Kolkata, July 24 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday paid tribute to legendary Bengali movie actor Uttam Kumar on his 32nd death anniversary and announced an award in his name for cinematic excellence.
'It just impossible to forget the golden era of Uttam Kumar. He is a legend and his films are timeless. No matter how many new actors come up but his aura will never diminish. He is not physically present today but his creations will remain forever,' said Banerjee at the Uttam Mancha, an auditorium dedicated to the iconic actor.
She announced that an Uttam Kumar award to be given for acting from the next year onwards. 'From next year we will be giving the Uttam Kumar award for excellence in the field of cinema. The award will be given on this day every year.'
Uttam Kumar, popularly known as 'Mahanayak', died on July 24, 1980 at the age of 53. The much feted actor also starred in several Hindi movies.
When the Indian government instituted the National Film Awards for Best Actor and National Film Award for Best Actress in 1967, Uttam Kumar was the first recipient of the Best Actor Award for his performances in 'Anthony Firangee' and 'Chiriyakhana' in 1967.
Banerjee also said the auditorium dedicated to the memory of the actor, Uttam Mancha, will be renovated and made intothe best in the state.
'On this day I want the Uttam Mancha to be the best in the state. From theatre to movies to other cultural programmes, everything will be held here. I ask the people concerned to look into the matter. The best architect would be hired for the job,' said Banerjee.
Earlier this year, the Uttam Mancha in south Kolkata was taken over by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.