New Delhi: He turned down a national award 11 years back but legendary Bangla actor Soumitra Chatterjee is proud to recieve this year's Dada Saheb Phalke award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema. The 77-year-old actor had turned down the special jury award for best actor in 2001 to protest the bias of national film awards committee in selecting mainstream cinema.
This time, however, the jury chose Soumitra over veterans actors like Pran, Manoj Kumar and Vyjanthimala. Considered one of the finest actors India ever produced, Soumitra is known for his long association with legendary Satyajit Ray, starring in 14 of his films. He made his film debut in Ray's 1959 film 'Apur Sansar' and went on to act in several other of his masterpieces like 'Devi', 'Charulata' and 'Ghare Baire'. Some of his finest performances came in the role of detective Prodosh Mitter (Feluda) in Ray's 'Sonar Kella' and
'Joy Baba Felunath' as also a school teacher fighting against a despot king in 'Hirok Rajar Deshe'. Here is a playlist of some of his best work.
He made his film debut in Ray's 1959 film 'Apur Sansar' and went on to act in several other of his masterpieces.