New Delhi/Kolkata: Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, known for his memorable performances in several of Satyajit Ray's movies, is being honoured with prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.

Sources said the award jury has finalised 77-year-old Chatterjee's name and an announcement in this regard would soon be made.

Chatterjee, often called Ray's favourite hero, said the highest honour in Indian cinema was a "recognition to his lifelong work laced with love of people".

Recognised as one of the finest actors the country has produced, Chatterjee is known for his long association with legendary Ray, starring in 14 of his films.

He made his film debut in Ray's 1959 film 'Apur Sansar' and went on to act in several other of his masterpieces like 'Devi', 'Charulata' and 'Ghare Baire'.

Some of his finest performances came in the role of detective Prodosh Mitter (Feluda) in Ray's 'Sonar Kella' and 'Joy Baba Felunath' as also a school teacher fighting against a despot king in 'Hirok Rajar Deshe'.  Besides Ray, Chatterjee also worked with renowned Bengali directors like Tapan Sinha (Kshudito Pashan) and Mrinal Sen (Mahaprithibi).

He also acted many Bengali commercial movies and worked with matinee idol Uttam Kumar in a few films.

Chatterjee, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2004, continues to add on to his huge body of work with new films, mostly commercial.

Reacting to the honour going to him, Chatterjee said "people's love, which is my capital, largely contributed to this honour which is a recognition of my lifelong work".

"It gives me a feeling that my work has not gone unnoticed."

Soumitra turned nostalgic at the news of the honour, saying "I very much remember my seniors in film world...Chhabi Biswas and Tulsi Chakraborty. I miss my mentor Satyajit Ray, my teacher Tapan Sinha who are no more.”

(Agencies)