Dev Anand, one of the greatest Hindi Cinema actors has died because of heart attack in London. He had traveled to London for a medical check up, was not keeping well for the last few days. He was 88 years old. He started his career as an actor in 1946 in Hum Ek Hain. Ziddi which was released in 1947, was his first superhit movie. He established his film production company Navketan International Films in 1949 and produced more than 35 movies. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002 for his contributions towards Indian cinema. Some of his big hits were Paying Guest, Baazi, Jewel Thief, CID, Johny Mera Naam, Amir Garib, Warrant, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes.
His real name was Dharam Dev Anand. He was born on 26 September 1923 in Shakargarh Tehsil of Gurdaspur district (now in Narowal District, Pakistan) in undivided Punjab, British India. His father, Kishorimal Anand was an well known advocate. Dev was the second of three brothers. His older brother was Chetan Anand and younger one was Vijay Anand. He graduated in English literature from the Government College, Lahore.
Dev Anand, after graduating in English Literature from the Government College, Lahore, British India left his hometown and came to Bombay in the early 1940s. He began his career in the military censor office at Churchgate, Bombay, for a salary of 200. He joined his older brother Chetan as a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA).
Soon in 1946, he was soon offered a lead role by Prabhat Talkies in their film Hum Ek Hain. During the shooting for this film in Pune, he developed good friendship with his fellow actor Guru Dutt. They had decided between themselves that if one of the two becomes successful first in film industry then they would help the other to be successful. It was a mutual understanding between them that when Dev Anand produced a film, Guru Dutt would direct it and when Guru Dutt directed a film, Dev Anand would act in it.
During the late 1940s, Dev Anand paired up with Suraiya in movies like Vidya (1948), Jeet (1949), Shair (1949), Afsar (1950), Nili (1950), Do Sitare (1951) and Sanam (1951). All these movies were successful at the box office. He fell in love with Suraiya during the shooting of these films. On the sets of the film Jeet, Dev Anand finally proposed to Suraiya and gave her a diamond ring. Her maternal grandmother opposed the relationship as they were Muslim and Dev Anand Hindu, and so, Suraiya remained single all her life. This whole episode is regarded as the one of the most popular failed love affairs of Hindi film industry.
He got his first major break in a movie called Ziddi. Actually, Ashok kumar spotted Dev hanging around in the studios and picked him as the hero for the Bombay Talkies production, Ziddi, costarring Kamini Kaushal (1948). This movie became an instant success. After the grand success of Ziddi, Dev Anand decided to start his own production house. So in 1949, he turned producer and launched his own company Navketan. Till now, Navketan has produced 31 films.
Meanwhile, he also worked with Guru Dutt in the crime thriller, Baazi in 1951. The film was huge success at box office. 1950s. The Baazil pair Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik were offered many films after this success. They appeared in movies like Aandhiyan, 1954 Film, House No. 44 and Nau Do Gyarah . During the shooting of film Taxi Driver, the couple fell in love and Dev proposed marriage to Kalpana. In 1954, Taxi Driver was declared a hit and the couple decided to marry.
A rapid-fire style of dialogue delivery and a penchant for nodding were his unique qualities while acting. You can see his unique style in movies like House No. 44, Pocket Maar, Munimji, Funtoosh, C.I.D. and Paying Guest. After his marriage, he appeared with Waheeda Rehman in movies like C.I.D., Solva Saal, Kala Pani, Kala Bazar and Baat Ek Raat Ki. He also tried to portray tragic roles in Pocketmaar (1956), Kala Pani (1958), Bombai Ka Baboo (1960) and Sharabi (1964) and tasted success in them.
In the sixties, Dev Anand acquired romantic image with films like Manzil and Tere Ghar Ke Samne with Nutan, Kinaare Kinaare with Meena Kumari, Maya with Mala Sinha, Asli-Naqli with Sadhana Shivdasani, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai and Mahal with Asha Parekh and Teen Deviyaan opposite three heroines Kalpana, Simi Garewal and Nanda. In the film Teen Deviyaan, Dev Anand played a playboy.
Guide was his first colour film in which he paired with Waheeda Rehman. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by R. K. Narayan. He played the role of Raju, a voluble guide, who supports Rosy (Waheeda) in her bid for freedom. He gave splendid performance in the movie as a man grappling with his emotions in his passage through love, shame and salvation.
He reunited with Vijay Anand for the movie Jewel Thief, based on thriller genre which featured Vaijayantimala, Tanuja, Anju Mahendru, Faryal and Helen. Their next collaboration, Johny Mera Naam (1970), again a thriller, where Dev was paired opposite Hema Malini was a big hit. It was Johnny Mera Naam which made Hema Malini a big star.
Then came his directorial debut, the espionage drama Prem Pujari, was a flop but has developed a cult following over the years. He tasted success with his 1971 directorial effort, Hare Rama Hare Krishna which talked about the prevalent hippie culture. This same year, he starred with Mumtaz in Tere Mere Sapne, an adaptation of A. J. Cronin’s novel, The Citadel.
The presence of his ‘discoveries’ in the 70’s- the Zeenat and later, the Tina Munim in films and his good chemistry with beautiful young stars like Rakhee, Parveen Babi, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman in various films boosted Dev’s image as the evergreen star even though he was well into his fifties.
The 1978 hit Des Pardes, directed by Dev Anand was the debut was actress Tina Munim and this film’s success gave him the tag of evergreen hero. He was 55 but he shared very good chemistry with the 20 year old Tina Munim. Dev Anand was offered lead role in Man Pasand by director Basu Chatterjee. Dev Anand’s successful run at the box office continued in the 1980s with Man Pasand, Lootmaar(both opposite Tina Munim), Swami Dada(1982) being both critically acclaimed and box office hits.
Since the 1990s except for Awwal Number, rest of the eight films directed by him were box office failures. But Sau Crore (1991) and Censor (2000) were critically acclaimed.
Dev Anand directed 19 films and produced 31 films of which 7 directorial ventures and 18 films respectively were commercially successful at the box office. He wrote the story for 13 of his films. According to the critics, his directorial ventures have always been ahead of its time.
May God bless his soul!