Evergreen Dev Anand no more
For two generations, he symbolised romance
Bollywood’s evergreen romantic star Dev Anand, who enchanted fans across generations as debonair hero in a career spanning 65 years, passed away in London following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 88.
The actor, who was not keeping well for the last few days, was in London for a medical check-up. The end came when he was asleep in his hotel room around 3:30 am with his son Suneil by his side. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Dev Anand is survived by his wife former actress Kalpana Karthik, son Suneil and a daughter, Devina. Kalpana and Devina will be flying to London for the last rites slated to be held on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The versatile actor-filmmaker with an indefatigable spirit gave classic hits like “Guide” outlived many of his contemporaries. For his outstanding contribution to cinema, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2002.
Born in Narowal district in Punjab, Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand was the son of a well-known advocate. He graduated from Lahore in English literature and came to Mumbai in 1940. He joined the Indian People’s Theatre in which his elder brother and filmmaker Chetan Anand was a member.
Dev Anand began his career in the black and white era with “Hum Ek Hain” in 1946 and with his signature puffed hair and unique style of dialogue delivery left an indelible mark on his fans. By the time “Ziddi” was released in 1947, he was a superstar and never looked back.
He also had an intense relationship with the then top reigning singer-actress Suraiya. However, marriage plans went awry when Suraiya’s grandmother rejected the proposal.
Dev Anand launched his production house Navketan International Films in 1949 and produced more than 35 movies. In the 60s and early 70s, Navketan churned out films like “Tere Ghar Ke Samne”, “Guide”, an adaptation of R K Narayan’s novel in collaboration with Nobel laureate Pearl S Buck, and “Jewel Thief”.
In mid-70s, Dev Anand He made his directorial debut with “Prem Pujari.” He made thought-provoking social films like “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” and “Des Pardes.”
It was also during this era that he gave break to young stars like Zeenat Aman, Tina Munim and others.
In his 65-year-long career, unlike his contemporaries Raj Kapoor who by 70s turned into film direction, and Dilip Kumar, who had started playing character roles, Dev Anand kept on running round the trees wooing heroines even 30 years junior to him, earning the sobriquet “evergreen romantic hero.” Dev Anand’s latest film “Charge-sheet” was released this year.