Soumitra Chatterjee Biography
Soumitra Chatterjee or Soumitra Chattopadhyay was an Indian film actor. He was best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films. Soumitra Chattopadhyay was also the first Indian film personality conferred with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists. He was also the winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award which is India's highest award for cinema. In 2017 exactly thirty years after auteur Satyajit Ray was honoured with France's highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, arguably, the most prominent face of Ray's films, also received the prestigious award. He was the seventh recipient of this award.
Early life and background
Soumitra was born in Mirjapur Street (now this is known as Surya Sen Street) near Sealdah Railway Station, a locality in Calcutta of West Bengal, in 1935. The first ten years of his early life past in Krishnanagar in the district of Nadia in West Bengal, the town under the influence of playwright Dwijendralal Ray, also from Krishnanagar, had a flourishing theatre culture, with numerous small theatre groups. His grandfather was the president of one such group while his father, though lawyer by profession and later a government worker, also worked as an amateur actor. He started acting in school plays. Encouraged by the praise he received for his acting, gradually his interest in theatre grew with passing years, thus in late school years, he was taking acting seriously. He was a very close friend of famous theatre personality, Mrityunjay Sil who is often regarded as the person due to which Soumitra is a star.
In October 2020, Chatterjee tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently admitted in Belle Vue Clinic, Kolkata. However, he tested negative to the 2nd Covid-19 test conducted on 14th October. In the meantime, his complications (urinary tract infection, fluctuations in sodium potassium levels, etc.) made the condition critical and he had to be admitted to ITU. But from 13th October, his health condition started to improve marginally and on 14th October, he got transferred from Covid unit to non-covid unit. He was kept in BiPap support and invasive ventilation for his treatment in the critical times. But, after his improvement in health, the treatment mechanisms got changed. He has been under the supervision of a medical team of 16 doctors. On 25th October, his condition deteriorated.
Chatterjee died on November 15, 2020 in Kolkata.