Suchitra Sen diesStaff Correspondent
Legendary actor Suchitra Sen, known for her memorable performances in both Bangla and Hindi films, died of a heart attack in Kolkata on Friday. She was 82.
Suchitra, who had been in Belle Vue clinic for three weeks for the treatment of a respiratory infection, died of a cardiac arrest at 8:25am Indian Standard Time, her daughter Moon Moon Sen, also an actor, said, Indian and international media reported.
Her grand-daughters, Riya and Raima Sen, are also actors.
She was cremated later that day in Keoratala Crematorium in Kolkata after a gun salute given by the West Bengal government.
Suchitra started acting in 1952 and reigned supreme for 26 years. She won fame in Bangla films, especially co-starring with actor Uttam Kumar.
The two became icons for Bengali melodramas and romantic films through the 1960s and the 1970s. Her most memorable films include Agnipariksha, Devdas, Saat Paake Bandha, Dip Jwele Jai and Saptapadi.
Her debut film Shesh Kothay in 1952 had never been released. In 1953, she acted in the hugely popular comedy
Sare Chuattar (Seventy-four-and-a-half), which was also her first film with Uttam.
Her performance as a nurse hired by a psychiatrist to develop personal relationships with male patients in the 1959 film Dip Jwele Jaai was hailed as one of her best.
She made her debut in Bollywood with the Hindi film Devdas in 1955 co-starring with Dilip Kumar, another legendary actor.
The doe-eyed beauty acted in 57 Bengali and seven Hindi films. After her 1978 film Pranay Pasha with Soumitra Chatterjee, she shunned public appearances and reportedly refused to meet people outside her own family.
Suchitra Sen, often compared to Hollywood actor Greta Garbo, had not been seen in public or photographed in the past three decades and a half.
She went received a national award for her performance in Devdas. She was the first Indian actor to win an international award — Silver Prize for Best Actress — for Saat Paake Bandha in the 1963 Moscow film festival.
In 1972, she was awarded the Padma Shri. She is reported to have refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest cinematic award in India, refusing to make a public appearance. In 2012, she was conferred West Bengal government’s highest honour Banga Bibhushan.
Suchitra, who was born in Pabna, now in Bangladesh, on April 6, 1931, married industrialist Dibanath Sen in 1947 before launching her acting career. Her husband died in the early 1970s.
The Bangladesh president, Abdul Hamid, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and the BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, offered condolences on the death.
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