Veteran Bengali Actor Supriya Devi Passes Away

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Kolkata: Legendary actor of Bengali golden era Supriya Devi has died on Friday at her residence. Major cardiac arrest took her life early morning. She was 83 years old.

She made her debut opposite screen icon Uttam Kumar, with whom she went on to live-in for several years as a close companion, in Basu Paribar (1952), never looked back after ‘Sonar Harin’ opposite Uttam Kumar in 1959. ‘Chowringhee’, ‘Bagh Bandi Khela’ and ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ were among her classics.

Best known for her on and off-screen pairing with Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar, Devi had a successful career spanning more than fifty years in both, films and theatre.

Veteran actor Sabitri Chattopadhyay told, “I cannot believe this news. We regularly talked over the phone.”

Soumita Chatterjee said, “I have lost my 60 years old friend.”

“Very saddened at the passing of legendary actress of Bengal, Supriya Chowdhury (Debi). We will fondly remember her through her films. Condolences to her family and fans,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

With Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, she formed a magnificent trio that ruled the Bengali screen during its golden age. In fact, her on screen rivalry with Sen was known to be legendary.

Her portrayal of Neeta in Ritwik Ghatak’s Megha Dhaka Tara (1960) has immortalised her in the memory of cine-buffs. Born in 1935, in pre-independent Burma, she straddled both mainstream and arthouse cinema with equal ease.

Her roles in films like Komal Gandhar, Sonar Harin, Chowringhee, Devdas, Sanyasi Raja, Bon Palashir Padabali, Kal Tumi Aleya and many more still continue to enthrall Bengali audiences worldwide.

Supriya Devi was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 2014. The West Bengal government had conferred her with Banga Vibhushan, the higest civilian award in the state besides the Filmfare East Lifetime Achievement Award.

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