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Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee, better known as Chattopadhyay, was an Indian actor, dramatist, director, writer, thespian, and poet. She died on November 15, 2020. He is revered as one of the most significant actors in Indian cinematic history. The director Satyajit Ray is the one he has collaborated with the most, and they have created fourteen films together.


  1. He made his acting debut as adult Apu in Ray's 1959 film Apur Sansar (The Family of Apu), the third installment in the trilogy.
  2. After that, he made several appearances in Ray's movies, including Abhijan (1962's The Expedition), Charulata (1964), Aranyer Din Ratri (1969's Days and Nights in the Forest), Ashani Sanket (1973's Distant Thunder), Sonar Kella (1974's The Fortress of Gold), and Joi (Enemy of the People, 1989).
  3. He also worked with notable Bengali film directors Mrinal Sen in Akash Kusum (1965's Up in the Clouds), Tapan Sinha in Kshudhita Pashan (1960's Hungry Stones), Jhinder Bandi in Swaralipi (1961), Asit Sen in Parineeta (1969), & Tarun Mazumdar in Ganadevata (1978).
  4. He appeared in Over 210 films during his acting career. His directorial debut, Stree Ki Patra (1986), was favorably received by reviewers and was inspired by Rabindranath's Bengali short story Streer Patra. Soumitra received numerous honors and accolades.
  5. The highest honor for artists in France, the "Commandeur" of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, was first given to Soumitra (1999).
  6. The highest civilian honour in France, the 'Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur', as well as the Padma Bhushan (2017).
  7. As an actor, he won two National Film Awards, and for his stage performances, he won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
  8. He was handed the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2012, the country of India's highest cinematic honor for lifetime accomplishment. In 2013, IBN Live included him in "The Men that Changed the Face of Indian Cinema."

Backdrop And Early Years

  1. In 1935, Soumitra Chatterjee was born in Calcutta's Sealdah neighborhood on Mirzapur Street (today, Surya Sen Street).
  2. His first 10 years of life were spent in Krishnanagar, West Bengal.
  3. The playwright Dwijendralal Ray, also from Krishnan agar, significantly impacted the town's thriving theatre scene, including numerous minor theatre companies.
  4. While his father, a lawyer by training & later a government employee, also worked as a hobbyist performer, his grandpa served as one of these organizations' presidents.
  5. He was encouraged by the compliments he got for acting in school productions, and as the years went by, his passion for theatre gradually increased.
  6. Mrityunjay Sil, a well-known theatre figure frequently credited with having a major effect on his career, was his close friend.
  7. Soumitra and his family relocated to Howrah, where he spent his early years studying at the Howrah Zilla School and Calcutta.
  8. As a University of Calcutta graduate student, Soumitra earned an honors degree in Bengali literature from the City College in Kolkata.
  9. He spent a few years in Satyajit Ray's former residence at 3 Lake Temple Road in Calcutta.
  10. He attended the University of Calcutta to pursue his Bengali M.A. He studied acting with renowned Bengali theatre actor-director Ahindra Choudhury while still a student.
  11. The play he witnessed by Bengali theater's dean and theatre director Sisir Bhaduri in his final year of college, however, marked a turning point in his life. The play not only helped him establish a standard for performing but also influenced his decision to pursue acting.
  12. Through his friend's mother, the actress Shefalika Putul, he met Bhaduri. Even though he first encountered Bhaduri at the end of his acting career, after his theatre had shut down, Chatterjee took him under his wing for the following three years, until Bhaduri's passing in 1959, and studied acting through their frequent meetings. Even in one of Bhaduri's productions, he had a minor role.
  13. He then began his career as an announcer for All India Radio, and while he was there, he began seeking a career in movies.
  14. He got in touch with Ray while looking for fresh faces for the 1956 film Aparajito.
  15. Although Ray thought he had the ideal appearance, at age 20 and fresh out of college, he felt that he was too old to play the role of an adolescent Apu. Two years later, Ray asked him to play the adult Apu after remembering him. Meanwhile, his screen test for the Kartik Chattopadhyay-helmed 1957 Bengali movie Nilachale Mahaprabhu was rejected.
Soumitra Chatterjee

Honors & Awards

Padma Bhushan Civilian Award 2004 Arts
Dadasaheb Phalke Award Indian Cinema Award 2012 Bengali Film Industry

Family And Relations

He was born to Ashalata & Mohit Kumar Chatterjee. His daughter Poulami Bose was born in 1960, during his marriage to actress Deepa Chatterjee.


  • Chatterjee screened positive for Covid-19 in October 2020 and is currently treated at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata.
  • He did not respond to the second Covid-19 test, which was performed on October 14.
  • The condition became critical due to his comorbidities (urinary tract infection, changes in salt potassium levels, etc.), necessitating his admission to the intensive care unit (ICU).
  • However, his health improved starting on October 13, and on October 14, he was moved from a Covid unit to a non-Covid one.
  • He was kept on invasive ventilation and BiPap support for his care during the most crucial times.
  • But the therapy methods changed as his health began to improve. A 16-person medical staff has been in charge of looking after him.
  • His condition deteriorated on October 25.


On November 15, 2020, Chatterjee passed away in Kolkata.

DEATHDAY 15 November 2020 (Tuesday)
DEATH PLACE Kolkata, West Bengal

Interesting Facts About Soumitra Chatterjee

  • He has received the highest honor of the Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres.
  • He remains the main character in most of Ray's films.
  • His admission to the hospital was caused by COVID-19.

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