Suchitra Sen

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Suchitra Sen
Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimpal Roy's, Devdas (1955).jpg
Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimal Roy's Devdas (1955)
BornRama Dasgupta
(1931-04-06) April 6, 1931 (age 82)
Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
Other namesRama
Years active1953–1979
Spouse(s)Dibanath Sen
Awards1963-Best Actress for Saptapadi in Moscow film festival
SignatureSuchitra Sen English signature.jpg
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Suchitra Sen
Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimpal Roy's, Devdas (1955).jpg
Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimal Roy's Devdas (1955)
BornRama Dasgupta
(1931-04-06) April 6, 1931 (age 82)
Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
Other namesRama
Years active1953–1979
Spouse(s)Dibanath Sen
Awards1963-Best Actress for Saptapadi in Moscow film festival
SignatureSuchitra Sen English signature.jpg

Suchitra Sen (Bengali pronunciation: [ʃuːtʃiːraː ʃeːn] About this sound listen ) or Rama Dasgupta (About this sound listen ) (born 6 April 1931),[1][2] is an Indian actress[3] who acted in several Bengali films. In particular, the movies in which she paired opposite another legend in Bengali films, Uttam Kumar, became classics in the history of Bengali cinema. She now lives a life of a recluse rarely making any public appearances. When she left movies, she was slowly but steadily losing the position of leading lady of Bengali silver screen.

She is the first Bengali actress to be awarded in an international film festival (Best Actress award for Saat Paake Bandha in the 1963 Moscow film festival). Notably, she allegedly refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005, preferring to live in seclusion out of the public eye.[4] In 2012, Sen was conferred West Bengal government`s highest award Banga Bibhushan.[5]

Personal life and education[edit]

Sen was born in Pabna in present day Pabna District of Bangladesh. Her father Karunamoy Dasgupta was the headmaster of the local school and her mother Indira Devi was a homemaker. She was their fifth child and third daughter. She had her formal education in Pabna.

She married Dibanath Sen, son of a wealthy Bengali industrialist, Adinath Sen in 1947[6] and had one daughter, Moon Moon Sen, who is an actress.

Sen made a successful entry after marriage into Bengali films 1952 and then a less successful transition to the Bollywood film industry. According to some unconfirmed but persistent reports in the Bengali press, her marriage was severely strained by her success in the film industry.


Sen made her debut in films with Shesh Kothaay in 1952, but it was never released.[7] The following year saw her act opposite Uttam Kumar in Sharey Chuattor, a film by Nirmal Dey. It was a box-office hit and remembered for launching Uttam-Suchitra as a leading pair. They went on to become the icons for Bengali dramas for more than 20 years, becoming almost a genre to themselves.

She received a Best Actress Award for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie. Her patented Bengali melodramas and romances, especially with Uttam Kumar, made her the most famous Bengali actress ever. Her films ran through the 1960s and the 1970s. Her husband died, but she continued to act in films, such as the Hindi hit Aandhi (1974), where she played a politician. Aandhi was inspired by India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sen received a Filmfare Award nomination as Best Actress, while Sanjeev Kumar, who essayed the role of her husband, won the Filmfare as Best Actor.A point to be noted, her husband,who himself was an industrialist, invested a lot in her success, but later a great deal of rift developed among them.

One of Suchitra's best known performances was in Deep Jwele Jaai (1959). She played Radha, a hospital nurse employed by a progressive psychiatrist, Pahadi Sanyal, who is expected to develop a personal relationship with male patients as part of their therapy. Sanyal diagnoses the hero, Basanta Choudhury, as having an unresolved Oedipal dilemma — the inevitable consequence for men denied a nurturing woman. He orders Radha to play the role though she is hesitant as in a similar case she had fallen in love with the patient. She finally agrees and bears up to Choudhury's violence, impersonates his mother, sings his poetic compositions and in the process falls in love again. In the end, even as she brings about his cure, she suffers a nervous breakdown. The film is full of beautiful, often partly lit, close ups of Sen which set the tone of the film and is aided by a mesmerizing performance by her. Asit Sen remade the film in Hindi as Khamoshi (1969) with Waheeda Rehman in the Suchitra Sen role.)

Suchitra's other landmark film with Asit Sen was Uttar Falguni (1963). Suchitra carries the film single-handedly in the dual role of a courtesan Pannabai and her daughter Suparna, a lawyer. In particular, she is brilliant as Pannabai, bringing much poise, grace and dignity in the role of a fallen woman determined to see her daughter grow up in a good, clean environment. Suchitra as Pannabai is able to connect directly with the viewer and make him or her feel deeply for all that she goes through the course of the film thus giving her death at the end a solid, emotional wallop. Her international success came in the year of 1963, when she won the best actress award in Moscow Film Festival for the movie Saat Paake Bandha. In fact, she is the first female to receive an international film award.

She refused Satyajit Ray's offer due to date problem; as a result Ray never made the film Devi Chaudhurani. His She also refused Raj Kapoor's offer for a film under the RK banner. She retired from the screen in 1978 after a career of over 25 years to a life of quiet seclusion. She has avoided the public gaze after her retirement and has devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission.[1] Suchitra Sen was a contender for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005, provided she was ready to accept it in person. Her refusal to go to New Delhi and personally receive the award from the President of India deprived her of that award.

Selected filmography[edit]

1952Shesh KothayBengaliUnreleased
1953Saat Number Kayedi
1953Bhagaban Srikrishna ChaitanyaBishnupriyaBengali
1953Sharey ChuattorRomolaBengali
1954Sadanander MelaSheelaBengali
1954Ora Thaake Odhare
1954Atom Bomb
1954Maraner PareyTanimaBengali
1954Annapurnar MandirBengali
1955DevdasParvati (Paro)HindiFirst Hindi film
1955Sabar UpareyBengali
1955Snaajher PradeepBengali
1955Mejo BouBengali
1956Amar BouBengali
1956Ekti RaatSwantanaBengali
1957Harano SurDr. Roma BanerjeeBengali
1957Pathe Holo DeriMallika
1957Jeeban Trishna
1957MusafirShakuntala VermaHindi
1958Rajlakshmi O SrikantaRajlakshmi
1958Surya ToranAunita ChatarjeeBengali
1959Deep Jwele JaaiRadhaBengali
1959Chaaowa PawoaBengali
1960Smriti Tuku ThaakShobhaBengali
1960Bombai Ka BabooMayaHindi
1961SaptapadiRina BrownBengali
1963Saat Paake BadhaArchanaBengali
1963Uttar FhalguniDebjani / Pannabai / SuparnaBengali
1964Sandhya Deeper SikhaJayanti BannerjeeBengali
1966MamtaDevyani / Pannabai / SuparnaHindi
1970Megh KaloDr. Nirmalya RoyBengali
1972Alo Amaar AloAtashiBengali
1972Haar Maana HaarBengali
1974Devi ChaudhuraniPrafullamukhiBengali
1974Srabana SandhyaBengali
1975Priyo BandhabiBengali
1975AandhiAarti DeviHindi
1978Pranoy PashaBengali

Awards and nominations[edit]

1963Moscow Film Festival - Best actress awardWonSaptapadi[8]
1963Filmfare Best Actress AwardnominatedMamta
1976Filmfare Best Actress AwardNominatedAandhi
2012Banga BibhushanWonLifetime Achievement in Film acting


  1. ^ a b Deb, Alok Kumar. "APRIL BORN a few PERSONALITIES". Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Garbo meets Sen Two women bound by beauty and mystery". Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Tuesday , July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Sharma, Vijay Kaushik, Bela Rani (1998). Women's rights and world development. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 368. ISBN 8176250155 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  4. ^ "Suchitra Sen awarded Banga-Bibhusan". Zee News India. May 20, 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Das, Mohua (May 20, 2012). "The perils of a packed prize podium Ravi Shankar declines award". Telegraph, Kolkata (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Chakraborty, Ajanta (Jun 18, 2011). "Actress Suchitra Sen's secrets out!". TNN (Times of India). 
  7. ^ Chatterjee, ed. board Gulzar, Govind Nuhalani, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. New Delhi: Encyclopaedia Britannica. pp. PT647. ISBN 8179910660. 
  8. ^ "3rd Moscow International Film Festival (1963)". MIFF. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 

External links[edit]