- Worked primarily as a Shakespearian theatre actor in the late 1940s and early 1950s, touring India and Pakistan.
- First appeared on the big screen in 1950, after filmmaker Madhu Bose saw him performing in Othello and decided to give him a role in Michael Madhusudan.
- Was imprisoned in 1965 for several months for the subversive message of his play Kallol.
- Won the National Film Award for Best Actor in for Bhuvan Shome (1969).
- In 1990 he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
- Prominent supporter of the Communist Party of India, frequently getting involved in left-wing politics.