It’s been 42 years since Uttam Kumar passed away on July 24, 1980, but Bengalis still remember the date as clear as water. Uttam is not just a name. He is Bengal’s matinee idol. He is Bengalis’ foremost emotion.
The deep void that he left behind can be filled by none. It was during the shooting of Ogo Bodhu Shundori that Mahanayak Uttam Kumar suffered a stroke on the sets, thus bringing an end to the illustrious silver screen run.
Born as Arun Kumar Chattopadhyay on September 3, 1926 to Satkari Chattopadhyay and Chapala Devi, Uttam belonged to a lower middle-class family at Ahiri Tola in North Kolkata. His father was a film operator in Metro Cinema Hall in Kolkata and his entire family lived at Girish Mukherjee Road.
Remembering Kumar, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “My sincerest tribute to legendary Mahanayak Uttam Kumar on his death anniversary. He was one of the most beloved matinee idols of our country. The icon resides in our hearts even today.”
My sincerest tribute to legendary Mahanayak Uttam Kumar on his death anniversary. He was one of the most beloved matinee idols of our country. The icon resides in our hearts even today.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 24, 2022
— Ena Saha (@SahaEna) July 24, 2022
A one-man institution, Uttam Kumar’s name became almost synonymous with legendary actress Suchitra Sen for their tremendous successful onscreen pairing. He has acted in more than 200 films and some of his iconic films being Harano Sur, Saptapadi, Nayak, Bicharak, Antony Firingee, Amanush, Deya Neya, Sesh Anya, Chiriyakhana, Chowringhee, Jatu Griha and others.
সশ্রদ্ধ প্রণাম। 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/EDjAnxyK9e
— Prosenjit Chatterjee (@prosenjitbumba) July 24, 2022
Directors till today consider him to the ultimate superstar of Bengali cinema. In 2010, when Srijit Mukherji made his debut Bengali feature film Autograph, he paid his tribute to both icons – Satyajit Ray and Uttam Kumar.
Customary share on the actual Guru Purnima. Incomparable. Unprecedented. Unmatched since. pic.twitter.com/gyifRV9hcs
— Srijit Mukherji (@srijitspeaketh) July 24, 2022