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Padma Bhusan and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner actor Soumitra Chatterjee passes away at 85

KOLKATA: Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee on Sunday breathed his last at 12:15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata. He was 85.

The actor’s health condition deteriorated extremely over the past 2 days. Chatterjee’s prolonged stay at the hospital since 6 October had taken a toll on his health.

An official statement confirming Chatterjee’s demise said, “We declare with heavy heart that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed his last at 12-15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic today (15 November 2020). We pay our homage to his soul.”

The 85-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and one of the most celebrated actors in Bengali cinema was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Kolkata’s Belle Vue Hospital for almost 40 days.

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The legendary actor’s condition was “very critical and grim” and last efforts to revive him were being made by the teams of doctors treating him at a private hospital in Kolkata.

Chatterjee had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on November 5 and got admitted to the hospital the very next morning.

Mamata Banerjee expressing sorrow over the death of the legendary actor tweeted, “Feluda’ is no more. ‘Apu’ said goodbye. Farewell, Soumitra (Da) Chatterjee. He has been a legend in his lifetime. International, Indian and Bengali cinema has lost a giant. We will miss him dearly. The film world in Bengal has been orphaned. Best known for his films with Satyajit Ray, Soumitra Da was conferred with Legion of Honor, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Banga Bibhushan, Padma Bhushan & several National Awards. A great loss. Saddened. Condolences to his family, the film fraternity & his admirers across the world.

In a career spanning over six decades, Chatterjee worked with Ray, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and later in his career with Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh.

After making his debut as the adult Apu in Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959), the third part of Apu Trilogy, he went on to work in several notable films with Satyajit Ray, including Abhijan (The Expedition, 1962), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1969); Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973); Sonar Kella (The Fortress, 1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1978) as Bengali detective Feluda; Hirak Rajar Deshe(1980), Ghare Baire (The Home and The World, 1984), Shakha Proshakha (1990) and Ganashatru (Enemy of the People, 1989).

He worked with Mrinal Sen in Akash Kusum (Up in the Clouds, 1965), with Tapan Sinha in Kshudhita Pashan (Hungry Stones, 1960), Jhinder Bandi (1961), Atonko (1984) and with Tarun Majumdar in Sansar Simante (1975), Ganadevata (1978).

He acted in more than 210 films in his career till 2016. He also garnered critical acclaim for his directorial venture Stree Ki Patra (1986) which was based on Streer Patra, a Bengali short story written by Rabindranath Tagore.

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