Iconic actor Soumitra Chatterjee dies at 85

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A file photo of Soumitra Chatterjee from the fan club (courtesy soumitrachattopadhyayo)

Highlight

  • The actor was admitted to the hospital on October 6.
  • He was admitted a day after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • He later tested negative, but had COVID-19-induced encephalopathy.

Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, star of some of the best films in Bengali cinema, has died. He was 85 years old. Chatterjee tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was transferred to the hospital. An official statement read: “We declare with regret that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed her last at 12-15 pm at the Belle Vue Clinic today (November 15, 2020). We pay our tribute to her soul.” West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, arrived at the hospital shortly after Soumitra Chatterjee’s death to be with the actor’s family.

Soumitra Chatterjee was taken to the Kolkata Belle Vue Clinic hospital on October 6., a day after he tested positive for coronavirus. His condition at that time was described as stable. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called to inquire about Chatterjee’s health.

Concern Soumitra Chatterjee’s Health grew as the days passed, particularly the fear of a cancer relapse: the actor had survived prostate cancer. Mr. Chatterjee, who received plasma therapy to combat the virus, was seen by a team of 10 physicians from the Belle Vue Clinic.

Soumitra Chatterjee, Bengal’s most celebrated actor, was best known for his many collaborations with filmmaker Satyajit Ray – they made 14 films together. He made his debut in the 1959 Mr Ray film. Apur Sansar, part of the acclaimed Pather Panchali trilogy. Chatterjee was also directed by Satyajit Ray in Charulata, Devi, Teen Kanya, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru and other movies. He was the first actor to play the role of Feluda, the detective created by Satyajit Ray. Soumitra Chatterjee played Feluda in two films directed by Mr Ray: Sonar Kella Y Joy Baba Felunath.

Soumitra Chatterjee was also directed by other greats of Bengali cinema, including Mrinal Sen in Akash Kusum.

His last departure to the big screen was in 2019. Sanjhbati.

Soumitra Chatterjee’s extensive list of awards and honors includes the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honor, in 2012. Mr. Chatterjee was the winner of three national awards for his performances in movies. Antardhan, Dekha Y Padokkhep. In 2018, he received the French Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civil award. In 1989, Satyajit Ray also received the same award.

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