Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimal Roy's Devdas (1955)
6 April 1931
Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Sirajganj, Bangladesh)
|💀Died||17 January 2014 (aged 82)|
Kolkata, West Bengal, India17 January 2014 (aged 82)
|🎓 Alma mater||Pabna Government Girls High School|
|📆 Years active||1952–1979|
|Notable work||Saat Pake Bandha|
Deep Jele Jai
|Height||5 ft 3 inches|
(m. 1947; died 1970)
|👶 Children||Moon Moon Sen|
|🏅 Awards||Padma Shri|
Suchitra Sen (Bengali pronunciation: [ʃuːtʃiːraː ʃeːn] listen (help·info)) (born as Roma Dasgupta) (listen (help·info); 6 April 1931 – 17 January 2014) was an Indian film actress who worked in Bengali and Hindi cinema. The movies in which she was paired opposite Uttam Kumar became classics in the history of Bengali cinema.
Sen was the first Indian actress to receive an award at an international film festival when, at the 1963 Moscow International Film Festival, she won the Silver Prize for Best Actress for Saat Pake Bandha. In 1972, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India. From 1979 on, she retreated from public life and shunned all forms of public contact; for this she is often compared to Greta Garbo. In 2005, she refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest cinematic award in India, to stay out of the public eye. In 2012, she was conferred the West Bengal Government's highest honour: Banga Bibhushan. Her first official release was Sukumar Dasgupta's Saat Number Kayedi (1953). She was catapulted to stardom after she was cast as Vishnupriya by Devaki Kumar Bose in his Bhagaban Shree Krishna Chaitanya (1953).
Personal life and education
Rama Dasgupto aka Suchitra Sen was born on 6 April 1931, in a Bangali family of Bhanga Bari village of Belkuchi Upozila, now in Sirajgonj District, Greater Pabna. Her father, the late Korunamoy Dasgupto was a sanitation officer in Pabna Municipality. Her mother, the late Indira Devi was a homemaker. She was their fifth child and second daughter. Sen is a granddaughter of the poet Rajonikant Sen. She received her formal education in Pabna Government Girls High School. The violence of Partition in 1947, brought her family to West Bengal, which was comparably a safe zone for Bengalis. where she married Dibanath Sen, son of wealthy industrialist Adinath Sen, in 1947, at the age of 15 years. and had one daughter, Moon Moon Sen, who is a former actress. Her father-in-law, Adinath Sen, was supportive of her acting career in films after her marriage. Her industrialist husband invested greatly in her career and supported her.
Sen had made a successful entry into Bengali films in 1952, and then a less successful transition into the Hindi movie industry. According to persistent but unconfirmed reports in the Bengali press, her marriage was strained by her success in the film industry.
Suchitra Sen made her debut in films with Shesh Kothaay in 1952, but it was never released. The following year saw her act opposite Uttam Kumar in Sharey Chuattor, a film by Nirmal Dey. It was a box-office hit and is remembered for launching Uttam-Suchitra as a leading pair. They went on to become the icons for Bengali dramas for more than 20 years, becoming almost a genre unto themselves. She has acted in 30 of her 60 films with Uttam Kumar. She received a Best Actress Award nomination for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie. Her Bengali melodramas and romances, especially with Uttam Kumar, made her the most famous Bengali actress ever.
Her films ran through the 1960s and '70s. Her husband died in 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Suchitra went on to act in films such as in the Hindi film Aandhi (1974). Aandhi was inspired by India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sen received a Filmfare Award nomination as Best Actress, while Sanjeev Kumar, who played the role of her husband, won the Filmfare as Best Actor.
One of her best known performances was in Deep Jwele Jaai (1959). She played in a character named Radha Mitra, a hospital nurse employed by a progressive psychiatrist, Pahadi Sanyal, who is expected to develop a personal relationship with male patients as part of their therapy. Sanyal diagnoses the hero, Basanta Choudhury, as having an unresolved Oedipal dilemma. He orders Radha to play the role though she is hesitant as in a similar case she had fallen in love with the patient. She finally agrees and bears up to Choudhury's violence, impersonates his mother, sings his poetic compositions and in the process falls in love again. In the end, even as she brings about his cure, she suffers a nervous breakdown. The film is noted for its partly lit close-ups of Sen, which set the tone of the film. Asit Sen remade the film in Hindi as Khamoshi (1969), with Waheeda Rehman in the Suchitra Sen role.
Suchitra Sen's other landmark film with Asit Sen was Uttar Falguni (1963). She plays the dual role of a courtesan, Pannabai, and her daughter Suparna, a lawyer. Critics note that she brought a great deal of poise, grace and dignity to the role of a fallen woman determined to see her daughter grow up in a good, clean environment.
Suchitra Sen's international success came in 1963, when she won the best actress award at the Moscow International Film Festival for the movie Saat Paake Bandha, becoming the first Indian actress to receive an international film award.
A film critic[who?] summed up Suchitra Sen's career and continuing legacy as "one half of one of Indian cinema's most popular and abiding screen pairs, Suchitra Sen redefined stardom in a way that few actors have done, combining understated sensuality, feminine charm and emotive force and a no-nonsense gravitas to carve out a persona that has never been matched, let alone surpassed in Indian cinema"
Suchitra Sen refused Satyajit Ray's offer due to a scheduling problem. As a result, Ray never made the film Devi Chaudhurani, based on the novel written by Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya. She also refused Raj Kapoor's offer for a film under the RK banner.
Sen continued to act after her husband's death in 1970, but called it a day when Pronoy Pasha flopped, and retired from the screen in 1978 after a career of over 25 years to a life of quiet seclusion. She was to do a film project; Nati Binodini, also starring Rajesh Khanna, but the film was shelved mid-way after shooting when she decided to quit acting.
She assiduously avoided the public gaze after her retirement and devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission.
Suchitra Sen was admitted to the hospital on 24 December 2013 and was diagnosed with a lung infection. She was reported to have been recovering well in the first week of January. She died at 8.25 am on 17 January 2014, due to a heart attack. She was 82 years old.
Suchitra Sen's death was condoled by many leaders, including the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. A gun salute was given before her cremation, upon the orders of Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Respecting her fierce desire for complete privacy, her last rites were performed at Kolkata's Kaioratola crematorium, barely five and half hours after she died, with her coffin reaching the crematorium in a flower-decked hearse with dark-tinted windows. Despite being Bengal's greatest star, referred to as "Mahanayika", she had consciously chosen to step into oblivion and she remained an enigma till her last, although thousands of fans had converged at the crematorium to catch one last glimpse of their idol. Her entire medical treatment had also been done in seclusion and secrecy.
From 1953 to 1978, both in Bengali and Hindi, Suchitra Sen acted in 61 films.
|1||1952||Shesh Kothaay||NA||NA||Bireswar Basu (??)||NA||Never released. However, after 22 years in January 1974 this movie was finally released in different name as " Shrabana Shandhya ", directed by may be Bireswar Basu (??).|
|2||1953||Saat Number Kayedi||7 Feb 1953||Aruna||Sukumar Dasgupta||Samar Roy||This was her first officially released film.|
|3||1953||Sharey Chuattor||20 Feb 1953||Romola||Nirmal Dey||Uttam Kumar||First hit of "Uttam-Suchitra's".|
|4||1953||Bhagaban Srikrishna Chaitanya||11 Dec 1953||Bishnupriya||Debaki Bose||Basanta Chaudhury||First hit of legendary "Basanta-Suchitra" pair. And it was one of the first Suchitra Sen's Hindu Vaishnab Philosophy based movies. She acted the role of "Vishnu Priya', the wife of Sri Cahaitanya Mahaprobhu|
|5||1953||Kajori||10 April 1953||Niren Lahiri||No major hero|
|6||1954||Atom Bomb||1 Jan 1954||Taru Mukherjee||Robin Majumdar||She appeared as an extra in this film. It was shot in 1951 but released in 1954. Sabitri Chatterjee was the actual heroine of this small film|
|7||1954||Ora Thake Odhare||5 Feb 1954||Nilu||Sukumar Dasgupta||Uttam Kumar|
|8||1954||Dhuli||3 Jun 1954||Minati||Pinaki Mukherjee||Prasanta Kumar|
|9||1954||Maraner Parey||25 Jun 1954||Tanima||Satish Dasgupta||Uttam Kumar|
|10||1954||Sadanander Mela||16 Jul 1954||Sheela||Sukumar Dasgupta||Uttam Kumar|
|11||1954||Annapurnar Mandir||6 Aug 1954||Sati||Naresh Mitra||Uttam Kumar||Music Director's name is unavailable and unfortunately was NOT even mentioned on the Title-Card of this movie|
|12||1954||Agnipariksha||3 Sep 1954||Taposhi||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar||Suchitra-Uttam starring first Box Office Superhit Movie. That was the beginning of their Bengali film iconic image of "Sonar-Juti"|
|13||1954||Grihaprabesh||12 Nov 1954||Ajoy Kar||Uttam Kumar|
|14||1954||Balaygras||17 Dec 1954||Manimala|
|15||1955||Sanjher Pradip||28 Jan 1955||Raju||Sudhanshu Mukherjee||Uttam Kumar|
|16||1955||Devdas||Parvati (Paro)||Bimal Roy||Dilip Kumar||Her First Hindi language film Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel "Devdas"|
|17||1955||Snaajhghar||11 Mar 1955|
|18||1955||Shapmochan||27 May 1955||Madhuri||Shudhir Mukherjee||Uttam Kumar||Suchitra-Uttam starring Second Box Office Superhit Movie based on Phalguni Mukhopadhyay's novel " Sandhya Raag".|
|19||1955||Mejo Bou||30 Sep 1955|
|20||1955||Bhalobasa||6 Oct 1955||Basanta Chaudhury|
|21||1955||Sabar Uparey||1 Dec 1955||Rita||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar||Based on Scottish Writer A. J. Cronin's 1950 novel, "Beyond This Place". From this novel Bengali Movie "Sabar Uparey" was made in 1955. Then in 1958 Dev Anand made the same story in Hindi name "Kala Pani" starring Dev Anand and Madhubala and directed by Raj Khoshla. However, the English film with the same title of the book was released in 1959 starring Van Johnson, Vera Mills and Emlyn Williams and directed by Jack Cardiff|
|22||1956||Sagarika||1 Feb 1956||Sagarika||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar|
|23||1956||Subharaatri||30 Mar 1956||Shanti/Sudha||Sushil Majumdar||Basanta Chaudhury|
|24||1956||Ekti Raat||11 May 1956||Santana||Chitta Bose||Uttam Kumar|
|25||1956||Trijama||28 June 1956||Swarupa||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar|
|26||1956||Shilpi||30 Nov 1956||Anjana||Agragami||Uttam Kumar|
|27||1956||Amar Bou||14 Dec 1956||Bikash Roy|
|28||1957||Harano Sur||6 Sep 1957||Dr. Roma Banerjee||Ajoy Kar||Uttam Kumar||Based on James Hilton's immortal Novel "Random Harvest" a 1942 Hollywood hit movie starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson|
|29||1957||Chandranath||15 Nov 1957||Saraju||Kartik Chattopadhyay||Uttam Kumar||Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel "Chandranath". It is also the first Bengali movie ever released in Calcutta Metro Cinema.|
|30||1957||Pathe Holo Deri||5 Dec 1957||Mallika Banerjee||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar||A navel by then novelist Ms. Prativa Basu.|
|31||1957||Jeeban Trishna||25 Dec 1957||Shakuntala||Ashit Sen||Uttam Kumar|
|32||1957||Musafir||Shakuntala Verma||Hrishikesh Mukherjee||Shekhar Kumar||Hindi language|
|33||1957||Champakali||Rajo||Nandlal Jaswantlal||Bharat Bhushan||Hindi language|
|34||1958||Rajlakshmi O Srikanta||28 Feb 1958||Rajlakshmi||Haridas Bhattacharya||Uttam Kumar||Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel "Rajlakshmi O Shrikanta"|
|35||1958||Suryatoran||21 Nov 1958||Anita Chatterjee||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar||Based on the 1949 Warner Brothers film "The Fountain Head" written by then Russian-American writer Ayn Rand. Starring Garry Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Messy, Kent Smith, the film was directed by Mr. King Vidor. In the Bengali film "Suryatoran", Suchitra Sen did the role of "Dominique" the main female character which was portrayed by Ms. Patricia Neal in "The Fountainhead".|
|36||1958||Indrani||10 Oct 1958||Indrani||Niren Lahiri||Uttam Kumar|
|37||1959||Deep Jwele Jaai||1 May 1959||Radha Mitra||Ashit Sen||Basanta Chaudhury||Block-buster movie.|
|38||1959||Chaowa Paowa||27 Feb 1959||Manju||Yatrik||Uttam Kumar||The Story was taken from Samual Hopkins Adams's short story and a 1934 Oscar-winning Hollywood movie "It Happened One Night", starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, directed by Frank Capra.|
|39||1960||Hospital||16 Sep 1960||Dr. Sarbari Roy||Shushil Majumdar||Ashok Kumar|
|40||1960||Smriti Tuku Thak||23 Sep 1960||Shobha/Utpala||Yatrik||Ashit Baran / Bikash Roy||She first time acted in Double Role in her career|
|41||1960||Bombai Ka Baboo||Maya||Raj Khosla||Dev Anand||Hindi language|
|42||1960||Sarhad||Shankar Mukherjee||Dev Anand||Hindi language|
|43||1961||Saptapadi||20 Oct 1961||Rina Brown||Ajoy Kar||Uttam Kumar|
|44||1962||Bipasha||26 Jan 1962||Bipasha||Agradoot||Uttam Kumar||This was the first film where Suchitra Sen charged Rs. one lakh for doing her role., and this was the first time any Bengali actor (male or Female) received Rs. One Lakh for doing any film acting role. It was a milestone for Bengali movie history.|
|45||1963||Saat Pake Bandha||22 Mar 1963||Archana||Ajay Kar||Soumitra Chatterjee|
|46||1963||Uttar Falguni||11 Oct 1963||Debjani / Pannabai / Suparna||Ashit Sen||Dilip Mukherjee, Bikash Roy||Based on well known Bengali Writer Dr. Nihar Ranjan Gupta's Novel "Uttar Falguni". However, this story was originally taken from a 1936 Bengali Film "RIKTA" starring Rani Bala and Shushil Majumdar.|
|47||1964||Sandhya Deeper Sikha||2 Oct 1964||Jayanti Bannerjee||Haridas Bhattacharya||Dilip Mukherjee, Bikash Roy||It was based on Bengali novelist Tarun K. Bhaduri's book Sandhya Deeper Shikha. The movie was also produced by Dilip Mukherjee.|
|48||1966||Mamta||Devyani / Pannabai / Suparna||Asit Sen||Dharmendra, Ashok Kumar||Hindi version of Bengali film "Uttar Phalguni"|
|49||1967||Grihadaha||5 May 1967||Achala||Subodh Mitra||Uttam Kumar||Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel "Grihadaha"|
|50||1969||Kamallata||2 Oct 1969||Kamallata||Haridas Bhattacharya||Uttam Kumar||Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel "Kamallata"|
|51||1970||Megh Kalo||4 Sep 1970||Dr. Nirmalya Roy||Shushil Mukherjee||Basanta Chaudhury|
|52||1971||Nabaraag||4 Feb 1971||Bijoy Bose||Uttam Kumar|
|53||1971||Fariyad||5 Nov 1971||Chapa/Ratanmala||Bijoy Basu||Utpal Dutta|
|54||1972||Alo Amaar Alo||17 Mar 1972||Atashi||Uttam Kumar|
|55||1972||Har Mana Har||19 Dec 1972||Neera||Uttam Kumar|
|56||1974||Devi Chaudhurani||6 Sep 1974||Prafullamukhi||Dinen Gupta||Basanta Chaudhury and Ranjit Mallik|
|57||1974||Srabana Sandhya||25 Jan 1974||Bireswar Basu (??)||However, " Shrabana Shandhya's " original name was " Shesy Kothaay " it was half done in 1952 and was never released at that time, after 22 years later it came out and released in Jan 1974, may be it was directed by Bireswar Basu (??), who was the original Director of " Shesy Kothaay " film in 1952 .|
|58||1975||Priyo Bandhabi||3 Oct 1975||Uttam Kumar|
|59||1975||Aandhi||13 Feb 1975||Aarti Devi||Gulzar||Sanjeev Kumar||Hindi language|
|60||1976||Datta||30 Jul 1976||Datta||Ajoy Kar||Soumitra Chatterjee||Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel Datta|
|61||1978||Pranay Pasha||9 June 1978||Taposhi||Mangal Chakraborty||Soumitra Chatterjee||This was her last movie released|
Sen received 10 awards during her lifetime. In 1963, she became the first Indian actress to receive an international award.
- 1962-Won BFJA Award-Best Actress Award for Saptapadi
- 1964-Won BFJA Award-Best Actress Award for Uttar Phalguni
- 1973-Won BFJA Award-Best Actress Award for Alo Amaar Alo
- 1976-Won BFJA Award-Best Actress Award(Hindi) for Aandhi
- 1963 – Won 3rd Moscow International Film Festival – Best Actress Award for Saat Paake Badha
- 1967 – Nominated Filmfare Best Actress Award for Mamta
- 1972 – Won Padma Shri for notable contribution in arts
- 1975 – Won Filmfare Best Actress Award for regional cinema Priya Bandhabi
- 2012 – Won Banga Bibhushan for lifetime achievement in film acting
- 2014 - Won Filmfare East Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous)
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1972: 130: Smt Suchitra Sen
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