Kolkata, March 21 Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who has portrayed a versatile range of lead characters in films by Satyajit Ray, has been selected for India’s highest film honour – the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2012.
Confirming the news, Chatterjee told IANS that he was “extremely happy” at the honour.
“I am extremely happy. Till this evening I had not thought of this award. But after I got the news I am extremely happy,” Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee, one of India’s most talented actors, made his debut in 1959 with Ray’s super-hit movie “Apur Sansar”. The film gave him the much needed platform, and he never looked back.
Chatterjee soon became Ray’s favourite, and became the lead actor of most of the movie maker’s classics including “Sonar Kella”, “Charulata”, and “Ghare Baire”.
Chatterjee’s association with Ray is often compared with the chemistry between famous actor-director duos of the world such as Akira Kurosowa-Toshiro Mifune and Marcello Mastroianni-Federico Fellini.
Apart from Ray, Chatterjee has worked with all internationally acclaimed directors of his time, including Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar.
Some of his notable movies are “Jhinder Bandi”, “Koni”, “Kaapurush”, “Akash Kusum”, “Aranyer Din Ratri”, “Joy Baba Felunath”, “Teen Bhubaner Pare”, “Ganashatru” and “Sakah Prashakha”.
The Padama Bhushan awardee has also worked with other famous directors such as Aparna Sen, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh.
Besides films, Chatterjee is also known for his passion for the stage where he has both acted and directed plays. He is also one of the all-time best elocutionists of Bengal.
He has also received ‘The Officier des Arts et Metiers’, the highest award for arts from France and lifetime achievement award from Italy.