उत्तम कुमार (मृत्यु- 24 जुलाई, 1980)

July 24, 2017

उत्तम कुमार (जन्म- 3 सितम्बर, 1926, कोलकाता, बंगाल; मृत्यु- 24 जुलाई, 1980, पश्चिम बंगाल) भारतीय सिनेमा में हिन्दी और बांग्ला फ़िल्मों के प्रसिद्ध अभिनेता थे। उनका मूल नाम 'अरुण कुमार चटर्जी' था। मुख्य रूप से बंगाली सिनेमा में काम करने वाले उत्तम कुमार एक अभिनेता होने के साथ-साथ फ़िल्म निर्देशक, निर्माता, गायक और संगीतकार भी थे। जिस तरह हिन्दी सिनेमा में राज कपूर और नरगिस की जोड़ी याद की जाती है, उसी तरह बंगाली सिनेमा में उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन का कोई मुकाबला नहीं था। बंगाली सिनेमा में उत्तम कुमार को 'महानायक' की पदवी दी गई है।


बंगाली फ़िल्मों के महानायक उत्तम कुमार का जन्म ब्रिटिश कालीन भारत में 3 सितम्बर, 1926 को भवानीपुर, कलकत्ता (वर्तमान कोलकाता) में उनके गिरीश मुखर्जी मार्ग स्थित पुश्तैनी मकान में हुआ था। उन्होंने कोलकाता के ही 'साउथ सबर्बन स्कूल (मेन)' से स्कूली शिक्षा प्राप्त की। इसके बाद उच्च शिक्षा के लिए 'कोलकाता विश्वविद्यालय' से सम्बद्ध 'गोयेनका कॉलेज ऑफ़ कॉमर्स एंड बिजनेस ऐडमिनिस्ट्रेशन' में दाखिला ले लिया। लेकिन उत्तम कुमार अपनी पढ़ाई पूरी नहीं कर पाए और उन्होंने 'कलकत्ता पोर्ट ट्रस्ट' में एक लिपिक की नौकरी प्राप्त कर ली।


अभिनेता उत्तम कुमार की बतौर नायक पहली फ़िल्म 'दृष्टिदान' थी, जिसे मशहूर निर्देशक नितिन बोस ने निर्देशित किया था। सुचित्रा सेन के साथ उनकी जोड़ी खूब पसंद की गई। सुचित्रा के साथ उनकी 'सप्तपदी', 'पौथे होलो देरी', 'हारानो सुर', 'चावा पावा', 'बिपाशा', 'जीवन तृष्णा' और 'सागरिका' जैसी फ़िल्में बेहद लोकप्रिय रहीं। बंगाली के साथ-साथ उन्होंने कई हिन्दी फ़िल्मों में भी अभिनय किया, 


जिस प्रकार हिन्दी सिनेमा में राज कपूर और नरगिस की जोड़ी याद की जाती है, उसी तरह बंगाली सिनेमा में उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन का कोई मुकाबला नहीं था। प्रेम को इस तीव्रता से वे अपने अभिनय में व्यक्त करते थे कि दर्शक दंग रह जाते थे। यही वजह रही कि दर्शक इस जोड़ी से कभी बोर नहीं हुए। दो दशक तक तीस फ़िल्मों में दोनों ने अपने अभिनय के रंग बिखेरे और इनमें से ज्यादातर फिल्में बॉक्स ऑफिस पर सफल रहीं। उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन बंगाली सिनेमा के व्यवसाय को एक बार फिर ऊपर की ओर ले गए, क्योंकि जब उन्होंने बंगाली सिनेमा में कदम रखा था, तब वहां के फ़िल्म उद्योग की हालत खस्ता थी। ऐसे में उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन के स्टारडम ने दर्शकों के बीच पहचान बनाई और बंगाली फ़िल्में फिर सफल होने लगीं।


फ़िल्म 'अग्निपरीक्षा' से उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन की जोड़ी सफल हुई थी। दोनों ने फ़िल्म में इस कदर डूब कर रोमांस किया कि कई लोग उन्हें पति-पत्नी मानने लगे। फ़िल्मी पर्दे पर जिस तरह से वे रोमांस करते थे, उस कारण आज भी कई लोग मानते हैं कि उत्तम कुमार और सुचित्रा सेन में प्रेम था। पर्दे पर दर्शक दोनों को खुशहाल जोड़ी के रूप में देखना पसंद करते थे। फ़िल्म 'शिल्पी' में उत्तम कुमार के किरदार की आखिर में मौत दिखाई गई और इस कारण फ़िल्म फ्लॉप हो गई थी। सु‍चित्रा और उत्तम कुमार बेहतरीन कलाकार थे। दोनों साथ काम करते तो उनका अभिनय और निखर जाता था। उन्होंने कई अलग-अलग भूमिकाएं अभिनीत कीं और अपने बेहतरीन अभिनय से यादगार बनाया। बिना कहे दोनों बहुत कुछ कह जाते थे और दोनों के रोमांटिक सीन में पर्दा जगमगाने लगता था। उन पर फ़िल्माए गए गीत सुपरहिट रहे।


उत्तम कुमार का निधन 24 जुलाई, 1980 को पश्चिम बंगाल में हुआ। कोलकाता में हाजरा अंचल में उनके नाम पर 'उत्तम थियेटर' है तथा टालीगंज ट्रामडिपो के समक्ष उनका विशाल पुतला सड़क के चौक पर लगाया गया है। वर्ष 2009 में टालीगंज मेट्रो स्टेशन का नामकरण 'महानायक उत्तम कुमार' हो गया है। उत्तम कुमार के एकमात्र पुत्र गौतम कुमार चटर्जी (दिवंगत) एक व्यवसायी थे। फ़िल्मों में उनकी रुचि नहीं थी, लेकिन उत्तम के पौत्र गौरव ने बांग्ला फ़िल्मों में अभिनय किया। उनकी ख़्वाहिश थी कि अभिनय करते हुए उनका दम निकले और हुआ भी ऐसा ही। 1980 में 'ओ गो बोधु शुंदरी' की शूटिंग के दौरान हृदयाघात से उनका निधन हो गया।


Uttam Kumar (3 September 1926– 24 July 1980) (born as Arun Kumar Chatterjee) was an Indian film actor, director, producer and singer who predominantly worked in Indian Cinema. Kumar is widely regarded as one of the most popular and beloved actors ever in India. Through his career he earned commercial as well as critical success, and he remains as an Indian cultural icon.


Considered as the most popular film star of Bengali cinema, popularly known as "Mahanayak", Kumar managed to have a huge fan following, that mainly concentrated in the regions of West Bengal, India and Bangladesh. He was a recipient of many awards over his lifetime, including National Film Award for Best Actor. A Metro Station in Kolkata was renamed in his honour.


Uttam Kumar was born in Kolkata at the home of his maternal uncle at Ahiritola, while his ancestral house is on Girish Mukherjee Road, Bhowanipore. After his schooling in South Suburban School, he went for higher studies in Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration, a college affiliated to the University of Calcutta. He could not complete his studies and started working at the Kolkata Port trust as a clerk. During this period, he acted in amateur theatre groups. His prodigious joint family had its own theatre group, the Suhrid Samaj, which staged many amateur shows.


Uttam Kumar was the eldest of three sons (Arun, Barun and Tarun) of Satkari Chatterjee and Chapala Debi. The youngest, whose screen name was Tarun Kumar, acted in several Bengali films and grew to become an actor of considerable repute, in screen and on stage. There are several films in which Uttam Kumar and Tarun Kumar starred together like Saptapadi, Sonar Harin, Maya Mriga, Sesh Anka, Deya Neya, Jeeban-Mrityu, Dhanyi Meye,Mon Niye, Sanyasi Raja, Kamal lata and Agniswar. Uttam Kumar married Gauri Debi in 1948. They divorced in 1963. Their only son, Gautam died at the age of 53 due to cancer. His grandson Gaurav Chatterjee is also an actor. Uttam Kumar married actress Supriya Devi in 1963 and they lived together till 1980 following Kumar's death. Pulak Bandyopadhyay, a noted lyricist, was his uncle. Actor Rajesh Khanna once said about Kumar, "He is the perfect ambassador of Indian cinema. No one carries Indian culture in a Kurta and Dhoti as well as he does.


Uttam's first release was Drishtidan (The gift of sight, 1948) directed by Nitin Bose, though he worked in an earlier unreleased film called Mayador (Embrace of Affection). Then he acted in about four to five films, all of which were flops. In those films he constantly varied his name: Arun Chatterjee, Arun Kumar, Uttam Chatterjee and finally Uttam Kumar. He was dubbed as the 'Flop Master General'. When he entered the studio, people would laugh at him and comment "Here comes the new Durgadas..." "Meet the new Chabbi Biswas..". He considered leaving the world of cinema and start working at Calcutta Ports. But his wife, Gouri Chatterjee told him that it would be better if he did not to do a job his heart was not in. He later got the contact at M.P Studios for three years. M.P studios produced the film "Basu Paribar" in which he came into prominence, but his breakthrough film was Agni Pariksha in 1954 that began the success of the all-time romantic pair of Uttam Kumar - Suchitra Sen, though they had first paired in Sharey Chuattor (1953).The film ran for 65 weeks and established Uttam in the industry.


On the background of the mass migration from the then East Pakistan to Calcutta, the Uttam-Suchitra pair gave expression to the yearnings of a new, transformed city.[citation needed] They played out on screen the new desires of a young audience trying to come to terms with industrial modernity and a new form of urban existence.[citation needed] The stylised, black-and-white romanticism of landmark Uttam-Suchitra films of the 1950s like "Agni Pariksha", "Shapmochan",Sagarika (1956), Shilpi (1956), or Harano Sur, Indrani, Sabar Uparey, Surjyo Toron reflected a novel, youthful urban desire to break free from the confines of the feudal joint family and set up a nucleated, private space for the couple in love. In contrast to the earlier phase of Bengali cinema mostly dominated by the dramatised style of the New Theaters' films (in the 1940s), the Uttam-Suchitra films were marked by a more naturalistic acting style, a bit dramatic-stylized, soft-focus black-and-white cinematography with chiaroscuro effects, and a more popular and modern form of music that broke away more decisively from earlier dependence on classical types. These features were put in place by a new generation of cinematographers like Dinen Gupta and Ajoy Kar, a fresh batch of directors (Kar himself, Sudhir Mukherjee, Naresh Mitra, Sushil Majumdar, the combines of Jatrik and Agradoot) and musicians like Nachiketa Ghosh, Rabin Chattopadhyay, Anupam Ghatak, Hemanta Mukherjee, Anil Bagchi, Sudhin Dasgupta and Salil Chowdhury, along with lyricists like Gauriprasanna Majumdar, Pranab Roy, Pulak Bandopadhyay. A number of them hailed from the left wing Indian People's Theater Association (IPTA) movement, popularly known as Gananatya Sangha.


Uttam Kumar was especially adored for his effortless naturalism in front of the camera and a distinctively urbane charisma that broke free from the prototypical Bengali screen hero of the past.[citation needed] He went on to form successful screen pairs with many leading ladies like Suchitra Sen, Supriya Choudhury, Sabitri Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Sharmila Tagore, Anjana Bhaumick, Tanuja Samarth, Aparna Sen and Sumitra Mukherjee, apart from Sandhyarani in the 50s, Arundhati Debi and Mala Sinha in the 60s and Kaberi Bose and Tanuja in the 60s and 70s. He acted in Nayak by Satyajit Ray in which the master-director scripts the rise of a young actor with an ordinary background to a star sought after by one and all. In fact, this film may be considered as a tribute to Uttam Kumar.[citation needed] Often hailed as the one-man industry, Uttam Kumar dominated Bengali cinema for three decades until his death. This near-total reign was somewhat slightly disturbed during the politically turbulent era of the late sixties up to the Emergency, when Uttam Kumar's regular, politically passive or relatively conservative romantic film persona sometimes found it difficult to fit into the narratives of unrest that came to the fore.


Never quite satisfied with his undisputed matinée idol status, Uttam Kumar started experimenting with character roles early in his career. This was evidenced in films like Khokababur Pratyabartan (1960), Mayamriga (1960) or Thana Theke Aschi (1965) and Bicharak. In Marutirtha Hinglaj (1959), he played a mentally disturbed character. In Kuhak he was a murderous thief, while in Sesh Anka, he was a suave businessman who had murdered his wife and was romantically engaged to the daughter of a social elite and rich nobleman. In Aparichita (1969) he also played the role of a villain. Such departures were unusual in relation to set formats of stardom in Indian popular cinematic cultures, where deviating from established 'star images' were often considered to be risky. However, this brought Uttam Kumar early recognition as a genuine actor of substance apart from a box office superstar and stood him in good stead later, especially in his collaborations with Satyajit Ray in Nayak (1966) and Chiriyakhana. A perfectionist, Uttam Kumar performed on stage for a full year, opposite Sabitri Chatterjee in Star Theatre in the play "Shyamali" [On screen, he played opposite Kaberi Bose]to hone up his skill as an actor.


Awards
National Film Awards
1955: Recognition from the Government of India for Harano Sur.
1961: 9th National Film Awards - Certificate of Merit for Second Best Feature Film in Bengali - Saptapadi
1963: 11th National Film Awards - National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali:Uttar Falguni (as producer)
1968: National Film Award for Best Actor for Chiriyakhana and Antony Firingee in 15th National Film Award (he was the first actor to get that. The very same year when actress Nargis got best actress award for Raat Aur Din)
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards.
1962: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Saptapadi. Uttam Kumar received the award from the legendary film-maker Debaki Bose.
1967: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Nayak. Attended the Berlin Film Festival as a distinguished guest.
1968: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Grihadaha.
1972: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Ekhane Pinjar.
1973: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Stree.
1975: B.F.J.A Best Actor award for Amanush.
Other Awards
Best Actor award from Prosad magazine for Stree (1973). He received the award from Kanan Devi.
Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Nominated) Amanush (1975).
He received the Best "greatest Actor" MAHANAYAK award for the same film from the Government of India on 25 November 1975. The price was worth 500000 rupees.
Best Actor award both from the Prosad magazine and Sanonskritik Sanbadik Sanostha for Anand Ashram (1977).
"Evergreen" Award for "Anand Ashram" (1977)