A life with innumerable stories, hidden mysteries, larger-than-life stature and all that sums up to only one name. Yes, we are talking about the great Bengali acting Icon, the legend Uttam Kumar. Uttam Kumar would perhaps remain as the most loved and popular actor of Bengali cinema and even after half a century, his charisma wins hands down.
24th July 1980 was that unfortunate day in the lives of the uncountable fans and Bengali film industry when this icon breathed his last. Definitely, an irreplaceable loss, which is still lamented even after 38 years of its occurrence. Even today, the face along with its ‘thousand watt smile’ lightens up the mind of the audience not from every generation.
So, now let us all take a moment to remember the legend and his famous works. In addition, reveal certain unknown and interesting facts about his life.
- Born as Arun Kumar Chatterjee in Kolkata, he was in college while working as a clerk at Kolkata Port. But his heart lay somewhere else, in theatre which he pursued since childhood.
- Even after being conferred the with the title of MahaNayak, his film career did not gain momentum at the beginning. His first film Mayador was never released. So, he made his appearance as a debutante in his second film, After this, he had a series of consecutive flop films, thus earning him the title of ‘flop master’.
- Uttam Kumar acted in more than 200 films. He has been an actor, a playback singer, composer and a director. He is the holder of many prestigious awards and felicitations.
- His charming smile, charismatic looks, and style made him not only win a huge female fanbase but led almost all the actresses of contemporary era drooling over him.
- However, his most famous works, rather his pairing is best remembered with another iconic Bengali actress and Diva, Suchitra Sen. Together they worked in almost 30 films, the most famous ones being, Sare Chuattor, Agni Pariksha, Saptapadi, Harano Sur, Pother Holo Deri.
- Bengali director Probir Roy would be soon releasing his upcoming Bengali docu-feature on the late matinee idol ‘Jete Nahi Debo‘ (Will not let you go), on the eve of his 38th death anniversary.
Now, with a legion of fan following in Bengal and Bangladesh, Uttam Kumar has churned out more than 200 films in a career spanning the golden age of Bengali cinema from the 1950s to the 1970s. This national award-winning actor has worked with filmmakers like Tapan Sinha and Satyajit Ray. In fact, the superstar in the Satyajit Ray’s greatest movie Nayak could not have been better portrayed if not for Uttam Kumar. In a way, the protagonist Arindam Mukherjee was brought to life by him. It is said that Nayak was more than a film, it was a ‘phenomenon’.
Perhaps, Uttam Kumar himself was also no less than a phenomenon. However, kings rule and leave. Uttam Kumar ruled and he still rules the screen and our hearts now and would rule many in the years to come.