Suchitra Sen, the screen goddess of Indian cinema who has been living in seclusion since her retirement from filmdom 29-years-ago, was admitted to a private nursing home here with high fever but is now stable.
"She was admitted in our nursing home with high fever Tuesday night. But she is stable and improving now. She has even consumed light food," Pradeep Tandon, the chief executive officer of the Belle Vue Clinic, told IANS.
"Investigations are on to ascertain the cause of her fever and sickness. All we can say is that she is improving," Tandon added.
Suchitra's daughter Moon Moon Sen visited her in the morning but she and her two daughters - Bollywood actors Riya and Raima Sen - remained incommunicado.
Suchitra, who strode the Bengali film industry like a diva in the 1950s and 60s, left the industry in 1978 after a career of over 25 years. Her pairing with Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar produced one box office hit after another. But Indians outside West Bengal would remember her for her powerful performance in the phenomenal 1975 Gulzar movie "Aandhi".
Her oeuvre of Bengali films with Uttam Kumar and other popular heroes apart, Suchitra acted in Hindi films like "Devdas" (with Dilip Kumar in 1955), "Musafir" (1957), "Champakali" (1957), "Bombai Ka Babu" (with Dev Anand in 1960), "Mamta" (with Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra in 1966).
In August 2006, Suchitra was in the limelight after her name came up for the Dada Saheb Phalke Award but she could not be awarded since she refused to come out of her seclusion of 28 years and accept the honour, which is presented by the president of India.
The 77-year-old actor is compared to late Hollywood icon Greta Garbo because of her reclusive nature.
Interestingly, Suchitra was the first Indian actress to be awarded in an international film festival. She won the best actress award for the Bengali movie "Saat Paake Bandha" at the 1963 Moscow film festival.