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Dev Anand

DharamDev Pishorimal Ānand (देव आनन्द, دیو آنند) (born September 26, 1923), better known simply as Dev Anand, is a legendary Indian Bollywood actor and film producer. In his heyday as a star, he was considered the epitome of the suave, urban gentleman.

Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Bollywood. His elder brother Chetan Anand was a film director, as was his younger brother, Vijay Anand. Their sister Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and English film director Shekhar Kapur.

==Biography== Dev was born DharamDev Pishorimal Anand in Gurdaspur in undivided Punjab to a well-to-do advocate Pishorimal Anand. He graduated in English literature from the Government College, Lahore (now in Pakistan). His love for acting made him leave his hometown for the centre of the Hindi film industry, Mumbai. Dev began his career in the military censor office at Churchgate, Mumbai, for a salary of Rs. 160.

He was soon offered a break as an actor by Prabhat Talkies to star in their Hum Ek Hain (1946). While shooting for the film in Pune, Dev struck a friendship with fellow actor Guru Dutt. Soon, they were swapping shirts, double dating and sharing dreams. They made a pact: if Dev produced a film, Guru Dutt would direct it; if Guru Dutt produced a film, Dev would act in it.

Dev was offered his first big break by Ashok Kumar, his favourite star. Kumar spotted Dev hanging around in the studios and picked him as the hero for the Bombay Talkies production, Ziddi, costarring Kamini Kaushal (1948) which became a success. In 1949, Dev turned producer and launched his own company Navketan, which continues to churn out movies.

As promised, Dev gambled on Guru Dutt as director for the crime thriller, Baazi (1951). The dice rolled in favour of this creative collaboration; the Sahir Ludhianvi, lyricist song, Tadbeer se bigdi huyee taqdeer bana de, proved prophetic and Dev became a true star.

He also played a few characters with a negative shade, like in Jaal (1952). His films Rahee and Aandhiyan, were screened there along with Raj Kapoor's Awaara. In the same year, Taxi Driver was declared a hit. Dev's heroine was Kalpana Kartik again, and the two decided to marry in a quiet ceremony.

Marriage and the birth of son Suneil in 1956 did not affect Dev's career. A rapid-fire style of dialogue delivery, an array of hats (see for example Aye meri topi palat ke aa), and a penchant for nodding while speaking became Dev's style in films like Munimji, C.I.D. and Paying Guest. His style was lapped up by the audience and was widely imitated. He starred in a string of box office successes for the remainder of the 1950s.

Despite his characteristic style, Dev's detractors cast aspersions on his acting abilities and questioned his inclusion in the hallowed Raj Kapoor-Dilip Kumar league. Dev made them eat humble pie with his class act in Kala Pani (1958), as the son who is willing to go to any lengths — including sweet-talking a courtesan into believing he is in love with her — to clear his framed father's name. He won the Best Actor Award for the film.

He was romantically involved with singer-actress Suraiya and the two of them paired in six films together. She fell in love with him when — during the shooting of a song sequence in the film — a boat capsized and Dev Anand saved Suraiya from drowning. Her grandmother opposed the relationship and Suraiya remained unmarried all her life.

His first film in colour, Guide with Waheeda Rehman was based on the novel of the same name by R. K. Narayan. Dev Anand himself was the impetus for making the film version of the book. He met and persuaded Narayan to give his assent to the project. Dev Anand tapped his friends in Hollywood to launch an Indo-US co-production that was shot in Hindi and English simultaneously and was released in 1965. This is regarded by many as his best work to-date.

Guide, directed by younger brother Vijay Anand, silenced the staunchest of his critics. Dev played Raju, a voluble guide who supports Rosy (Waheeda) in her bid for freedom. He is not above thoughtlessly exploiting her for personal gains. Combining style with substance, he gave an affecting performance as a man grappling with his emotions in his passage through love, shame and salvation. Guide was Dev's creative acme.

He reunited with Vijay Anand for the much-hyped ''Jewel Thief, featuring a bevy of beauties led by Vyjayanthimala and including Tanuja, Anju Mahendru, Faryal and Helen.

Their next collaboration, Johnny Mera Naam (1970) was a big hit. The film was released in the same year as Raj Kapoor's magnum 'flop Mera Naam Joker (it was a commercial failure). Unlike Raj and Dilip, who slowed down in the Seventies, Dev continued to be a romantic hero.

His maiden attempt at direction, the espionage drama Prem Pujari, flopped, but Dev got lucky with his 1971 directorial effort, Hare Rama Hare Krishna which talked about the prevalent hippie culture. Zeenat Aman, who played the mini-skirt sporting, pot-smoking Janice, became an overnight sensation. Dev also became known as a filmmaker of trenchantly topical themes. This same year, he starred with Mumtaz in Tere Mere Sapne, an adaptation of A. J. Cronin's novel, The Citadel. The film was directed by Dev's brother, Vijay. The presence of his discoveries — the zestful Zeenat and later, the elfin Tina Munim (heroine of Dev's last recognised hit Des Pardes in 1978) — fuelled Dev's image as the evergreen star even when he was well into his fifties.

Dev Anand is one of those few Indian actors/filmmakers who are politically aware and active and are ready to stand up for the cause that is dear to them. He led a group of film personalities who stood up against the Internal Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. He actively campaigned against her with his supporters in [Indian parliamentary elections in 1977 while very few among the film fraternity showed the courage to fight against the authoritarian regime. He also formed a party called the National Party of India, which he later disbanded.

Most of his films are an expression of his world view and have dealt with socially relevant subjects. He always emphasises this in his interviews. He thinks that his films represent his personal points of view.

Since his 1978 hit Des Pardes his subsequent films in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s failed to do well at the box office. His most recent film appearance was in Mr Prime Minister in 2005.

Dev Anand's films are best known for their successful songs. Some of the most popular Bollywood songs were from his films. His association with music composers O. P. Nayyar, Sachin Dev Burman and his son Rahul Dev Burman, lyricists Majrooh Sultanpuri, Neeraj, Shailendra, and playback singers Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar produced some very popular songs.

In September 2007, Dev's autobiography "Romancing with Life" was released at a birthday party with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Awards, honours and recognitions

Filmfare Awards

National honours and recognitions

  • 1996 - Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1997 - "Mumbai Academy of Moving Images Award" for his Outstanding Services to the Indian Film Industry.
  • 1998 - "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Ujala Anandlok Film Awards Committee in Calcutta.
  • 1999 - Sansui "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his 'Immense Contribution to Indian Cinema' in New Delhi.
  • 2000 - Film Goers' "Mega Movie Maestro of the Millennium" Award in Mumbai.
  • 2001 - Padma Bhushan Award (India's third highest civilian award from the Government of India).
  • 2001 - "Special Screen Award" for his contribution to Indian cinema.
  • 2001 - "Evergreen Star of the Millennium" Award at the Zee Gold Bollywood Awards
  • 2002 - Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award for cinematic excellence
  • 2003 - "Lifetime Achievement Award" for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema’ at IIFA Award in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • 2004 - "Legend of Indian Cinema" Award at Atlantic City (United States).
  • 2004 - "Living Legend Award" by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in recognition of his contribution to the Indian entertainment industry.
  • 2005 - "Sony Golden Glory Award"
  • 2006 - "ANR Award" by the Akkineni International Foundation.
  • 2006 - "Glory of India Award" by IIAF, London.
  • 2007 - "Punjab Ratan" (Jewel of Punjab) Award by the World Punjabi Organisation (European Division) for his outstanding contribution in the field of art and entertainment.
  • 2008 - "Lifetime Achievement Award" by Ramya Cultural Academy in association with Vinmusiclub
  • 2008 - "Lifetime Achievement Award" by Roatary Club of Bombay
  • 2008 - Awarded at the IIJS Solitaire Awards

International honors and recognitions

  • In July 2000, in New York City, he was honoured by an Award at the hands of the then First Lady of the United States of America - Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton - for his 'Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema'.
  • In 2000, he was awarded the Indo-American Association "Star of the Millennium" Award in the Silicon Valley, California.
  • Donna Ferrar, Member New York State Assembly, honoured him with a "New York State Assembly Citation" for his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Cinematic Arts Worthy of the Esteem and Gratitude of the Great State of New York' on May 1, 2001.
  • In 2005, he was honoured with a "Special National Film Award" by the Government of Nepal at Nepal’s first National Film Festival. He got this honour for his contribution to its
  • In 2007 he was guest of honour at the Sweden India Film Association (SIFA) Indian film festival in Stockholm.
  • In 2008 he was guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Provost of Highland Council in Inverness, Scotland to celebrate 10 years since he first worked in the Scottish Highlands. He spent several days in the area, en route to Cannes, as a guest of the Highlands and Islands Film Commission.



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