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Uttam Kumar Death Anniversary: 5 Movies That Have Kept the Mahanayak's Charm Alive

On his 39th death anniversary, we take a look at some of the best performances of the iconic Bengali actor and one of the most celebrated icons in Indian cinema.

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Updated:July 24, 2019, 4:39 PM IST
Uttam Kumar Death Anniversary: 5 Movies That Have Kept the Mahanayak's Charm Alive
Image: Twitter

One of the most celebrated actors of his time, Uttam Kumar passed away on July 24, 1980. Widely regarded as one of the most popular and beloved actors ever in India, the actor, director, producer and singer who is still considered to be a cultural icon in Indian cinema, was dubbed the 'Flop Master General' when he first entered the Bengali film industry, but would go on to receive the moniker Mahanayak, over the course of his illustrious career.

He was a recipient of many awards over his lifetime, including the National Film Award for Best Actor. On his 39th death anniversary, here's taking a look at some of the best performances of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar.

Nayak (1966): The Satyajit Ray directorial is often considered to be the actor's most lauded appearance. It is said that Ray wrote the script with Uttam in mind and many people feel the film bears resemblance to Uttam Kumar's own life and sense of anxiety and restlessness the actor felt about his own life. Ray later confessed that if Uttam had refused the film, he would have abandoned it.

Chowringhee (1968): Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Shankar, the Pinaki Bhushan Mukherjee directorial, starring Supriya Devi and Uttam Kumar, was a huge hit in its own right. The movie revolves around the experiences of the characters the author meets while working at one of the largest and most reputed hotels of Kolkata, Hotel Shahjahan. At the end of the movie, most of the characters experience tragedy, in one form or another. Uttam Kumar essayed the role of Mr Satyasundar Bose in the film.

Saptapadi (1961): Starring Suchitra Sen, Uttam Kumar, Chhabi Biswas and Chhaya Debi, the film is regarded to be one of the most eternal romantic blockbuster of the evergreen romantic pair of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. Based on a novel of 1958 written by Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, the film follows Krishnendu (Uttam Kumar), a young Bengali Hindu medical student falls in love with an equally talented and attractive Anglo-Indian Christian woman named Rina Brown (Suchitra Sen).

Anthony Firingee (1967): The biographical musical drama film directed by Sunil Bannerjee is a biopic based on the life of Anthony Firingee (Hensman Anthony), a Bengali language folk poet of Portuguese origin and starred Uttam Kumar in the titular role. The film was noted for its music, sung by Manna Dey and Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, composed by Anil Bagchi & lyrics by Gouri Prasanna Majumdar and others.

Nishi Padma (1970): Written and directed by Aravinda Mukherjee, the film, based on a short story Hinger Kochuri, by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, starred Uttam Kumar and Sabitri Chatterjee in leading roles. The film was remade into a Hindi film, Amar Prem (1972) directed by Shakti Samanta, with screenplay by Aravind Mukherjee, and starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna as the protagonists, with Khanna even admitting he had no qualms in admitting that despite all his efforts, he was far behind Uttam Kumar's performance in Nishi Padma.

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