Kolkata, July 24 (IANS) Remembering legendary Bengali actor Uttam Kumar on his 28th death anniversary Thursday, his co-stars said no hero has as yet been able to match up to his natural talent and acting ability.”A suitable successor to Uttam Kumar has not been found either in the Bengali film industry or at the national level. Even actors like Dilip Kumar and Rajesh Khanna are born once. The present film fraternity can look up to them but can never match up to their calibre,” Sharmila Tagore, one of Uttam Kumar’s co-stars, told IANS.
Another of his leading ladies, Lily Chakraborty, said: “Uttam Kumar’s USP was his natural acting. But sadly that quality is missing in the new generation. They watch his movies but fail to learn how to act like him.”
Uttam Kumar, born on Sep 3, 1926, dominated the Bengali film industry for three decades. Some of his popular films were “Nayak”, “Chiriyakhana”, “Ananda Ashram”, “Jhinder Bondhi” and “Alo Amar Alo”.He also acted in several Hindi films like “Amanush” and “Dooriyan” (with Sharmila Tagore), “Chhoti si Mulaquat” (with Vyjayantimala Bali) and “Kitaab” (with Vidya Sinha).
Chakraborty reminisced how Uttam Kumar gave her acting tips while she was shooting for her first Bengali film “Deya Neya”.
“I was a newcomer, yet he never let me feel that and helped me with acting tips. It was from him that I learnt a lot about camera angle and lights. How many senior actors today treat their juniors like that? All of them suffer from a superiority complex,” she added.
Even the present generation of actors agree that no actor has been able to spin the same magic on screen as Uttam Kumar.
“He was a real hero. It’s futile even to expect that any other actor will be able to take his place. When I go abroad and introduce myself as a Bengali actor, the foreigners immediately react – ‘Uttam Kumar-Suchitra Sen?’ – such is his glory,” said Rituparna Sengupta.