Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee has passed away in Kolkata's Belle Vue Nursing Home at around 12:15pm today. Hospital sources confirmed the news, according to Anandabazar.
He had tested positive for Covid-19 on October 6, following which he was admitted to the hospital.
The 85-year-old had been under constant observation and was receiving intensive care since then. He tested negative for coronavirus earlier in October, and was shifted to a non-Covid ICU unit.
However, according to the doctors, he was not responding to treatment and his platelet count had dropped significantly. Though his heart and lungs were stable, his consciousness was a major concern. He was on ventilator support since October 27, and his kidneys were not functioning well.
Soumitra had been under treatment for over a month, and was also suffering from secondary pneumonia.
His condition, which was described as critical but stable for several days, deteriorated sharply soon after he underwent tracheostomy and plasmapheresis earlier this week. He had COPD-related troubles, and had also suffered from pneumonia. He was a prostate cancer survivor.
The actor was shooting for an autobiographical documentary titled "Abhijan", directed by actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay. He last attended the shooting at Bharatlaxmi Studio on October 1. He fell ill during the shoot, and was taken home immediately.
Born in Krishnanagar, West Bengal, on January 19, 1935, Soumitra made his film debut in 1959 in Satyajit Ray's, "Apur Sansar". They worked together in 14 films, including Ray's last film, "Shakha Proshakha."
He played the iconic detective Feluda in "Sonar Kella" and "Joy Baba Felunath", directed by Ray. He was also directed by Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar and other renowned filmmakers.
Soumitra made his mark not only in films but also in theatre, as a writer, playwright and director. He continued acting in Kolkata-based Bengali Theatre, and was a powerful elocutionist as well.
Soumitra studied in the Howrah Zilla School, City College, Kolkata and at the University of Calcutta.
"Apur Sansar", "Charulata", "Arannyer Dinratri", "Ashani Sanket", "Hirok Rajar Deshe", "Ghare Baire", "Abar Arannye", "Paromitar Ekdin", "Parineeta", "Jibon Soikatey", "Mallyodan" and "Belasheshe" are some of his most notable films.
His famous theatre performances include "Tiktiki", "Nilkantho", "Ghatak Biday", "Rajkumar", "Phera", "King Lear" and "Shesher Kobita" among others.
The thespian last came to Bangladesh in 2015, to attend Natya Utshab by Nagorik Natyasampradaya. He performed on stage in Dhaka during the visit.
Popular Bangladeshi actor Babita acted opposite Soumitra in "Ashani Sanket".
"He had an ever smiling personality and he was dedicated towards his work," shared Babita. "He loved acting wholeheartedly."
Soumitra Chatterjee received the Padma Bhushan in 2004. He received the 2011 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the Government of India's highest award in cinema for lifetime achievement. In 2018, he received France's highest civilian award, the Legion of Honour.