New Delhi: Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee will receive the 2011 Dada Saheb Phalke Award for lifetime contribution to cinema. Chatterjee, 77, who has won a National Award in 2008 for his film 'Podokkhep', is an iconic actor in Bengali cinema with a career spanning over half a century.
Sources said the award jury has finalised 77-year-old Chatterjee's name and an announcement in this regard would soon be made.
Recognised as one of the finest actors the country has produced, Chatterjee is known for his long association with legendary Ray, starring in 14 of his films.
He has worked alongside most of the stalwarts of the industry, including legendary actor Uttam Kumar, and some of the best directors of the country.
His best work includes films with honorary Academy Award winning director Satyajit Ray and Tapan Sinha. 'Apur Sansar', 'Devi', 'Teen Kanya', 'Abhijan', 'Ashani Sanket', 'Sonar Kella' and 'Joy Baba Felunath' are some of the films he shot with Ray.
He made his film debut with Ray's 1959 film 'Apur Sansar' and went on to act in several other of his masterpieces like 'Devi', 'Charulata' and 'Ghare Baire'.
Besides Ray, Chatterjee also worked with renowned Bengali directors like Tapan Sinha ('Kshudito Pashan') and Mrinal Sen ('Mahaprithibi').
He also acted with Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar in a few films. Chatterjee, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2004, continues to add on to his huge body of work with new films, mostly commercial.
"This award means a lot to me. I am grateful to my viewers," Chatterjee said on Wednesday.
The Dada Saheb Phalke Award is the highest honour in Indian cinema given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution.
With Additional Inputs from PTI