Remembering the undisputed empress of Bengali silver screen

April 6, 2014

Suchitra Sen’s 83rd birth anniversary today
Remembering the undisputed empress of Bengali silver screenThere are millions amongst us, who till date, only need to close their eyes for a magic to happen as the face of ethereal beauty, Suchitra Sen appears before them. The golden lady of the Tollywood’s silver screen is not merely a renowned actress in the hearts of her fans but a legend who continues to live on even after her passing away on January 17, 2014, that left millions of her fans devastated.
Today is the 83rd birth anniversary of the doe-eyed beauty Suchitra Sen, who was born in 1931 in Pabna in the then undivided Bengal (now in Bangladesh).
The undisputed empress of Bengali filmdom, in her acting career spanning over three decades, became a figure of veneration in millions of pulsating hearts. She created the image of the most desired Bengali maiden over the years. The way she carried herself and the way she talked or walked or even held her silence left an imprint in the collective consciousness of viewers from different generations.
There is however no possibility of talking about Suchitra elaborately without mentioning actor Uttam Kumar. One of the most coveted pairs on silver screen, together they created magic in films that still keep people spellbound.
The two became icons for Bengali melodramas and romantic films through the 1960s and the 1970s. There is no escaping the allure of magical moments like Tumi Je Amar, the eternal song of Bangla filmdom.
Suchitra’s most memorable films include Harano Shur, Agnipariksha, Devdas, Saat Paake Bandha, Dip Jwele Jai and Saptapodi.
Her debut film Shesh Kothay in 1952 had never been released. In 1953, she acted in the hugely popular comedy Sare Chuattar, which was also her first film with Uttam Kumar.
Her performance in the role of a nurse hired by a psychiatrist to develop relationships with male patients in order to heal them in the 1959 film Dip Jwele Jaai was hailed as one of her best.
She made her debut in Bollywood by enacting the role of Parvati in the Hindi film Devdas in 1955, co-starring with legendary actor Dilip Kumar. Another Suchitra Sen classic is the Hindi movie Aandhi that also starred the famous actor late Sanjeev Kumar. Andhi was reportedly inspired by the story of Indira Gandhi.
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, was not seen in public or photographed in the past three decades and a half. It was only before her death that she had come out of her reclusive lifestyle, but even then she managed to escape the glaring flashes of the paparazzi.
She received a national award for her performance in Devdas. She was also 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, Shuchitra was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India. She is reported to have refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest cinematic award in India as she did not wish to make a public appearance. In 2012, she was conferred West Bengal government’s highest honour Bangla Bibhushan.

-With New Age input

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