Dev Anand ((1923-2011): Actor nonpareil, director, producer and more…
Dev Anand (whose previous name was Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand), who strode the Indian film world for more than six decades, died on the night of December 3, 2011 in London, leaving his millions of fans in India and elsewhere in utter shock and gloom. As a college student, I had seen his few films in the theatres at Dharwad during 1966-1971. I was awestruck with his suave looks and vivacious acting skills. He was youthful, full of energy, charming, and was lauded as the evergreen romantic star of Indian cinema.
After his graduation in Lahore, now in Pakistan, Dev Anand moved to Bombay (Mumbai) in 1940. His elder brother Chetan Anand was a film maker who was associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association in Bombay during that period. Dev Anand’s cinematic career started during the era of black and white films in 1946 with Hum Ek Hai. This film met with considerable success mainly on account of his unique style of dialogue delivery and his signature puffed hair style. Later, when his film Ziddi was released in 1947, he came to be firmly ensconced on the Bollywood scene as a super star.
In 1949, Dev Anand launched his Navketan International Films under whose banner he produced over 35 films. The three notable films that came out of his production house during 1960s and 70s were Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Guide, and Jewel Thief that were a great hit with cinema-goers. The movie Prem Pujari was Dev Anand’s first directorial venture. During this period, he also came up with a few thought-provoking social films like Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes in which he acted with young actresses like Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim. Charge Sheet released this year was Dev Anand’s last film which was a box-office failure like a few others before. Of all the films Dev Anand made, Guide stands out as a timeless classic, which is an adaptation of a novel by the same name, by R K Narayan, the acclaimed novelist of India.
See actor Dev Anand in action in one of his most popular films, Guide (1965) on YouTube:
Dev Anand’s autobiography Romancing with Life that was released in 2007 gives a glimpse into the life of the evergreen hero who had developed intense relationships with a few actresses of his time (especially Suraiaya and Zeenath Aman) that somehow went awry later on. However, this did not deter him from his life’s goals nor diminished his passion for cinema or zest for life till the end. According to his close circle of friends, Dev Anand was a loner and narcissist.
Dev Anand: no more romancing with life.
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For his outstanding contribution to cinema, Dev Anand was conferred with Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2001. He also received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2002) and several others at national and international level.
Dev Anand is survived by his wife Kalpana Kartik, who was a co-star in his films in the 50s, a son and a daughter. May his soul rest in peace!