April 6, 1931
Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
|Awards||1963-Best Actress for Saptapadi in Moscow film festival|
Suchitra Sen (Bengali pronunciation: [ʃuːtʃiːraː ʃeːn] listen (help·info)) or Rama Dasgupta ( listen (help·info)) (born 6 April 1931), is an Indian actress who acted in several Bengali films. In particular, the movies in which she paired opposite another legend in Bengali films, Uttam Kumar, became classics in the history of Bengali cinema. She now lives a life of a recluse rarely making any public appearances. When she left movies, she was slowly but steadily losing the position of leading lady of Bengali silver screen.
She is the first Bengali actress to be awarded in an international film festival (Best Actress award for Saat Paake Bandha in the 1963 Moscow film festival). Notably, she allegedly refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005, preferring to live in seclusion out of the public eye. In 2012, Sen was conferred West Bengal government`s highest award Banga Bibhushan.
Personal life and education
Sen was born in Pabna in present day Pabna District of Bangladesh. Her father Karunamoy Dasgupta was the headmaster of the local school and her mother Indira Devi was a homemaker. She was their fifth child and third daughter. She had her formal education in Pabna.
Sen made a successful entry after marriage into Bengali films 1952 and then a less successful transition to the Bollywood film industry. According to some unconfirmed but persistent reports in the Bengali press, her marriage was severely strained by her success in the film industry.
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 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 to themselves.
She received a Best Actress Award for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie. Her patented Bengali melodramas and romances, especially with Uttam Kumar, made her the most famous Bengali actress ever. Her films ran through the 1960s and the 1970s. Her husband died, but she continued to act in films, such as the Hindi hit Aandhi (1974), where she played a politician. Aandhi was inspired by India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sen received a Filmfare Award nomination as Best Actress, while Sanjeev Kumar, who essayed the role of her husband, won the Filmfare as Best Actor.A point to be noted, her husband,who himself was an industrialist, invested a lot in her success, but later a great deal of rift developed among them.
One of Suchitra's best known performances was in Deep Jwele Jaai (1959). She played Radha, 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 — the inevitable consequence for men denied a nurturing woman. 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 full of beautiful, often partly lit, close ups of Sen which set the tone of the film and is aided by a mesmerizing performance by her. Asit Sen remade the film in Hindi as Khamoshi (1969) with Waheeda Rehman in the Suchitra Sen role.)
Suchitra's other landmark film with Asit Sen was Uttar Falguni (1963). Suchitra carries the film single-handedly in the dual role of a courtesan Pannabai and her daughter Suparna, a lawyer. In particular, she is brilliant as Pannabai, bringing much poise, grace and dignity in the role of a fallen woman determined to see her daughter grow up in a good, clean environment. Suchitra as Pannabai is able to connect directly with the viewer and make him or her feel deeply for all that she goes through the course of the film thus giving her death at the end a solid, emotional wallop. Her international success came in the year of 1963, when she won the best actress award in Moscow Film Festival for the movie Saat Paake Bandha. In fact, she is the first female to receive an international film award.
She refused Satyajit Ray's offer due to date problem; as a result Ray never made the film Devi Chaudhurani. His She also refused Raj Kapoor's offer for a film under the RK banner. She retired from the screen in 1978 after a career of over 25 years to a life of quiet seclusion. She has avoided the public gaze after her retirement and has devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission. Suchitra Sen was a contender for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005, provided she was ready to accept it in person. Her refusal to go to New Delhi and personally receive the award from the President of India deprived her of that award.
|1953||Saat Number Kayedi|
|1953||Bhagaban Srikrishna Chaitanya||Bishnupriya||Bengali|
|1954||Ora Thaake Odhare|
|1955||Devdas||Parvati (Paro)||Hindi||First Hindi film|
|1957||Harano Sur||Dr. Roma Banerjee||Bengali|
|1957||Pathe Holo Deri||Mallika|
|1958||Rajlakshmi O Srikanta||Rajlakshmi|
|1958||Surya Toran||Aunita Chatarjee||Bengali|
|1959||Deep Jwele Jaai||Radha||Bengali|
|1960||Smriti Tuku Thaak||Shobha||Bengali|
|1960||Bombai Ka Baboo||Maya||Hindi|
|1963||Saat Paake Badha||Archana||Bengali|
|1963||Uttar Fhalguni||Debjani / Pannabai / Suparna||Bengali|
|1964||Sandhya Deeper Sikha||Jayanti Bannerjee||Bengali|
|1966||Mamta||Devyani / Pannabai / Suparna||Hindi|
|1970||Megh Kalo||Dr. Nirmalya Roy||Bengali|
|1972||Alo Amaar Alo||Atashi||Bengali|
|1972||Haar Maana Haar||Bengali|
Awards and nominations
|1963||Moscow Film Festival - Best actress award||Won||Saptapadi|
|1963||Filmfare Best Actress Award||nominated||Mamta|
|1976||Filmfare Best Actress Award||Nominated||Aandhi|
|2012||Banga Bibhushan||Won||Lifetime Achievement in Film acting|
- Deb, Alok Kumar. "APRIL BORN a few PERSONALITIES". www.tripurainfo.com. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Garbo meets Sen Two women bound by beauty and mystery". Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Tuesday , July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Sharma, Vijay Kaushik, Bela Rani (1998). Women's rights and world development. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 368. ISBN 8176250155http://books.google.co.in/books?id=qnJ9J9UygR0C&pg=PA368 Check
- "Suchitra Sen awarded Banga-Bibhusan". Zee News India. May 20, 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Das, Mohua (May 20, 2012). "The perils of a packed prize podium Ravi Shankar declines award". Telegraph, Kolkata (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Chakraborty, Ajanta (Jun 18, 2011). "Actress Suchitra Sen's secrets out!". TNN (Times of India).
- Chatterjee, ed. board Gulzar, Govind Nuhalani, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. New Delhi: Encyclopaedia Britannica. pp. PT647. ISBN 8179910660.
- "3rd Moscow International Film Festival (1963)". MIFF. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- Suchitra Sen at the Internet Movie Database
- A Biography upperstal.com
- Calcuttaweb article on Suchitra Sen