Soumitra Chatterjee, 85, recovered from COVID-19, but his condition did not improve.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and superstar Aamir Khan on Monday paid homage to legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who died in a Kolkata hospital on Sunday after a 40-day-long battle with post-COVID ailments. Soumitra Chatterjee, 85, was admitted to a hospital on October 6 after he tested positive for COVID-19. He recovered from the infection, but his condition did not improve.
Bachchan tweeted a picture of the duo from one of their meetings in 2018 and called Chatterjee an “abundant talent”. “Soumitra Chatterjee, an iconic legend. One of the mightiest pillars of the film Industry… has fallen. A gentle soul and abundant talent… Prayers,” the 78-year-old actor tweeted late Sunday night. Bachchan had featured in the 1979 romantic drama “Manzil”, directed by Basu Chatterjee. It is said to be loosely inspired by Chatterjee starrer 1965 Bengali film, “Akash Kusum”, directed by Mrinal Sen.
In Chatterjee’s death, Khan said, Indian cinema has lost “one of its leading lights”. “My heartfelt condolences to Soumitraji’s family, and to all his fans. His work will continue to bring joy to all of us. RIP Shri Soumitra Chatterjee,” he tweeted on Monday. Many friends, politicians and industry colleagues paid rich tributes to Chatterjee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remembering the actor’s vast legacy.
Actors, including his “Apur Sansar” co-star Sharmila Tagore, “Samantaral” co-actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Richa Chadha, “15th Park Avenue” co-actor Rahul Bose, filmmaker Onir, writer-lyricist Varun Grover also remembered the actor fondly. Chatterjee made his debut in 1959 with Satyajit Ray’s “Apur Sansar”, the third film in his famous Apu series, and went on to enjoy a great actor-director relationship by starring in 13 other Ray classics like “Charulata”, “Ghare Baire”, “Devi” and “Aranyer Din Ratri”.
Chatterjee, who starred in more than 300 films in his career, was a three-time National Award winner who enjoyed huge popularity as a matinee idol in Bengal after Uttam Kumar. He was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema, in 2012. The actor was also known for playing iconic Bengali private investigator Feluda in Ray’s “Sonar Kella” and “Joi Baba Felunath”.