Yesteryear’s actress Suchitra Sen passed away from a heart attack today. She had been suffering from respiratory problems and died on January 17, 2014. In her time, she was considered one of Bengal’s most talented actresses and her pairing with legendary actor Uttam Kumar was hailed as one of Bengali cinema’s best. She did very few Hindi movies but was seen in Bimal Roy’s 1955 version of Devdas where she made her Bollywood debut as Paro opposite Dilip Kumar. For the last few years, she had been living the life of a recluse, barely making any public appearances. It’s rumoured that she refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 to prevent coming under the limelight. She was however conferred with the West Bengal government’s highest civilian award Banga Bibhushan.
She is survived by her daughter Moon Moon Sen who was also an actress and is the grandmother of Raima and Riya Sen. One of her other memorable roles was in a movie called Aandhi in which she played a fictionalised version of Indira Gandhi. She actually was the first Indian actress to win an international award when she received the Silver Prize for Best Actress at the Moscow Film Festival for Saptapadi. Sadly, she never enjoyed the same amount of adulation in Bollywood that she enjoyed in Bengali cinema. West Bengal will surely weep for their favourite daughter.