Thursday 3 December 2020
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Apu leaves Sansar

But being Satyajit Ray's 'hero' was not all that there was to Soumitra Chatterjee; he was equally at home on stage as an actor and playwright

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Entertainment Apu leaves Sansar

Bengali cinema’s colossal actor Soumitra Chatterjee died today at the age of 86. After a prolonged fight against COVID-19, the veteran superstar of Bengali films, actor, playwright, elocutionist, poet and painter breathed his last at 12:15 PM at Bellevue Nursing Home in central Kolkata.

Soumitra was admitted to Bellevue in September after contracting the novel coronavirus. He had cancer at one point, which did not spare him completely either. His condition, therefore, swung between extremes at the nursing home. In addition, he was suffering from multiple co-morbidities. Doctors tried to save the actor by attempting even plasma therapy and respiratory surgery, but no treatment helped him leave the hospital hale and hearty.

On Friday, Soumitra’s condition worsened. Heart and kidney complications ensued. His limbs gave up. Doctors said it was impossible for Soumitra to recover without a miracle. A shadow of anxiety descended on the fans.

Soumitra’s family members reached the hospital in the morning after spending a tense night. After a while, they left the hospital. But soon they were called back.

Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee dies after battle with COVID-19

Soumitra’s daughter Paulomi refused to comment on her father’s condition as reporters approached her. When contacted by phone later, she said, “There will be an official announcement about father’s health. We will comment only after that. The doctors told us to stay put.”

Shortly afterwards, the hospital authorities informed that the 86-year-old actor had died. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached Bellevue. She spoke to reporters, as did Paulomi now. “I’ll take Dad to our house at Golf Green first at 2 PM,” the daughter said, “After that, I will take him to Rabindra Sadan Technicians’ Studio. From there, we will leave for Keoratala crematorium. We are grateful to Didi (the chief minister) and the Government of West Bengal. Everyone took care of my father with so much care, love and respect. Dad will always be with us.”

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was heard standing in Bellevue lamenting that she was unable to save Soumitra despite her best efforts. “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,” Banerjee wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter in three languages (English, Bangla and Hindi) on the death of Soumitra Chatterjee. He wrote, “Shri Soumitra Chatterjee’s death is a colossal loss to the world of cinema, cultural life of West Bengal and India. Through his works, he came to embody Bengali sensibilities, emotions and ethos. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Soumitra Chatterjee was compared to Uttam Kumar till the 1980s

Obituary: Soumitra Chatterjee

As engrossing as the competition between Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna before the latter left for Rajneesh’s ashram, Bengali film aficionados would always who was better of Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee. While the former was ‘hero’ material, thanks to his charm, the latter won hearts with stunning portrayal of the loser. Until in ripe age, Soumitra rarely played a happy man. Flamboyance was never his signature mark. But that was precisely what another legend, filmmaker Satyajit Ray, was looking for to cast as the protagonist in Apur Sansar.

While it took Ray more than two decades since his debut with Pather Panchali to cast Uttam Kumar in Nayak, Soumitra almost always grabbed the lead role in the parallel cinema of India’s first Academy Awards (Oscar) winner.

Filmography

YearMovieRoleDirectorCo-starsMusic DirectorBanner
1959Apur SansarApurba Kumar RoySatyajit RaySharmila Tagore, Alok Chakraborty, Dhiresh MajumdarRavi ShankarSatyajit Ray Productions
1960DeviUmaprasadSatyajit RaySharmila Tagore, Chhabi BiswasAli Akbar KhanSatyajit Ray Productions
1960Kshudhita PashanTapan SinhaArundhati Debi, Chhabi BiswasAli Akbar KhanEastern Circuit Pvt. Ltd
1961Teen KanyaAmulyaSatyajit RayAparna Sen, Santosh DuttaSatyajit RaySatyajit Ray Productions
1961Jhinder BandiMayurbahanTapan SinhaUttam Kumar, Arundhati DebiAli Akbar KhanB.N.Ray Productions
1961PunaschaMrinal SenKanika Majumdar, Kali BanerjeeSamaresh RayMrinal Sen Productions
1961SwayambaraAsit SenSupriya Debi, Dilip MukhopadhyayRavi ShankarUnited Films
1961SwaralipiAsit SenSupriya Debi, Anil ChattopadhyayHemanta MukherjeeJanata Pictures & Theatres Ltd
1962AbhijanNarsinghSatyajit RayWaheeda Rehman, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Rabi GhoshSatyajit RayAbhiyatrik
1962Atal Jaler AhwanJayanta ChoudhuryAjoy KarBhanu Bannerjee, Ranjana Bannerjee, Chhabi Biswas, Aparna Devi, Chhaya Devi, Jahar RoyHemanta MukherjeeR. D. Bansal And Co.
1962BanarasiArup GuhathakurtaAnup Kumar, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Tarun Kumar, Tulsi Chakraborty, Shyam LahaAli Akbar KhanFilmcraft Pvt. Ltd
1963Saat Pake BandhaProfessor Sukhendu DuttaAjoy KarSuchitra Sen, Pahari Sanyal, Chhaya DebiHemanta MukherjeeR. D. Bansal And Co.
1963BarnaliAjoy KarPahari Sanyal, Sharmila Tagore, Chhaya Debi, Haradhan BandopadhyayKalipada SenD. R. Productions
1964CharulataAmalSatyajit RayMadhabi MukherjeeSatyajit RayR.D.Bansal & Co.
1964Kinu Gowalar GoliO. C. GangopadhyayJahor Roy, Pahari Sanyal, Sharmila Tagore, Kali Bandyopadhyay, Gita Dey, Ruma Guha ThakurtaSalil ChowdhuryK. G. Productions
1964PratinidhiAmalMrinal SenAnup Kumar, Jahar Roy, Sabitri Chattopadhyay, Kali Chakraborty, Prosenjit ChatterjeeHemanta MukherjeeElora Productions
1965Ektuku BasaTarun MajumdarAnup Kumar, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay, Jahar Roy, Pahari Sanyal, Rabi Ghosh, Ajit Chattopadhyay, Gita DeyHemanta MukherjeeChitradip
1965KapurushAmitabha RoySatyajit RayMadhabi Mukherjee, Haradhan BandopadhyaySatyajit RayR. D. Bansal And Co.
1965Kanch Kata HireAjoy KarJahor Roy, Lily Chakraborty, Bikash Roy, Subhendu Chatterjee, Chhaya DebiHemanta Mukherjee,R. D. Bansal And Co.
1965Akash KusumAjay SarkarMrinal SenAparna Sen, Subhendu Chatterjee, Haradhan BandopadhyaySudhin DasguptaPurbachal Films
1966MoniharSalil SenBiswajit Chatterjee, Jahor Roy, Pahari Sanyal, Rabi Ghosh, Sandhya Roy, Bikash Roy, Chhaya Debi, Bharati DebiHemanta MukherjeeSree Arup Productions
1966Joradighir Chowdhury ParibarAjit LahiriMadhabi Mukherjee, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay, Tarun Kumar, Bikash Roy, Dilip Ray, Kali Bandyopadhyay, Ruma Guha ThakurtaKalipada SenShadow Productions
1967Hathat DekhaNityananda DuttaAnup Kumar, Bhanu Bandopadhyay, Jahor Roy, Pahari Sanyal, Sandhya RoyShyamal MitraSree Rajesh Productions
1967Prastar SwaksharSalil DuttaAnup Kumar, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay, Jahor Roy, Tarun Kumar, Sandhya Roy, Bikash Roy, Gita DeyRobin ChatterjeeChhayachhabi Pratisthan
1967MahashwetaPinaki MukherjeeAnil Chatterjee, Jahor Roy, Utpal Dutta, Anjana Bhowmik, Chhaya Debi, Gita DeyRajen SarkarB. K. Productions
1968BaghiniBijoy BoseBhanu Bandyopadhyay, Jahor Roy, Rabi Ghosh, Tarun Kumar, Rakhee, Sandhya Roy, Bikash Roy, Chhaya Debi, Ruma Guha ThakurtaHemanta MukherjeeS. M. Films
1969ParineetaShekharAjoy KarMoushumi Chatterjee, Bikash Roy, Chhaya Debi, Gita DeyHemanta MukherjeeChitralipi Films
1969Teen Bhubaner PareAshutosh BandyopadhyayRabi Ghosh, Tarun Kumar, Tanuja, Chinmoy Roy, Padma Devi, Aparna DebiSudhin DasguptaSatirtha Productions
1969Prothom Kadam PhoolInder SenTanuja, Subhendu Chatterjee, Chhaya Devi, Shamit BhanjaSudhin Dasgupta
1970Aranyer Din RatriAshim ChatterjeeSatyajit RaySharmila Tagore, Aparna SenSatyajit RayPriya Films
1970Aleyar AloMangal ChakrabortyAnup Kumar, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay, Kali BandyopadhyayGopen MullickUnit Productions Of India
1970PadmagolapAjit LahiriAparna Sen, Anup KumarShyamal MitraS. B. P. Production
1970Baksa BadalDr.Pratul BhattacharjeeNityananda DuttaAparna SenSatyajit RayD. M. Productions
1971MalyadaanAjoy KarBhanu Bandyopadhyay, Bikash Roy, Sabitri Chattopadhyay, Gita DeyHemanta MukherjeeChitralipi Films
1971Khuje BeraiSalil DuttaAparna Sen, Anil Chatterjee, Tarun Kumar, Utpal Dutta, Bikash RoyRobin ChatterjeeGeetali Pictures
1972AparnaSalil DuttaTanujaRobin ChatterjeeSircar Productions P Ltd.
1972StreeSitapatiSalil DuttaUttam Kumar, Bhanu Bandyopadhyay, Tarun Kumar, Subrata Chattopadhyay, Jahor RoyNachiketa GhoshBaby June Productions
1973Nishi KanyaAshutosh BandyopadhyayBhanu Bandyopadhyay, Tarun Kumar, Dilip Ray, Nirmal Ghosh, Ruma Guha ThakurtaSudhin DasguptaSatarupa Pictures
1973Basanta BilapShyamDinen GuptaAparna Sen, Anup Kumar, Rabi Ghosh, Tarun Kumar, Chinmoy Roy, Tapen ChatterjeeSudhin DasguptaSonali Productions
1973Natun Diner AloAjit GangopadhyayAnup Kumar, Bikash Roy, Chinmoy RoyNachiketa GhoshBadal Pictures
1973Ashani SanketGangacharan ChakravartiSatyajit RayBabita, Sandhya RoySatyajit RayBalaka Movies Pvt Ltd
1973AgnibhramarAjit GangopadhyayUtpal Dutta, Pahari Sanyal
1974Jodi JantemYatrikSupriya Choudhury, Uttam Kumar, Tarun Kumar, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Haradhan BandopadhyayHimangshu BiswasChitrajug
1974SanginiDinen GuptaAnup Kumar, Haradhan Bandopadhyay, Jahor Roy, Rabi Ghosh, Chinmoy Roy, Kali Bandyopadhyay, Tapen ChatterjeeSudhin DasguptaSonali Productions
1974Sonar KellaPradosh C. Mitra / Feluda (Private Investigator)Satyajit RaySantosh Dutta, Haradhan Bandopadhyay, Kamu Mukherjee, Ajoy Bandopadhyay, Kushal Chakraborty, Sailen MukherjeeSatyajit RayIndrapuri Studio Ltd.
1974AsatiSalil DuttaAparna Sen, Utpal Dutta, Haradhan BandopadhyayNachiketa GhoshGitali Pictures
1975Chhutir PhandeSalil SenAparna Sen, Jahor Roy, Rabi Ghosh, Tarun Kumar, Utpal Dutta, Chinmoy RoyNachiketa GhoshJanhavi Chitram
1975Sansar SimanteyTarun MajumdarUtpal Dutta, Santu MukhopadhyayHemanta Mukherjee
1975NishimrigayaDinen GuptaAparna Sen, Utpal DuttaHemanta MukherjeeSanchita Productions
1978GanadevataDebu PanditTarun MajumdarKali Banerjee, Sandhya Roy, Tapen Chatterjee, Samit BhanjaHemanta MukherjeeDepartment of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal
Nadi Theke SagareArabinda MukherjeeChhaya Devi, Sandhya Roy, Debashree RoyHemanta Mukherjee
1979DevdasDevdasDilip RoyUttam Kumar, Sumitra Mukherjee, Supriya ChoudhuryS.S.Productions
1979Joi Baba FelunathPradosh C. Mitra / Feluda (Private Investigator)Satyajit RaySantosh Dutta, Haradhan Bandopadhyay, Utpal Dutt, Siddartha Chatterjee, Biplab ChatterjeeSatyajit RayR.D.B. Productions
1980Hirak Rajar DesheUdayan PanditSatyajit RayTapen Chatterjee, Rabi Ghosh, Utpal Dutt, Santosh Dutta, Kamu MukherjeeGovernment of West Bengal
1981PratisodhSanatanSukhen DasUttam Kumar, Sabitri Chatterjee, Sukhen Das, Mahua Roychoudhury, Shakuntala Barua, Anup Kumar, Subhendu Chatterjee, Bhanu Bandopadhyay, Rabi Ghosh, Gyanesh MukherjeeAjoy DasRatna Film
1984Ghare BaireSandip MukherjeeSatyajit RayVictor Banerjee, Swatilekha SenguptaSatyajit RayNFDC
1986KonyKhitish SinhaSaroj DeySriparna Banerjee, Snigdha BanerjeeChinmay Chattopadhyay
1986Atankaschool masterTapan SinhaProsenjit Chatterjee, Satabdi RoyTapan Sinha
1989GanashatruDr. Ashok GuptaSatyajit RayRuma Guha Thakurta, Mamata Shankar, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Deepankar De, Manoj MitraSatyajit RayNFDC
1989Ghurghutiyar GhotonaFeludaBibhash ChakrabortyA TV film made for DD Bangla
1990Golokdham RahasyaFeludaBibhash ChakrabortyA TV film made for DD Bangla
1990Shakha ProshakhaProshantoSatyajit RayAjit Bannerjee, Haradhan Bannerjee, Deepankar Dey, Ranjit Mallick, Mamata ShankarSatyajit RaySatyajit Ray Productions, Gérard Depardieu (D. D. Productions), Daniel Toscan Du Plantier (Erato Films) and Soprofilms
1994The Broken JourneyDr. SenguptaSandip RayLily Chakravarty, Debatosh Ghosh, Sadhu Meher, SuvalakshmiSandip RayDoordarshan, Filmopolis, NFDC
1995Kakababu Here Gelen?Asit DharPinaki ChaudhuriSabyasachi Chakrabarty, Arghya Chakraborty, Kushal ChakrabortyNFDC
1996LathiPrabhat RoyProsenjit Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Abhishek Chatterjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Dulal LahiriBappi Lahiri
1998Baba Keno ChakarSwapan SahaAbdur Razzak, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Abhishek ChatterjeeAlauddin AliAnjali Films
1999AsukhSudhamoy/Rohini’s FatherRituparno GhoshDebashree Roy, Gouri Ghosh, Shankar ChakrabortySuresh Productions
1999Satyajiter Gappo-Ambar Sen Antardhan RahashyaAmbar SenSandip RaySabyasachi Chakrabarty, Bibhu Bhattacharya, Saswata ChatterjeeSandip RayShubho Raj Arts
2001Guru ShisyaShankar MaharajSwapan SahaProsenjit Chatterjee, Rituparna SenguptaBabul BoseSilver Vally Communications Ltd.
2004Shadows of TimeOld RaviFlorian GallenbergerPrashant Narayanan, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Irrfan Khan, Tillotama ShomeGert Wilden Jr.BAVARIA FILM INTERNATIONAL
2006KrantikaalSekhar DasRoopa Ganguly, ShilajiNational Award for best Bengali Film.
2006MLA FatakeshtoSwapan SahaMithun Chakraborty, Debashree Roy, Koel MallickJeet GannguliShree Venkatesh Films
2006PodokkhepSuman GhoshNandita Das
2007Minister FatakeshtoChief MinisterSwapan SahaMithun Chakraborty, Debashree Roy, Koel MallickJeet GannguliShree Venkatesh Films
200810:10Don DurgaprasadArin PaulSoumitra Chatterjee, Kanchan Mullick, Claudia Ciesla, Subrat Dutta, Aparajita Ghosh Das, Abir ChatterjeeMorpheus Media Ventures
2009Angshumaner ChhobiPradyutAtanu Ghosh, Indraneil Sengupta, Indrani Halder, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Ananya ChatterjeeRocket MondolT. Sarkar Productions
2009Dwando (Based on Decalogue IIBy Krzysztof Kieslowski)Dr. MukherjeeSuman GhoshAnanya Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen, Samrat ChakrabartiMayookh Bhaumik
2011The Forlorn (Short)Saptaswa BasuSaswata ChatterjeeNeo Studios
2012Life in Park StreetNiladriRaj MukherjeeDebashree Roy, Shankar Chakraborty, Rajesh Sharma
2012Paanch AdhyayHrishi-daPratim D. GuptaPriyanshu Chatterjee, Dia MirzaShantanu Moitra
2012Hemlock SocietyCornellSrijit MukherjiParambrata Chattopadhyay, Koel MullickAnupam Roy
2013Shunyo Awnko (The Zero Act)MurphyGoutam GhoseKonkona Sen Sharma, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Lolita Chatterjee, Priyanka BoseAnupam RoyRose Valley Films
2015Bela SesheBiswanath MajumdarNandita Roy and Shiboprosad MukherjeeSwatilekha Sengupta, Rituparna Sengupta, Aparajita Auddy, Monami Ghosh, Sohini Sengupta, Shankar Chakraborty, Kharaj Mukherjee, Indrani Dutta, Anindya ChatterjeeAnupam Roy and Anindya ChattopadhyayEros International and Piyali Films
2015AhalyaGoutam SadhuSujoy GhoshRadhika Apte, Tota Roy Chowdhury
2016SangaboraBulan Bhattacharjee
2016BastavAmitava RakshitShyamal BoseSaswata Chatterjee, Debolina Dutta, Shyamal Bose, Jinia, Tathagata Mukherjee, Bhaskar Banerjee, Supriya DuttaJaynta & SaswataG D Films
2016Romantic NoyPsychiatristRajib ChowdhuryShaheb Bhattacharya, Partha Sarathi, June Malia, Prianka Sarkar
2016Peace HavenSuman GhoshArun Mukherjee, Paran BandopadhyayMayookh BhaumikTripod Entertainment
2017PostoNandita Roy
Shiboprosad Mukherjee
Jisshu Sengupta, Mimi Chakraborty, Lily ChakrabortyAnindya Chatterjee
Anupam Roy
Windows Production
2017“The Anniversary”Ranjan GangulyMoumita ChakrabortyRupanjana MitraAnupam Chakraborty & Shreyan BoseHumaramovie
2017Sesh ChithiShibnathTanmoy RoyLily Chakravarty, Ritobroto Bhattacharya,Debashis Kanjilal Moubani Sorcar, Dulal Lahiri Narugopal MandalSudhir DuttaD.Sudhir Productions
2017SamantaralSujan’s fatherPartha ChakrabortyParambrata Chatterjee, Riddhi Sen
2017MayurakshiSushovanAtanu GhoshProsenjit Chatterjee, Indrani Halder, Sudipta Chakraborty, Gargi RoychowdhuryDebojyoti MishraFriends Communication
2017Secret Love StoryAniketNarugoopal MandalSantana Basu Narugopal Mandal, Goutam Guru, Mouli, Robi KumarPritam DebN.M.Production & Sri Sri Om Narasingha Jue Production
2018BoxerChurch FatherSanjoy BardhanShikhar Srivastava, Ena Saha, Laboni Sarkar, Rajatava Dutta, Sudip SarkarSamidh MukerjeeNew Era Entertainment
2018Kusumitar GappoRatnakar SenHrishikesh MondalUshasie Chakraborty, Shilton Paul, Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, Manasi Sinha,Surojit Chatterjee, SidhuRahul Film & Tele Production | Chhaya Rani Films
2018JaalKader BhaiShyamal BoseShyamal Bose, Jinia, Supriyo DuttaSourav Sonali ChowdhurySamir Kumar Pandit Production
2018Valentine’s DayTara SankarNarugopal MandalGoutam Guru, Biswajit Chakraborty, Parthasarathi Chakraborty,Kharaj Mukherjee,Anamika Saha,Mousumi Saha,Swantana Basu, Narugopal MandalNilakash Roy
2019JonmodinParesh SenguptaArnab ChatterjeeJoydip Mukherjee, Biswanath Basu, Reshmi Sen, Abanti Dutta, Arindol Bagchi, Simran TewariSayak RoyACjee Productions
2019Shesher GolpoAmit RayJiit ChakrabortyMamata Shankar, Kharaj Mukherjee, Krishnokishor Mukherjee, Pallabi ChatterjeeJoy SarkarSwastika Film Production
2019AbalambanDayal BabuNarugopal MandalBiswajit Chakraborty, Priya Paul, Towenkal Bose, Narugopal Mandal,Pritha DasNilakash RoyPriya Films & Entertainment
2019SanjhbatiChhana DaduLeena Gangopadhyay, Saibal BanerjeeLily Chakraborty, Dev, Paoli DamAnupam RoyLast film
2020Borunbabur BondhuBarun BabuAnik DuttaMadhabi Mukherjee, Kaushik Sen, Sreelekha Mitra, Debolina Dutta, Arpita ChatterjeeDebojyoti MishraSurinderFilms, the film premiered at the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival in 2019, and released in theatres on 10 January 2020.

7 February 2020 Sraboner Dhara

Passion to perform in life and on stage - Telegraph India

But cinema was not all that there was to Soumitra Chatterjee. He was equally at home in one-act plays and other acts before a live audience. Possessing a steady baritone, he was arguably the second most popular abritti (elocution) performer in Bengal after Kazi Sabyasachi.

Soumitra was a playwright for several dramas that went on and on in theatres of Calcutta (now Kolkata). He was fond of painting too.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
The founder of Sirf News has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life and columnist in various newspapers and magazines, writing in English as well as Hindi. He was the national affairs editor of Swarajya, 2014-16. He worked with Hindusthan Samachar in 2017. He was the first chief editor of Sirf News and is now back at the helm after a stint as the desk head of MyNation of the Asianet group. He is a mathematician by training with interests in academic pursuits of science, linguistics and history. He advocates individual liberty and a free market in a manner that is politically feasible. His hobbies include Hindi film music and classical poetry in Bengali, English, French, Hindi and Urdu.

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