Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee has been taken to hospital in Kolkata after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr Chatterjee, beloved star of some of Bengali cinema’s finest films, is 85. Mr Chatterjee tested positive on Tuesday morning, a health official told news agency PTI. “His samples were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and the reports came today,” the official said. Soumitra Chatterjee is believed to have been unwell for the last few days. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called to enquire about the actor’s health.
Soumitra Chatterjee, a man of several hats, is perhaps best-known for his many collaborations with filmmaker Satyajit Ray – they made 14 movies together. He made his debut in Mr Ray’s 1959 film Apur Sansar, part of the acclaimed Pather Panchali trilogy. Mr Chatterjee was also directed by Satyajit Ray in Charulata, Devi, Teen Kanya, Ghare Baire, Ganashatru and other films. He is also the first actor to play the role of Feluda, the detective created by Satyajit Ray. Soumitra Chatterjee starred as Feluda in two films directed by Mr Ray – Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath.
Soumitra Chatterjee has also been directed by other Bengali cinematic greats, including Mrinal Sen in Akash Kusum. His last big screen outing was 2019’s Sanjhbati.
Soumitra Chatterjee’s extensive list of awards and honours includes the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna. He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award – India’s top film honour – in 2012. Mr Chatterjee is also the winner of three National Awards for his performances in the films Antardhan, Dekha and Padokkhep.