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Iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee dies at 85 in Kolkata

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Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, star of some of Bengali cinema’s finest films, has died. He was 85. Mr Chatterjee tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was taken to hospital.

An official statement read: “We declare with heavy heart that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed his last at 12-15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic today (15 November 2020). We pay our homage to his soul.” 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived at the hospital soon after Soumitra Chatterjee’s death to be with the actor’s family. 

The 85-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and one of the most celebrated actors in Bengali cinema was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Kolkata’s Belle Vue Hospital for almost 40 days.

His condition was “very critical and grim” and last efforts to revive him were being made by the teams of doctors treating him.

Chatterjee’s key problem was coronavirus encephalopathy, doctors said earlier. “His comorbidities, age and unconsciousness are a challenge. We are trying our best,” the doctor said.

Chatterjee was shooting for a documentary titled Abhijan directed by actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay. Last time he attended the shooting floor at Bharatlaxmi Studio was on 1 October.

He is also known to be Bengal’s most celebrated actor, was best-known for his many collaborations with filmmaker Satyajit Ray – they made 14 movies together. He made his debut in Mr Ray’s 1959 film Apur Sansar, part of the acclaimed Pather Panchali trilogy. Mr Chatterjee was also directed by Satyajit Ray in Charulata, Devi, Teen Kanya, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru and other films. He was the first actor to play the role of Feluda, the detective created by Satyajit Ray. Soumitra Chatterjee starred as Feluda in two films directed by Mr Ray – Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath.

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