Born: 3 September 1926
Died: 24 July 1980
- He was an Indian film actor, director, producer, and singer who predominantly worked in Indian Cinema.
- He is widely regarded as one of the most popular and beloved actors ever in India.
- Through his career, he earned commercial as well as a 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 honor.
- He also acted in 15 Hindi films such as Chhoti Si Mulaqat (along with Vyjayanthimala), Amanush, Anand Ashram, Dooriyaan (with Sharmila Tagore), Bandie with Sulakshana Pandit and Kitaab with Vidya Sinha, etc.
- He was also offered the role of Rajendra Kumar in the Raj Kapoor-starrer film Sangam, but for some reason, he refused the role.
- Perhaps his most lauded appearance was in Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (The Hero).
- It is now widely accepted that Ray wrote the script with Uttam in mind.
- Many people feel the film bears resemblance to Uttam Kumar’s own life – the sense of anxiety and restlessness mirrored Uttam’s insecurities about his phenomenal success and abiding fear that his superstardom might not last.
- He made the role of Arindam (Mukherjee) his own and Ray later confessed that if Uttam had refused the film, he would have abandoned it.
- He worked with Ray the following year in Chiriyakhana (1967).
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September 3, 2019