Personal life and education
Suchitra Sen was born in Pabna, in the present-day Pabna District of Bangladesh, on 6 April 1931. Her father Late 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 received her formal education in Pabna.
Suchitra Sen married Dibanath Sen, son of wealthy Bengali industrialist Adinath Sen, in 1947 and had one daughter, Moon Moon Sen, who is a former actress. Her father-in-law Adinath Sen was supportive of her acting in films after her marriage. Her industrialist husband initially invested a lot in her career and gave her all possible support.
Suchitra Sen made a successful entry into Bengali films in 1952, and then a less successful transition to the Bollywood film industry. According to persistent but unconfirmed reports in the Bengali press, her marriage was strained by her success in the film industry.Career
Suchitra Sen made her debut in films with Shesh Kothaay in 1952, but it was never released. The following year saw her act opposite Uttam Kumar in Sharey Chuattor, a film by Nirmal Dey. It was a box-office hit and is 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 unto themselves.
She received a Best Actress Award for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie. Her Bengali melodramas and romances, especially with Uttam Kumar, made her the most famous Bengali actress ever. Her films ran through the 1960s and '70s. She continued to act in films even after her husband died, such as in the Hindi film Aandhi (1974). 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.
One of her 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. 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 noted for its partly lit close-ups of Sen, which set the tone of the film. Asit Sen remade the film in Hindi as Khamoshi (1969) with Waheeda Rehman in the Suchitra Sen role.
Suchitra Sen's other landmark film with Asit Sen was Uttar Falguni (1963). She plays the dual role of a courtesan, Pannabai, and her daughter Suparna, a lawyer. Critics note that she brought a great deal of poise, grace and dignity to the role of a fallen woman determined to see her daughter grow up in a good, clean environment.
Suchitra Sen's international success came in 1963, when she won the best actress award at the Moscow International Film Festival for the movie Saat Paake Bandha, becoming the first Indian actress to receive an international film award.
A film critic summed up Suchitra Sen's career and continuing legacy as "one half of one of Indian cinema's most popular and abiding screen pairs, Suchitra Sen redefined stardom in a way that few actors have done, combining understated sensuality, feminine charm and emotive force and a no-nonsense gravitas to carve out a persona that has never been matched, let alone surpassed in Indian cinema"In retirement
Suchitra Sen refused Satyajit Ray's offer due to a scheduling problem. As a result, Ray never made the film based on the novel Devi Chaudhurani. She also refused Raj Kapoor's offer for a film under the RK banner.
Sen continued to act after her husband's death in 1970, but called it a day when Pronoy Pasha flopped, and retired from the screen in 1978 after a career of over 25 years to a life of quiet seclusion. She was to do a film project Nati Binodini, also starring Rajesh Khanna, but the film was shelved mid-way after shooting when she decided to quit acting.
She assiduously avoided the public gaze after her retirement and devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission. Suchitra Sen was a contender for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005, provided she was ready to accept it in person. Her refusal to go to New Delhi and personally accept it from the President of India deprived her of the award.Death
Suchitra Sen was admitted to the hospital on 24 December 2013 and was diagnosed with a lung infection. She was reported to have been recovering well in the first week of January. She died at 8.25 am on 17 January 2014, due to a heart attack.
Suchitra Sen's death has been condoled by many leaders, including the President of India Dr. Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. A gun salute was given before her cremation, as ordered by Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Respecting her fierce desire for complete privacy, her last rites were performed at Kolkata's Kaioratola crematorium, barely five and half hours after she breathed her last, with her coffin reaching the crematorium in a flower decked hearse with dark-tinted windows. Despite being Bengal's greatest star, referred to as "Mahanayika", she had consciously chosen to step into oblivion and she remained an enigma till her last, although thousands of fans had converged at the crematorium to catch one last glimpse of their idol. Her entire medical treatment had also been done in seclusion and secrecy.
Source : wikipedia