Soumitra Chatterjee as Feluda (courtesy Twitter)
- "Where ever you are Soumitra Chatterjee, stay well Feluda," read a tweet
- "You will always be in our hearts, Feluda," said another
- "Many of us grew up with Feluda," wrote a user
Bengal's celebrated actor Soumitra Chatterjee died at the age of 85 on Sunday afternoon, 40 days after he was admitted to a Kolkata hospital. Soumitra Chatterjee left behind an illustrious legacy of work, among them, one of his most popular onscreen characters Feluda. Mr Chatterjee was the first actor to bring Feluda - the Bengali private investigator, created by Satyajit Ray - live on screen. Soumitra Chatterjee starred as Feluda in two films directed by Mr Ray - Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath. On Twitter, heartbroken fans shared tributes remembering Soumitra Chatterjee as the Feluda they grew up with: "You will be missed, Feluda," read a tweet while another user added: "Where ever you are Soumitra Chatterjee, stay well Feluda."
"I know he has acted in many diverse roles throughout his illustrious career but to me, he will always be Feluda," said an ardent fan of Feluda while another user summed up the emotions on Twitter and wrote: "While the world grew up with Sherlock Holmes, many of us grew up with Feluda."
Actress Sayani Gupta is one among those for whom Soumitra Chatterjee will always be synonymous with Feluda. "Soumitra Chatterjee, Feluda, leaves us. Numb. An era, one generation, a huge legacy gone. Gave 70 years to the Silver Screen," she tweeted.
Among Soumitra Chatterjee's most celebrated roles was Apu - he made his acting debut as the titular character in Satyajit Ray's 1959 movie Apur Sansar, part of the acclaimed Pather Panchali trilogy. Soumitra Chatterjee and Mr Ray collaborated for 14 films. Mr Chatterjee was also directed by other Bengali cinematic greats, including Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Ajoy Kar. Soumitra Chatterjee's last big screen outing was 2019's Sanjhbati.
Soumitra Chatterjee was taken to Kolkata's Belle Vue Clinic hospital on October 6, a day after he tested positive for the coronavirus. The actor tested negative a little after a week on October 14 but he remained admitted because of health complications, especially COVID-19 induced encephalopathy. On Sunday afternoon, an official statement about the actor's death read: "We declare with heavy heart that Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay breathed his last at 12-15 pm at Belle Vue Clinic today (15 November 2020). We pay our homage to his soul."