Eminent actor Suchitra Sen was on Sunday honoured with West Bengal's highest award Banga Bibhusan.

The legendary film star was, however, not present on the stage to receive the award as she continues to remain away from public eye.

On her behalf, the 81-year-old actor's daughter Moon Moon Sen and granddaughter Raima Sen received the award from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a ceremony here.

Instituted last year to honour eminent people from different walks of life, Banga Bibhusan includes a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.

Suchitra Sen had ruled the silver screen till the 1970s by acting in Hindi and Bengali films like Saat Paake Bandha, Saptapadi and Bimal Roy's Devdas. Twice awarded the Filmfare award for best actress, she had refused the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2005 to avoid making any public appearance.

The government honoured 15 other eminent persons in the sports and cultural world with Banga Bibhusan and Banga Bhusan awards.

“This day [May 20] is a special day to me and I shall keep on conferring this highest award of the State government to such eminent personalities in the cultural world every year. They are our inspiration,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Olympic hockey player Leslie Claudius, thespians Rudraprasad Sengupta, Bibhas Chakraborty and Shaonli Mitra, litterateurs Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and Sanjib Chattopadhyay, painter Jogen Chowdhury, Tollywood star Ranjit Mallick, film director Goutam Ghosh, poet Joy Goswami, vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and Shehnai player Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan were conferred Banga Bibhusan.

Banga Bhusan was conferred on classical vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, percussionist Bickram Ghosh and popular singer Nachiketa Chakraborty.

A galaxy of stars and eminent persons graced the occasion which also marked the completion of the Mamata Banerjee government's first year in office.