Suchitra Sen, a veteran Indian actress known as India cinema’s Greta Garbo, has died in the eastern city of Kolkata.
The 82-year-old actress had been hospitalised a month ago following a chest infection and doctors said her condition had deteriorated. She died following a massive heart attack on Friday, according to agency reports.
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Sen was the foremost star of Bengali cinema and one of India’s noted actresses and recipient of awards for her contribution to Indian cinema including the Padma Shri.
Born in erstwhile East Bengal or Bangladesh, she made her debut in 1952 in the Bengali film Sesh Kothay.
For twenty years she remained Bengali cinema’s top star along with actor Uttam Kumar with whom she had acted in the most number of films. Through the 1960s and 1970s they remained a beloved romantic couple on screen.
Sen also acted in the prosperous Hindi language films. Her films Devdas (1955) and Aandhi (1974) were noted for her performances but she remained popular in Bengali cinema.
Following her retirement from films Sen cut herself from public engagements and led a reclusive life in her home in Kolkata she shared with her daughter, actress Moon Moon Sen and her family.
Indian film magazines called her the Greta Garbo of India for her enigmatic reclusiveness.
She did not made any public appearances and even refused to receive awards as she did not want to appear in the public eye.
Sen’s daughter and two granddaughters Raima and Riya Sen are popular actresses in Bengali cinema.