Actor-singer Ruma Guha Thakurta,who impressed the audience with her impressive performance in Bengali films like 'Ganga', 'Balika Badhu' and '36 Chowringhee Lane', died in sleep early Monday aged 84, family sources said.
Thakurta, the first wife of versatile actor-singer Kishore Kumar, passed away at her Ballygunge Place residencein the city. She was suffering from old age-related ailments. Thakurta is survived by two sons including singer AmitKumar and a daughter from two marriages. "She passed away in her sleep early this morning.
Our family doctor confirmed it. The timing of her death could bebetween 6 and 6.15 am," said Ayan Guha Thakurta, her son fromher second marriage. Thakurta, a niece of film legend Satyajit Ray, workedin over 60 films. She started her career as a dancer before moving tothe then Bombay where she got married to singer Kishore Kumarin the early 1950s.
The two, who got separated in 1958, had a son - singerAmit Kumar. She later married writer-director Arup Guhathakurtaand had two children singers Sromona and Ayan Guha Thakurta. Ayan said his mother had returned to Kolkata only amonth back after a three-month stay with Amit Kumar in Mumbai.
"Dada (Amit) is coming here this evening. He will betaking all the decisions (about her last rites)," Ayan said. Many of her films were made by great directors such asSatyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar, Rajen Tarafdar,Aparna Sen and Mira Nair. She is known for her work in 'Ganga' (1959),'Abhijaan' (1962), 'Palatak' (1963), 'Antony Firingee' (1967),'80 Te Asio Na' (1967), 'Balika Badhu' (1967), 'Dadar Kirti'(1980), '36 Chowringhee Lane' (1981), 'Amrita KumbherSandhane' (1982), 'Bhalobasa Bhalobasa' (1985) and'Wheelchair' (1994). Ruma also acted in several Hindi films like JowarBhata (1944), her first film, Mashaal (1950), Afsar (1950) andRaag Rang (1952). Ruma's last film was Namesake (2006). She worked as playback singer in many films.
Ruma founded the Calcutta Youth Choir, a song anddance troupe, in 1958, which is known for its performance offolk and mass songs. Popular songs of Choir included 'Aaj joto juddhabaj','Bharatbarsho surjer ek naam', 'O Ganga boichho keno' and'Waqt ki awaz'.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her grief over the passing away of Ruma and extended hercondolences to her family members and innumerable admirers.
"Saddened at the passing away of Ruma Guha Thakurta.Her contribution to the field of cinema and music will alwaysbe remembered. My condolences to her family and her admirers," Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.