Joy Mukherjeewrote on Aug 11 2008 7:11PM
Uttam Kumar's mesmerizing screen presence, charismatic personality and extraordinary acting skills has made him one of the most famous legendary actors of Bengali cinema. He is fondly called the Mahanayak of Bengali Cinema. Uttam Kumar was born on 3rd September, 1926 in Kolkata. His real name was Arun Chatterjee. His parents Satkori Chatterjee and Chapala Devi used to call him by the name khoka. He received his early education from Chakraberia school . After that , he joined the reputed South suburban School in Calcutta and completed his matriculation in 1942. Uttam Kumar took admission in Government Commercial college (presently known as Goenka college ) for his higher studies. But he couldn't complete his studies as he joined Kolkata Port Commission as a clerk in the Cash Department. During this period, he worked for amateur theatre groups. Uttam kumar's youngest brother Tarun Kumar was also an actor of considerable repute. On 1st june , 1948 he married Gauri Devi . He had a relationship with the veteran actress Supriya Devi and he lived at her Moira street residence for a long time.
Uttam Kumar was an actor, producer and director. Uttam Kumar's contribution to Bengali movies were immense and thus it was known as the Golden Period of Bengali Cinema. He was associated with various social causes and has helped many people. His onscreen chemistry with Suchitra Sen had made them the greatest romantic duo of all times in Bengali Cinema. Their famous pair was first seen in the movie “Saare Chuattar” which was considered to be a huge hit in the box office. Uttam Kumar has also tried his hands in Bollywood with the movie “Choti si Mulaqat”.He has also directed three Bengali films. Being a versatile genius , he was a good singer and composer too. His performance in the famous theatre “shyamali” in the Star Theatre(1955) was hugely praised. He was first associated with Avinetri Sangha but later he established “Silpi Samsad”. Uttam kumar got his first break as an actor in an unreleased movie called “Mayador”. But his first released film was Drishtidan directed by Nitin Basu in 1948. Saare Chuttor (1953), Sagarika , Sapmochan (1956), Harano Sur , Pathe Holo Deri (1957), Rajlakshmi O Srikanto (1958) , Marutirtha Hinghlaj ( 1959), Saptapadi (1961), Nayak (1966) ,Chowringee (1968), Banpalashir Padabali (1973) , Ananda Ashram (1977), Ogo badgu Sundari , Iman Kalyan (1981) are some the noteworthy movies of this great legend. He was the first Indian actor who received the much coveted “Bharat Award” in 1957 for his outstanding performance in the movies “Anthony Firingi” and “Chririyakhana”.
He was the first actor who was awarded the “ Nagarik Sambardhana” by Kolkata Municipal Corporation. He had also received the well known B.F.J.A award many times. He was the recipient of Best Actor award by Government of West Bengal. He became an internationally acclaimed actor by dint of his power packed performance in the movie “ Nayak” directed by Satyajit Ray and participated in the world famous Berlin Film Festival to represent this film. While working in the Bengali film Ogo Bondhu Sundori , he died of a massive heart attack at the age of 54 on 24th july, 1980. ” It is the demise of a leading light of the Bengali film industry... There isn't - there won't be another hero like him." – Satyajit Ray.