Kolkata, Sept 3 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): He would have been celebrating his 85th birthday on Saturday had the world of Bengali cinema not lost its iconic matinee star Uttam Kumar at an age of 53 in 1980.
Years have passed but Uttam Kumar still grace the sentiment and nostalgia of Bengali film lovers with equal frequency as he used to do in his reigning days.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B003HV47ZS” display=”inlinepost”]Born as Arun Kumar Chatterjee in North Kolkata on Sept 3, 1926, the star made his first appearance in ‘Drishtidan’ and in the following years he mesmerized his fans with his exceptional acting skills and sheer screen presence.
The chemistry that Uttam Kumar and actor Suchitra Sen shared on screen is still considered to unparalleled. Their onscreen romantic bondage has touched innumerable Bengalis for ages.
‘Nayak’, ‘Harano Sur’, ‘Saptapadi’ and ‘Ekhane Pinjar’ are few of the best known films of Uttam Kumar.
The newly-decorated Tollygunj metro station in Kolkata was recently named Mahanayak Uttamkumar by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and if one visits the station, he can find some memorable pictires of the matinee legend on the walls there.
On Saturday, Uttam Kumar’s fans wished their icon on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“Today is the birthday of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar who died in 1980 in Kolkata. He was the one & only Matinee Idol of Bengalee’s,” tweeted one Asim Bandyopadhyay.
“To-day is 86th birthday of our legend, evergreen matinee idol MAHANAYAK UTTAM KUMAR.. My heartiest love & respect,” one Avik Ghosh posted.
“Uttam Kumar continues to be the finest matinee idol this land has ever produced.His charm cuts across time n taste,” tweeted another Uttam fan named Raj Sekhar.
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 53, 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.”