Veteran Bengali actress Swatilekha Sengupta dies at 71

Veteran Bengali actress Swatilekha Sengupta passed away at a private hospital in the city on Wednesday afternoon. The 71-year-old theatre and film personality was reportedly battling kidney-related ailments.

Swatilekha shot to fame when the late maestro Satyajit Ray cast her as his leading lady in his 1984 classic “Ghare Baire”, as the female protagonist Bimala alongside the late Soumitra Chatterjee and Victor Banerjee.

A popular name in the world of Bengali theatre, she returned to the big screen in 2015, once again pairing with Soumitra Chatterjee in Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s “Bela Seshe”.

The second film of the same franchise, titled “Bela Shuru”, starring the late Soumitra with Swatilekha, is awaiting release.

The actress is survived by her husband, veteran theatre personality Rudraprasad Sengupta, and her daughter Sohini Sengupta, also an actress.

The late actress was associated with the theatre group Nandikar along with her husband and daughter. She has also been honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award or her contribution to theatre.

Mourning her demise on Wednesday, Bengali filmmaker Raj Chakraborty tweeted: “A huge and irreparable loss. Veteran actor and theatre personality Swatilekha Sengupta is no more. May her soul rest in peace.”

“Anti, gone. RIP Swatilekha Sengupta,” posted director Srijit Mukherji on Facebook.