Bengali legend, Sova Sen, passes away at 93

Kolkata: Sova Sen, a legendary figure of the Bengali stage, died here on Sunday following old age complications, her family said.

Sen, 93, the widow of thespian Utpal Dutt, left behind her daughter.

During a long career on the stage, she acted in iconic plays like "Nabanna" (1944), based on the Great Bengal famine where she played the female lead role, and "Kallol" (1965), set in the backdrop of the 1946 naval mutiny.

Graduating from Bethune College, Sen joined Gananatya Sangha and acted in the lead female role of "Nabanna". She joined Dutt's Little Theatre Group in 1953-54 and got married to him in 1960.

The LTG later became Peoples' Theatre Group, in which she acted in most of its productions including "Barricade", "Tiner Taloyara" and "Titumir".

Sen also acted in a number of films including Mrinal Sen's "Ek Adhuri Kahani" and "Ek Din Pratidin", and Gautam Ghose directed "Dekha" and Dutt's "Jhar and Baisakhi Megh".

In 1983, she played a crucial role in Basu Chatterjee's Hindi movie "Pasand Apni Apni".

Her last screen appearance was in "Shadows of Time" -- a Bengali feature film by German director Florian Gallenberger.

On 10 April, 2010, Sen received the Mother Teresa International Award.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled Sen's demise.

"Saddened at the passing of veteran theatre artiste Sobha Sen. My condolences to her family and friends," Banerjee tweeted.

Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra called Sen a legendary figure of Bengal's theatre movement.

"Comrade Sova Sen will remain as the inspiration of people's voice. My sincerest condolence," said Mishra.




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