Born as Roma Dasgupta to Karunamoy Dasgupta and Indira Devi, Suchitra Sen was an Indian film actress who worked in Hindi and Bengali movies. The actress attained a legendary status mainly because of her performances in Bengali films. Suchitra Sen acted in 61 brilliant films, both in Bengali and Hindi from 1953 to 1978. She is often remembered as an actress who single-handedly led the torch of Bengal Cinema.
Suchitra Sen was 16 years old when she got married to Dibanath Sen in Calcutta, in the year 1947. The couple was blessed with a daughter Moon Moon, in the year 1948. Suchitra Sen and Dibanath Sen remained married, amid rumours of trouble and her rapid rise to stardom till her husband’s death in 1970.
Suchitra Sen was the first Bengali heroine to receive an award at the 1963 Moscow International Film Festival. She received the Best Actress award for the movie Saat Paake Bandha. She was also honored with the prestigious Padma Shree Award in the year 1972.
Suchitra Sen was diagnosed with a lung infection and was admitted to the hospital on 24 December 2013. She breathed her last on 17th January 2014, due to a heart attack.
Suchitra Sen was born in Sen Bhanga Bari village of Belkuchi Upazila in Sirajgonj District (now in Bangladesh) on April 6th in the year 1931. She was the fifth child of Karunamoy Dasgupta, a headmaster in a local school and Indira Devi, a house wife. She attained her formal education in Pabna. After the partition of India, Suchitra and her family moved to West Bengal where she got married to Dibanath Sen, son of a rich businessman Adinath Sen (in the year in 1947). The couple had one daughter Moon Moon Sen, former Indian actress. Suchitra’s husband and father-in-law supported her acting career in all possible ways after her marriage.Suchitra Sen in 1952 made a successful entry into Bengali cinema and three years later in 1955 she marked her entry with the film Devdas into the Hindi film industry.
Suchitra Sen began her impressive career with Shesh Kothaay in the year 1952 but the film was never released. The following year she was paired opposite to Uttam Kumar in Nirmal Dey’s film Sharey Chuattor. The movie was a super hit and is remembered for launching Suchitra-Uttam as lead pairs. For more than 20 years, Suchitra-Uttam pair went on to become the icon for Bengali cinema. She was paired opposite Uttam Kumar in 30 of her 61 films.
Suchitra Sen was nominated for the Best Actress Award for her first hindi film Devdas in the year 1955. Her work with Uttam Kumar in Bengali melodramas and romances made her the most popular Bengali actress ever. Her romantic hits like Harano Sur, Agnipariksha, Kamal Lata, Saptapadi, Sabar Upore, Pathey Holo Deri, Sadanander Mela, Suryatoran, Jiban Trishna, Shaare Chuattor, Alo Amar Alo have attained ageless popularity and are admired, loved and watched even today. The romantic pair of Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar created a benchmark in Bengali cinema that remains unchallenged till today. One of Suchitra’s best known performances was in the movie Deep Jwele Jaai in 1959. Suchitra Sen continued to act in films even after the death of her husband in 1970. She acted in 1974 super hit movie Aandhi opposite Sanjeev Kumar. Suchitra Sen won the best actress award for the movie Saat Paake Bandha at the Moscow International Film Festival in the year 1963. She was the first Indian actress to receive an international film award.
Suchitra Sen refused to act in Satyajit Ray's movie Devi Chaudhurani and also turned down Raj Kapoor's offer for a movie under the RK banner. Suchitra Sen, after a career of over 25 years retired from the screen in 1978 after her movie Pronoy Pasha flopped. After her retirement Suchitra avoided the public gaze and devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission.
Ill Health and Death:
Suchitra Sen was diagnosed with a lung infection and was admitted to the hospital on 24th December 2013. She was recovering well in the first week of January 2014. Suchitra Sen breathed her last on 17th January 2014, suffering from a heart attack.
The death of Suchitra Sen was condoled by many important personalities like the President of India Dr. Pranab Mukherjee, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. Suchitra Sen was given a gun salute before her cremation as ordered by Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. The last rites of Suchitra Sen were performed at Kaioratola crematorium I Kolkata. Thousands of fans came together at the crematorium to get one last glimpse of Bengal's greatest star.
Wishes and Words:
"RIP Suchitra Sen. In her, we have lost a fine actress who leaves behind a monumental contribution to both Hindi and Bengali cinema."
"Suchitra Sen - beauty, talent, enigmatic - she adorned film world of Bengal with exquisite performances, graced Hindi films too!"
“My grandmother Suchitra Sen's last wish was to see me get married”
Moon Moon Sen
"She was so loved by everyone...It's hard to imagine she is gone. She was my entire universe. Beautiful memories seem so painful at the moment.”
“It’s a loss for Bengali cinema and Indian cinema Maha Nayeka is no more”
"Actor par excellence, a divine beauty, a legend, an icon who will inspire generations to come. RIP Suchitra Sen."
“The film industry has lost a highly talented and acclaimed actress who played memorable roles in a number of Bengali as well as Hindi films."
Awards and Recognition:
Suchitra sen won the BFJA Award-Best Actress Award for Saptapadi in the year 1962. Her performance in the movie Uttar Phalguni made her win the BFJA Award for Best Actress again in the year 1964. She also received the award in same category for the movie Alo Amaar Alo and Aandhi in 1976. She was the first Indian Actress to receive the best actress award in the3rd Moscow International Film Festival in the year 1963 for her performance in the movie Saat Paake Bandha. She was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award for notable contribution in arts. She was also nominated for Filmfare Best Actress Award for Mamta (1967) and Aandhi (1976). Suchitra Sen won the Banga Bibhushan for lifetime achievement in film acting in the year 2012. Posthumously, in 2014 she was awarded the Filmfare East Lifetime Achievement Award.
Daughter: Moon Moon Sen
Son-in-law: Bharat Dev Varma
Grandchildren: Raima Sen and Riya Sen
(FAN OF Shrimati SUCHITRA SEN)
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