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Suchitra Sen, a legendary Indian actress who appeared in Hindi Bollywood films and Bengali films, died Friday at age 82.
Sen had been in a Kolkata hospital since last month for a respiratory infection. She died after cardiac arrest, actress Moon Moon Sen, her daughter, confirmed to the Associated Press. She will be cremated on Friday.
Her career began in 1952, starring in Bengali films with Uttam Kumar. The two were the top stars on romantic films for two decades, starting in the 1960s. Her successful films included Agnipariksha, Saat Paake Bandha and Devdas.
Her performance in Saat Paake Bandha earned her an award at the 1963 Moscow film festival, making her the first Bollywood actress to win an international award.
A beautiful actress, she decided to retire in 1978 and refused to make public appearances. According to The Hindu Business Line, in 2005, she was supposed to accept the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, considered a top prize in the Indian film industry. However, she declined to appear in public, even after then Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, called for her to receive the award.
“Her versatility and range of performances mark a unique contribution to Indian cinema, and to Bengali films in particular,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement.
Sen married Dibanath Sen in 1947. He died in the 1970s.
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