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Obit: Suchitra Sen, Bengali cinema's 'Queen of Hearts'

Kolkata: Capturing the public's imagination for three decades through her ethereal beauty and intense celluloid performance, Suchitra Sen symbolised the golden age of Bengali cinema with memorable films like ‘Agnipariksha', ‘Devdas' and ‘Saat Paake Bandha'.The
PTI January 17, 2014 14:07 IST
PTI
Kolkata: Capturing the public's imagination for three decades through her ethereal beauty and intense celluloid performance, Suchitra Sen symbolised the golden age of Bengali cinema with memorable films like ‘Agnipariksha', ‘Devdas' and ‘Saat Paake Bandha'.

The doe-eyed beauty turned a recluse after bidding adieu to the world of films in the late seventies and was often compared to Hollywood icon Greta Garbo, who shunned public contact.

No other heroine in Bengal since Kanan Devi caught the public imagination as Sen did. In an era of black and white movies, her intense performances catapulted her to stardom.  Such was the popularity of the Sen that during Durga Puja, idols of Lakshmi and Saraswati were known to have been modelled on her face.

Sen today died at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack.

Beginning her career with Bengali film ‘Shesh Kothai' in 1952, Sen went on to receive a National Award for her performance in Bimal Roy's 1955 Hindi classic ‘Devdas', playing the defiant ‘Paro' to Dilip Kumar's ‘Devdas'.  

She formed an unbeatable romantic pair with Bengali cinema legend Uttam Kumar. The duo gave a string of memorable hits such as ‘Harano Sur' (1957), ‘Agnipariksha' (1954),'Saptapadi' (1961), ‘Grihadaha' (1967), ‘Indrani' (1958), ‘Sagarika' (1956), ‘Bipasha' (1962), ‘Kamal Lata' (1969), ‘Alo Amar Alo' (1972), ‘Har Mana Har' (1972) and ‘Priyo Bandhabi' (1975).

Sen acted in 52 Bengali and seven Hindi films.  ‘Champakali', with Bharat Bhushan, ‘Sarhhaad' and ‘Bommbai Ka Babu' with Dev Anand and ‘Mamta' were some of her other notable Hindi films.

However, her most famous Hindi film after ‘Devdas' was 1974's ‘Aandhi' by Gulzar. She earned wide acclaim for her role opposite Sanjeev Kumar in the film which landed in controversy due to similarities betwen her character and Indira Gandhi.