Film legend Soumitra Chatterjee dies in Kolkata hospital at 85

Topics Bollywood | Obituary | Indian Cinema

Soumitra Chatterjee. Photo: Wikipedia
Iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee died at 12.15 pm on Sunday after over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments, a statement issued by the hospital, where he was undergoing treatment, said. He was 85.

The thespian is survived by wife Deepa Chatterjee, daughter Poulomi Basu and son Sougata Chatterjee.

The actor was admitted to the hospital on October 6 after he tested positive for the infection. He was later shifted to ICU as Covid encephalopathy set in, affecting his central nervous system and causing renal dysfunction.

He recovered from the infection subsequently, but his health condition did not improve, despite several plasma therapies, dialysis and tracheotomy.

Doctors had on November 13 said that he stopped responding to treatment.

"We declare with a heavy heart that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed his last at 12:15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic today (November 15 2020). We pay our homage to his soul," the hospital said in a statement.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and minister Indranil Sen rushed to Belle Vue Clinic after the news broke.

Paying homage to the celebrated actor, the chief minister said Chatterjee was a "fighter who will be celebrated for his work".

His death is an "irreparable loss" for the country's film fraternity, she said.

Several actors and directors, who have worked with the Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, mourned his demise.

In a career spanning six decades, Chatterjee acted in more than 300 films.

Mentored by Oscar award-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the thespian will go down in history as the last of the Mohicans of the golden era of Indian celluloid who along with Ray took Bengali cinema to the world.

"He was an actor par excellence. Our families have bonded so well over the past 60 years. He was meticulous about everything... a perfectionist," film director Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, said.

His co-actor in several films, Aparna Sen said Chatterjee was family to her.

"I still can't believe that he is no longer with us. I had hoped till the last that a miracle would happen," Sen, who marked her debut opposite Chatterjee in 'Teen Kanya' anthology, said.

Chatterjee had made his presence felt on the stage too as actor, playwright and director.

He was awarded the Legion d'Honneur -- the highest civilian award of France -- in 2018. 

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