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Actor Aly Zaker on a Bengali Movie Icon


Uttam Kumar, one of the biggest film icons in the history of Bengali cinema, hypnotizes the viewers even today. On his 83th birth anniversary, well known actor Aly Zaker describes Uttam as an extra ordinary performer as well as a character actor. Uttam had the gift of non-theatrical acting, beautiful voice, vocal delivery and fantastic screen presence, says Aly Zaker.

Uttam Kumar was "the" super star of Bengali cinema and the most popular Bengali film actor ever. He was born in 1926 to a middle class family in Kolkata. His original name was Arun Kumar Chatterjee.


His first released movie was Dristidaan directed by Nitin Bose and was released in 1948. Uttam Kumar's first appearance with another screen idol Suchitra Sen was in the comedy movie Saarey Chuattor in 1953. This film turned out to be a big hit. From that time onwards, the Uttam-Suchitra romantic duo produced a series of popular films throughout a period which is known as the golden age of commercial Bengali cinema. Uttam-Suchitra combination became a legendary and household name.

Uttam Kumar's performance in Satyajit Ray's movie Nayak was remarkable. He starred in another Ray movie – Chiriakhana which won him a national award in the best actor category. Uttam Kumar acted in a few Hindi movies. Uttam Kumar died in 1980 from heart attack.

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