The original Paro of Bimal Roy’s classic Devdas breathed her last today. She was 82 years old…
Suchitra Sen, the first Bengali actor to have garnered an international award at the Moscow Film Festival in 1962, breathed her last on January 17, 2014 in Kolkata. Sen passed away following a cardiac arrest at 8:25 am. Her daughter Moon Moon Sen and granddaughters Riya and Raima Sen had been with her ever since the legendary star was admitted to the city’s premier hospital after she complained of breathlessness and mild cough. She was diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection.
Known for her effortless charm and inimitable style, Sen made her movie debut with Shesh Kothaay in 1952, but the production was never released. In the next year she acted opposite Uttam Kumar in Nirmal Dey’s Sharey Chuattor. The film was a box-office hit and launched Uttam-Suchitra as a leading pair. The duo went on to become icons for Bengali dramas for more than two decades.
In 1955 Sen received the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Paro in Bimal Roy’s classic Devdas. She went on to work in various Bengali and Hindi movies thereafter, but it was her role in Aandhi opposite Sanjeev Kumar that helped her bag a Filmfare Best Actress nomination.
Suchitra’s best known performances was in Deep Jwele Jaai, which was remade in Bollywood as Khamoshi, and Waheeda Rehman played her character. Her other landmark movie was Uttar Falguni (1963), among many others. Interestingly, she refused to do Satyajit Ray’s film due to date problems; Ray never made the movie thereafter: Devi Chaudhurani.
In a career spanning over 25 years Sen worked in more than 60 movies, for which she was a contender for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. The reclusive actor reportedly refused to go to New Delhi and declined to receive the award personally – that deprived her of the prestigious title.