Kolkata, Sep 3 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): It was a special Friday for Bengali film lovers as they celebrated the 84th birth anniversary of matinee idol MAHANAYAK Uttam Kumar.
In 1926, the genius named Arun Chatterjee was born in Kolkata, but soon he became popular in hearts of Bengali audience as ‘Mahanayak’ (great actor) Uttam Kumar.
His fans, ranging from celebs to commoners, flooded micro-blogging site Twitter with messages, as the charismatic actor still occupies their hearts as he used to do years back.
“It’s Uttam Kumar’s b’day…he has contributed immensely to our industry and his works will never die out…Mahanayak in the true sense!” posted actor Prosenjit Chatterjee in his Twitter account “prosenjitbumba”.
Apart from the celebrity actor, commoners too shared their thoughts and feelings about Uttam Kumar over Twitter.
Ranbir Chatterjee wished Uttam Kumar by posting this small message:” happy birthday to our legendary actor of bengali cinema….. he is non-other than our very own ‘mahanayak’ Uttam Kumar.. happy birthday to u.”
Similarly, another fan, who calls himself Happy Sarkar, posted, “Today is the HAPPY BIRTHDAY of MAHANAYAK UTTAM KUMAR!!! On this auspicious day I tribute my whole hearted Respect to our MAHANAYAK.”
Also, there was one Ashokraaj, who tweeted only a short message over Twitter, wishing his favourite actor a “Subho janmodin… “ (Happy Birthday).
“Uttam Kumar was born in the year 1926 on this day. He was the first recipient of Best Actor award by India govenment. for ‘Antony Firingi’ in ’67,” posted another Uttam fan in his Twitter account named ‘asim7asim’, sharing a trivia with the Twitterati about the legend of Bengali cinema.
Uttam Kumar belonged to the “Golden Period” of Bengali cinema.
His first released film was Drishtidan (The gift of sight) directed by Nitin Bose, but he came into prominence in the film ‘Basu Paribar’ and then ‘Sharey Chuattor’.
Truly, the ‘Mahanayak’, as he is popularly called, will be remembered for his onscreen chemistry with another living legend of Indian cinema Suchitra Sen.
The pair acted in evergreen films like‘Sagarika’, ‘Jiban’ Trishna’,’ Pathe Holo Deri’, ‘Harano Sur’, ‘Chaoa Paoa’, ‘Saptapadi’ and many more.
Uttam Kumar had also worked with Satyajit Ray in two films- ‘Nayak’ and ‘Chiriyakhana’.
Interestingly, in ‘Chiriyakhana’, Uttam Kumar had played the role of detective Byomkesh Bakshi.
Uttam had also worked in few Hindi movies which include: ‘Chhoti si Mulaqat’, ‘Ananda Ashram’, ‘Kittab, Dooriyan’ and ‘Amanush’.
He also directed and produced a film titled ‘Bon Palashir Padaboli’.
Acting in nearly 202 films, his films like ‘Sagarika’ ran successfully for 24 weeks, an achievement in itself.
The legendary actor died in 1980 at the age of 54, while shooting a film named ‘Ogo Bodhu Shundori’.
After his death, filmmaker Satyajit Ray had said: “”It is the demise of a leading light of the Bengali film industry…There isn’t – there won’t be another hero like him.”