Soumitra Chatterjee: India acting legend dies, aged 85

Publishedduration4 hours agoimage copyrightNemai Ghoshimage captionChatterjee played a Sherlock Holmes-like detective in Satyajit Ray's films

Legendary Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee, famed for his work with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray, has died from Covid complications.

The 85-year-old actor was admitted to hospital in Kolkata city on 6 October after he tested positive for the virus.

He will be mourned by fans and critics who avidly followed his six-decade-long career in Bengali language films.

Chatterjee, who starred in more than 300 movies, was also an accomplished playwright, theatre actor and poet.

He tested negative a few weeks after he was admitted to hospital but his condition soon deteriorated and he was put on a ventilator in the last week of October. He died on Monday morning.

Chatterjee was perhaps best-known for his work with Ray, one of the world's most influential directors and maker of the much-feted Apu Trilogy. The series followed the life of a man who grew up in a Bengali village. The films garnered critical acclaim, winning many awards worldwide, and put Indian cinema on the global map.

The third movie of the trilogy, Apur Sansar, which released in 1959, was also Chatterjee's debut film. He would go on to star as the lead actor in 14 of Ray's films.

Pauline Kael, one of America's most influential and respected film critics, called Chatterjee Ray's "one-man stock company" who moved "so differently in the different roles he plays that he is almost unrecognisable".

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