Soumitra Chatterjee was born on January 19, 1935, in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India. His films include The World of Apu (1959), Kony (1984), and Days and Nights in the Forest (1970). Deepa Chatterjee was his wife. He died in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, on November 15, 2020. He was well known for his fourteen films with Oscar-winning filmmaker
, with whom he collaborated. Soumitra Chattopadhyay was the first Indian film celebrity to receive France's highest honor for artists, the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was also the recipient of India's highest film honor, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Krishnanagar, in the district of Nadia in West Bengal, where he spent the first ten years of his childhood, had a flourishing theatre culture, with numerous tiny theatre groups, thanks to the influence of playwright Dwijendralal Ray, who is also from Krishnanagar. His grandpa was the president of one of these organizations, and his father, a lawyer by trade and afterward a government employee, was also an amateur actor. He began his acting career in school plays. Encouraged by the positive feedback he received for his acting, his interest in Theatre expanded over time, and by late high school, he was taking acting seriously.
In 2017, actor Soumitra Chatterjee earned France's highest civilian award, which Satyajit Ray received thirty years before him. He was the seventh person to get this honor. Chatterjee was diagnosed with Covid-19 in October 2020 and was getting treatment in Kolkata. During the critical periods of his treatment, he was kept on BiPap support and invasive ventilation. However, as his health improved, the therapy techniques were altered.