Actor-filmmaker Ramesh Deoremembers his ‘Mere Apne’ and ‘Anand’ co-star who passed away on Sunday. Veteran actress Sumita Sanyal, who played Renu, the love interest of Amitabh Bachchan‘s character Dr Bhaskar Banerjee in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1971 drama, ‘Anand’, passed away at her Kolkata resident on Sunday at around 10:30am.  She was 71. The wife of film editor Subodh Roy, Sumita debuted in 1960 with the Bengali film ‘Khokababur Pratyabartan’ and went on to do films like Tarun Majumdar’s ‘Kuheli’ and Tapan Sinha’s ‘Sagina Mahto’.  She became a household name in Kolkata after her role as Promila Chatterjee in Satyajit Ray’s 1966 acclaimed-drama, ‘Nayak’. “She was the most lovable woman on set,” asserts actor-filmmaker Ramesh Deo, who played Dr Prakash Kulkarni, Anand’s `dost’ in the Rajesh Khanna-starrer with his actress-wife Seema playing his onscreen wife Suman.  “Sumita always arrived before time and was friendly, lively and welcoming. Those days acting wasn’t all business like it is today and she would bring food for all of us and we would all eat together before the shot.”   At 92, Deo who is presently filming in Kolhapur informs that he also shot with Sumita for ‘Mere Apne’ featuring Meena Kumari in the lead. “Our lunch conversations continued. May her soul rest in peace,” he says emotionally, adding that she was one of Hrishida’s favourite actresses with the legendary filmmaker casting her in his 1968 film, ‘Aashirwad’, and 1971 drama ‘Guddi’.  Like his father, actor-filmmaker Ajinkya Deo also worked with the late actress in Christopher Morahan’s 1996 TV movie, ‘The Peacock Spring’, which was her last film.  While in India scouting for talent, Christopher had seen Anand and approached Sumita for a special appearance of a troubled woman on a train. “She was so graceful and beautiful,” he reminisces. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee shared her condolences on Twitter as did Bengal’s matinee idol, Prosenjit Chatterjee.  The Times  of  India : 11th. July,17


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