Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee passed away at Belle Vue hospital in Kolkata at 12.15 pm on Sunday. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the hospital after hearing the news of the actor’s demise.
Bengal bade a tearful adieu to the Dada Saheb Phalke awardee as thousands of people walked following a flower-bedecked hearse which carried his body to a crematorium where his mortal remains were consigned to flames with full state honours in Kolkata on Sunday evening.
85-year-old Chatterjee contracted Covid-19 on October 6 and had been in hospital since then. Though he later tested negative, Covid encephalopathy set in leading to various complications. Following this, Chatterjee undereent the first plasmapheresis on Thursday and tracheostomy on Wednesday, according to doctors.
"We tried steroids, immunoglobulin, cardiology, anti-viral therapy, immunology everything," the doctor said, adding, a huge team of specialists from the fields of neurology, nephrology, cardiology, critical care medicine, ID specialists put in a lot of effort to revive him in the past 40 days.”
As the actor’s neurological condition worsened on Friday, an EEG showed there was very little activity in the brain. Chatterjee’s family accepted the grim health of the actor as informed by doctors treating him.
The legendary actor debuted in Satyajit Ray's masterpiece ‘Apur Sansar’ and acted in 14 of Ray’s films. He did numerous films and bagged the Dada Saheb Phalke award and France’s highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, being the seventh recipient of this award.
He won 2 national film awards, and for his stint in Bengali theatre too, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998, given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama.