When the legendary Satyajit Ray met the gangly young actor in 1958 for a role in his film, he exclaimed "Oh dear, You have turned out to be much too tall." Ray was looking for someone to play a grown up Apu - the little boy of his classic film Pather Panchali. Eventually, the height - 5 feet 11 and a half inches - did not get in the way. Soumitra Chatterjee debuted as Apu in 1959 in Apur Sansar. Today, Bengal lost its tallest superstar. Soumitra Chatterjee died on Sunday, weeks after he was admitted to hospital with COVD-19. He was 85. He was 23 when he started acting, playing Apu or Apurba Kumar Roy in Apur Sansar, the third of Satyajit Ray's great trilogy. He breathed life into Ray's most powerful and complex characters and Ray moulded him into what he believed was one of the world's finest actors.