Veteran actor Pran (93), lauded and revered for his effortless portrayal of negative characters with elan, has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for the year 2012. He thus becomes the winner of the 44th Dadasaheb Phalke award.
Many accolades have come Pran’s way ever since he stormed the silver screen in 1945, including Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the “Villain of the millennium” award conferred by Stardust in 2000. The Dadasaheb Phalke award comprises a Swarn Kamal, Rs 10 lakh cash and a shawl.
Pran Krishan Sikand has shared the screen with several veteran actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor in the 50s and 60s. He featured in 400 films during his six-decade-long career.
Born in Ballimaran, Kotgarh, Old Delhi, in 1920, Pran, son of civil engineer Kewal Krishan Sikand, started his career in 1940 as a professional photographer. His job took him to Simla, where he played Sita to Madan Puri's Ram in a local staging of “Ramlila.” An accidental meeting with writer Wali Mohammad Wali at a shop in Hira Mandi, Lahore, got him his first role as a villain in Dalsukh Pancholi’s Punjabi film “Yamla Jat” in 1945. The film turned out to be a big hit.
Pran acted in several films during his stay at Lahore in the erstwhile undivided India. His career, however, came to a standstill for a brief while during the partition of India. Eight months later, in 1948, he got a chance to start all over again.
With the help of writer Saadat Hasan Manto and actor Shyam, he got a role in the Bombay Talkies film “Ziddi,” which had Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal as lead actors. This film kickstarted Pran’s career in Bombay and there was no looking back thereafter. Pran, a recipient of a number of film awards including the Filmfare Award, is known for his signature performances as villain and character artist.
He received critical acclaim for his performances in films like “Azaad,” “Madhumati,” “Devdas,” “Dil Diya Dard Liya,” “Ram Aur Shyam,” “Aadmi,” “Ziddi,” “Munimji,” “Amar Deep,” “Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai,” “Aah,” “Chori Chori,” “Jagte Raho,” “Chhalia” and “Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai.”
In the late 90s, the veteran actor started rejecting film offers, citing age-related problems. He, however, made an exception for Amitabh Bachchan’s home productions, “Mrityudata” and “Tere Mere Sapne.” DH News Service