Soumitra Chatterjee, Legendary Actor of Bengali Cinema, Passes Away At 85

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Soumitra Chatterjee, one of the most celebrated actors in Bengali cinema, has passed away after battling Covid-19 on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at Belle Vue Clinic. He was one of the finest actors in India and he is known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray. He did 14 films with Ray.

The 85-year-old icon had tested COVID-19 positive on October 5. Since he has various co-morbidity issues, he was admitted at the hospital for better care. On October 9, 2020, his conditions deteriorated but he responded well to treatment the next day.

On October 11, he was treated twice with plasma therapy but despite showing improvement two days back, his condition did not improved much. His oxygen saturation level had improved but he was suffering from lung and urinary tract infection. Chatterjee was under treatment in a private hospital in Kolkata, with a 12-member medical team looking after him round the clock.

He had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) issues and suffered from pneumonia in 2019. Then, too, he was admitted to a hospital for a brief period and recovered fully.

Born in Kolkata in 1935, Soumitra made his debut in 1959 with Satyajit Ray's The World of Apu (Apur Sansar). He featured as Feluda/Pradosh Chandra Mitter, the famous private investigator from Calcutta in Ray's Feluda series of books, in two films - Sonar Kella (1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (1979). This remains one of the most memorable characters Soumitra has ever played.

The veteran actor, poet and writer was shooting for a documentary titled Abhijan directed by actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay. Last he attended the shooting floor at Bharatlaxmi Studio was on October 1. The next shooting schedule was fixed on October 7.Despite his advanced age, Soumitra continued to be one of the busiest actors in the Bengali film industry. He has also acted in, written and directed several plays in his long, illustrious career.

In 2012, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. Before that in 2004, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour.