[FILM] Uttam Kumar’s golden age of Bengali (West Bengal) cinema –brings to mind Pedro Infante’s era in Mexico

Uttam Kumar (3 September 1926 – 24 July 1980) born as Arun Kumar Chatterjee; was the greatest legendary actor of Indian Bengalicinema. He is fondly called the iconic Mahanayak or the “Great Hero” of Bengali cinema. He was born Arun Kumar Chatterjee on 3 September 1926 in Kolkata.

He had been an actor, director and producer. Apart from acting in a good number of Bengali films such as SaptapadiHarano Sur, Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (The Hero) and Chiriyakhana (The Zoo, a thriller written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, in which he played the famous Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi), he has acted in some Hindi films like “Chhoti si Mulaqat” (with Vyjayantimala Bali), Amanush (with Sharmila Tagore), Ananda Ashram(with Sharmila Tagore), Kitaab and Dooriyaan.

There is a theatre(Uttam Mancha)in his name in Kolkata.A life-size statue has been erected near Tollygunj metro station which has recently been renamed after the iconic actor by the central railway ministry.Besides,Shilpi Sansad,the actor’s pet project of safegurading the artises especially the poor and the old, has still been active.There is a grapevine that the state government is planning to build a museum to preserve the memorabilia of the legend. He is no doubt one of the best Indian Actors ever born who literally carved out the golden period of Bengali cinemas.

Quotes

” I prefer following my own ways of acting, like the ways we talk, get angry,that kind of natural spontaneous acting. More of portraying a character.”

” Sometimes I got scared. So much of accolade — would they last for long?And that is why I was not ready to get carried away in the waves of admiration. I desire for more work.”

” I never fear work. Rather I derive pleasure out of work.”

” Films,Shilpi Sansad,then there was the world of my own,my privacy:I was confused.As if my every moment has ben sold…”

” Whenever I set to work,one after the other death news hit me.Again I eased myself by realizing that death is the only truth.”

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José Pedro Infante Cruz (November 18, 1917 [1][2] – April 15, 1957), better known as Pedro Infante, is perhaps the most famous actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and was the idol of the Mexican people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís, who were styled the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters). He was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. He was raised in Guamúchil. He died on April 15, 1957, in Mérida, Yucatán, in a plane crash during a flight that he was piloting himself en route to Mexico City.

His film career began in 1939 with him appearing in more than 60 films, and starting in 1943, he recorded about 350 songs. For his performance in the movie Tizoc, he was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival.

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