Soumitra Chatterjee presented Legion d'Honneur
- Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was on Tuesday
presented France's highest civilian award, Legion d'Honneur at a function here.
- French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler presented the medal to
the versatile octogenarian, who has delved into multiple cultural genres.
from his chief vocation of acting, he has also dabbled in painting, composed
poems, written and directed plays, edited a Bengali magazine and is also a
- He also recalled that in 1990 Chatterjee acted in Satyajit
Ray directed "Sakha Prosakha", which was an Indo-French production.
- In 1999, Chatterjee became the first Indian actor to receive
the 'Officier des Arts et Metiers', the highest award for arts given by the
- He has also been the subject of a full-length documentary
named "Gaach" by French film director Catherine Berge.
- In his short acceptance speech, Chatterjee said he was
"honoured, and privileged".
- In 1987, auteur Satyajit Ray was honoured with the coveted
Legion d'Honneur by then French President Francois Mitterand during his visit
to Kolkata (at that time called Calcutta).
- Chatterjee is arguably the most prominent face of Ray's
films, and the director's most favoured actor.
- Making his movie debut in Ray's masterpiece "Apur
Sansar" (the world of Apu) - the third part of the Apu Trilogy - in 1959,
Chatter jee has acted in over 90 films till date.
- He is a recipient of the country's third highest civilian
honour Padma Bhushan (2004) and India's highest award in cinema Dadasaheb