Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee died at 12.15 pm at a non-public hospital in south Kolkata on Sunday, shedding a 40-day battle with Covid encephalopathy. He was 85 and is survived by his spouse Deepa, who was additionally an actor, son Sougata and daughter Poulomi Basu.
Known for an illustrious profession that spanned over 61 years and round 300 movies, Chatterjee is greatest recognized for taking part in the protagonist in as many as 14 movies made by the legendary Satyajit Ray, a feat no different actor may match.
Chatterjee acquired the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 and 2011, the Padma Bhusan in 2004 and the National Film Award for performing in 2006. The highest honours, nevertheless, got here moderately late in his life. In 2012, Chatterjee acquired the celebrated Dadasaheb Phalke award and, in 2018, the federal government of France honoured him with the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, (Legion of Honour) the best civilian award of the nation.
Gloom descended on the film business and amongst Chatterjee’s numerous followers within the nation and past because the information flashed on tv screens. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the hospital inside quarter-hour of his dying.
“We lost a gem today. Chatterjee was not just a memorable actor on screen and stage. He took part in many movements for the sake of humanity. Today we lost a part of history,” mentioned the chief minister.
“I am extremely grateful to the chief minister, the doctors and all those who took such great care of my father. I would like to ask everybody not to grieve. Let us celebrate his life,” mentioned Chatterjee’s daughter.
Chatterjee was admitted within the hospital on October 6 after he examined constructive for Covid-19. He examined adverse on October 14 however his neurological system was affected by Covid encephalopathy. As a consequence, Chatterjee’s situation drastically deteriorated. He was in a drowsy state over the previous three weeks. His situation deteriorated additional on Friday with neurological features reaching its worst state.
On Saturday night time, Chatterjee’s organs stopped responding to life assist remedy and Dr Arindam Kar, head of the group of docs that handled Chatterjee, mentioned his revival was almost not possible.
Ray’s son and director Sandip Ray mentioned, “I lost a member of my family. He shared a wonderful chemistry with my father. He gave a lot of thought to the characters my father created. His most favourite role was that of Gangacharan in Ashani Sanket. He was so involved in the project that he even pushed the trolley when there was a shortage in manpower one day.”
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Aparna Sen, Chatterjee’s life-lengthy pal and co-actor, mentioned, “He was my first hero. I was only 14 when we first met. I used to call him uncle at that time. He and his wife were friends of our family. I became his friend too as I grew up. I can’t believe he is no more.”
Chatterjee made his debut in 1959 with Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), the third in Ray’s internationally recognised Apu Trilogy, because the husband of one other debutant, 15-12 months-outdated Sharmila Tagore.
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Reacting to Chatterjee’s dying, Tagore informed a tv channel, “We were hoping that he would recover. I lost a very old friend, a very dear friend and a very loyal friend. He left a legacy. He is associated with Ray but he gave wonderful performances while working with other directors as well. He was a very erudite person. I remember listening to him and actor Subhendu Chatterjee as they discussed politics and literature for hours when we were shooting in the outdoor location for Ray’s Aranyer Din Ratri.”
Chatterjee’s physique will likely be taken to his residence in Golf Green and the Technician Studio in Tollygunge earlier than the final rites are carried out on the Keoratala crematorium on Sunday night. The state authorities will honour him with a gun salute.