While Tollywood productions turn sleeker and heroes follow their Bollywood counterparts in flexing their six pack bodies, West Bengal on Wednesday remembered on his 33rd death anniversary the quintessential Bengali super star of all times- the late matinee idol Uttam Kumar who left behind a legacy of films with timeless romantic pairings that are still a big draw among the Bengalis.
The film fraternity and Bengalis of generations sold on the charm and charisma of the actor, whose celluloid chemistry with the now reclusive screen goddess Suchitra Sen is legendary, fondly remembered Uttam Kumar who died this day in 1980.
The West Bengal government has launched awards after the legendary actor´s name and honoured 50 Bengali film personalities on the occasion on Wednesday.
Actors Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, Ranjit Mullick, Dipankar Dey and Sandhya Roy, and filmmaker Gautam Ghosh have been presented the lifetime achievement award for their contribution to Bengali cinema.
Actors Chinmoy Roy and Partha Mukherjee, and directors Sandip Roy, Kaushik Ganguly, Sujit Guha, Srijit Mukherjee and Raj Chakraborty were presented special awards.
The Mahanayak Samman, 2013, was conferred to actor turned Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal and Tollywood superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took this initiative to mark the death anniversary of her favourite cinestar Uttam Kumar.
The legendary actor was born as Arun Kumar Chatterjee on September 3, 1926.
He made his debut in the film 'Drishtidan' by Nitin Bose in the year 1948.
The actor had not only proved his screen presence through acting and on-screen romance but his charm had an instant appeal to all the cine viewers.
He had almost ruled the silver screen with almost a cult-following in Bengal with people attempting to look like their favourite hero who would sport the spotless white dhoti and a kurta immaculately.
While shooting for his last film 'Ogo Bodhu Shundori' in 1980, the actor suffered a heart attack that led to his death at an age of 54.
The actor received the National Award for his performances in 'Anthony Firangee' and 'Chiriyakhana' in 1967.
The actor featured in few hit films like, 'Saptapadi', 'Maya Mriga', 'Deya Neya', 'Jeeban-Mrityu', 'Dhanyi Meye', 'Mon Niye', 'Sanyasi Raja', Satyajit Ray´s 'Nayak' and others.
The actor also acted in few Hindi films including 'Chhoti Si Mulaqat', ´Desh Premi´, 'Amanush', 'Anand Ashram', 'Dooriyaan' and 'Kitaab'.