UPDATED: January 19, 2021 13:09 IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to social media to pay tribute to late actor Soumitra Chatterjee on his 86th birth anniversary. The politician said that his “glorious presence” is being missed. She had earlier inaugurated an exhibition featuring paintings, film posters and costumes of Soumitra Chatterjee at a gallery in Kolkata. The actor died at 85 on November 15 after battle with Covid-19.
HOW DID MAMATA BANERJEE REMEMBER SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE?
Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to pay her respect to Soumitra Chatterjee. She wrote, “Remembering Soumitra (Da) Chattopadhyay on his birth anniversary. He was a legend, who left his mark on everything he did. We miss his glorious presence (sic).”
She added, “I was privileged to recently inaugurate an exhibition featuring paintings, film posters and costumes done by Soumitra Da. Am touched by the warmth and love of his family (sic).”
SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE DIED AT 85
After a month-long battle with Covid-19, Soumitra Chatterjee breathed his last at Kolkata’s Bellevue Nursing Home on November 15. Chatterjee had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on October 6. However, he soon tested negative for the virus and was shifted to a non-Covid Intensive Trauma Unit (ITU). But the virus made him weak and was facing secondary infections due to the Covid-19 repercussions.
AN ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER
Soumitra Chatterjee had an illustrious career in Bengali films. He was conferred with many accolades including the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and Padma Bhushan. Apart from Indian awards and titles, he was bestowed with France’s highest civilian award, the Legion of Honour, in the year 2018.
Soumitra was always drawn towards performing arts. His acting stint started with essaying bitsy roles in theatre director Shishir Bhaduri’s production when he was in college. He took up a full time job as an All India Radio announcer, but continued to pursue his passion. And then, he happened to cross paths with Satyajit Ray who was looking for fresh faces for his 1956 film, Aparajito. Soumitra did not fit the bill, for he was too old for the role of Apu. Two years later, Ray cast him as the adult Apu.
Soumitra Chatterjee was known for his collaboration with Oscar-winner Satyajit Ray and the Feluda series. The thespian immortalised the titular role of Feluda in Satyajit Ray’s films.