Soumitra Chatterjee (also spelt as Chattopadhyay; 19 January 1935 – 15 November 2020) was an Indian film actor, play-director, playwright, writer, thespian and poet. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. He is best known for his collaborations with director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films. Starting with his debut film, Apur Sansar (The Family of Apu, 1959), the third part of The Apu Trilogy, as adult Apu, he went on to work in several films with Ray, including Abhijan (The Expedition, 1962), Charulata (1964), Kapurush (1965), Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1969), Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973), Sonar Kella (The Fortress of Gold, 1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1978) as Feluda, Hirak Rajar Deshe (1980), Ghare Baire (The Home and The World, 1984), Shakha Proshakha (1990) and Ganashatru (Enemy of the People, 1989). He also worked with other noted directors of Bengali cinema, such as Mrinal Sen in Akash Kusum (Up in the Clouds, 1965); Tapan Sinha in Kshudhita Pashan (Hungry Stones, 1960), Jhinder Bandi (1961); Asit Sen in Swaralipi (1961), Ajoy Kar in Parineeta (1969), and Tarun Mazumdar in Ganadevata (1978). He acted in more than 210 films in his career. He also received critical acclaim for his directorial debut Stree Ki Patra (1986) which was based on the Bengali short story Streer Patra by RabindranathSoumitra was the recipient of multiple honours and awards. Soumitra was the first Indian film personality who was conferred with France's highest award for artists 'Commandeur' of, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1999). He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan (2004) and France's highest civilian award Commandeur de la Légion d' Honneur (Commander of Legion of Honour) (2017). He received two National Film Awards as an actor and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his work in theatre. In 2012, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema given by the government of India for lifetime achievement. In 2013, IBN Live named him as one of "The men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema".
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