted to Bombay in 1941 because her husband was transferred to Bombay. She was also associated with the Bombay ring of Jana Natya Sangstha. Satyajit Ray was their family friend. Ray requested her to appear in “Pather Panchali” in the role of Apu’s mother Sarbojaya. Her dubut film “Pather Panchali” was released in the year 1955. Her acting was highly praised. She was awarded the best supporting actress for her role in “Pather Panchali” in 1955 by Ultorath Patrika. There after she acted in three other Ray’s films, “Aparajito”, “Debi”, and “Kanchanjangha”. She also acted in Mrinal Sen’s “Interview” in the role of Protagonist’s mother. She acted only in nine Bengali films.