Veteran actor Swatilekha Sengupta passed away on Wednesday. She was 71.
Sengupta, who had been suffering from chronic kidney disorder, was being treated at a private hospital off EM Bypass. She breathed her last at 2.45pm, said an official there.
Sengupta is survived by her husband, thespian Rudraprasad Sengupta, and daughter Sohini, also a stage and film actor.
“She had been a diabetic for a long time. That led to kidney failure,” said Sohini.
“She was a very independent lady. I hope that is how she is remembered by all.”
Sengupta was cremated at the Keoratala burning ghat.
She had started her acting career on the stage in Allahabad. A gold medallist in English literature at Allahabad University, Sengupta joined Nandikar in Calcutta in 1978.
She was at the helm of the troupe for three decades, acting in memorable productions and nurturing young talents.
Satyajit Ray had cast her as Bimala, opposite Soumitra Chatterjee and Victor Banerjee, in the 1984 film Ghare Baire (Home and the World). Sengupta returned to the big screen with Soumitra Chatterjee after three decades for Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee’s film, Belaseshe.
In March 2021, she was feted at The Telegraph She Awards 2021 for her contribution to theatre. Earlier, she had received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Saddened at the passing of actor and theatre personality Swatilekha Sengupta. She graced the stage for decades and left her mark through her works. This is a sad day for Bengali theatre. My condolences to her family, colleagues and admirers.”