Suchitra Sen is a name that creates mass hysteria even today in Bengali Cinema. Called the Greta Garbo Of The East, her films with Bengali Cinema's biggest superstar Uttam Kumar are still legendary. Many have been remade in Hindi. Uttam-Shuchitra isn't just one of the most successful onscreen jodis in Bengal but an emotion. She is revered, respected, loved and cherished as the woman whose acting skills were par excellence.
Sen's epic journey in movies began after her marriage. A partition torn family landed in West Bengal for survival and later she got married to Dinananath Sen at the age of 15. She was one of those lucky women who had the support of her husband and in-laws in her ride to stardom. But that's not all that's there about this enigma of an actress who turned into a recluse after her retirement. A woman who was in the spotlight didn't care about it anymore when she decided to step aside. That's how inspiring this woman's tale is and here are some more unknown facts about her...
#First day no show
Suchitra Sen's first Bengali movie was Shesh Kothay in 1952 but that never released. Her first release Saat Number Kaaydi (1953) tanked. So the start was filled with hiccups for her.
#From an extra to a star
Sen was a background dancer or an extra in the film Atom Bomb (1954). The film was shot in 1951 but took time to release and by then, her first pairing with Uttam Kumar in Sare Chuattor (1953) had already cast a spell on the audience.
#Not even for Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Suchitra Sen was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award but with a condition that she has to accept it personally. This happened in 2005 and she had been on self-exile since 1978. No amount of conditions could make her step out in the limelight that she ruled for so many years.
#Raj Kapoor And Satyajit Ray disappointed
Suchitra Sen has done Hindi movies as well like Bimal Roy's Devdas and Gulzar's Aandhi but the list of refusals is quite lengthy in this context. She rejected a Raj Kapoor film which made the filmmaker meet her in Kolkata but she still wouldn't budge. The same was the story with Ray's Devi Chaudhrani. Satyajit never made that movie.
#First International Award ever
Suchitra Sen won the Best Actress at Moscow International Film Festival in 1963 for her film Saat Paake Bandha and thus became the first Indian actress to win such a feat internationally.