in Gurdaspur of undivided Punjab to a well-to-do advocate Pishorimal
Anand on September 26, 1923, Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand - popularly
called Dev Anand - graduated in English literature from the
Government Law College in Lahore. His brothers were eminent film
personalities Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. His sister Sheel Kanta
Kapur is the mother of director Shekhar Kapur."
Probably it is
best he went suddenly.
He would have hated being hospitalized,
confined to a bed. In any case he hated being called old and ably
fought time. The fact his health was failing was visible during the
release of the coloured version of “Hum Dono”. Holding onto his
son’s hand for support this was not the Dev Anand we were accustomed
to seeing. It hurt almost to see the once handsome and charming
actor being reduced to skin and bones.
It explains why aging actors often turn
reclusive. They want to leave a certain imprint behind. Not Dev
Anand. He was keen on embracing every moment without shying away.
Dev closely modelled himself on Hollywood
actor Gregory Peck. They looked similar but Dev developed his own
mannerisms along the way.
If you watch his earlier films the sloping
walk and other exaggerations are not there. They crept in later. What
worked for him were his incredible charm and the ability to light up the
He sang, he
danced and charmed his leading ladies with ease. The staccato,
breathless dialogue delivery became all his own. Yet Dev was never a
very accomplished actor. He knew it and worked within certain
In his career
spanning over six decades as an actor-producer and director, Dev Anand
gave countless hits like Guide, Paying Guest, Baazi, Jewel Thief , CID,
Johny Mera Naam, Amir Garib, Warrant, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des
contemporaries like Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar stopped being the leading
men in movies, Dev continued to woo young heroines in movies like Johnny
Mera Naam, Des Pardes, Hare Rama Hare Krishna among others till 1983.
Dev made his
debut as an actor in 1946 in Hum Ek Hain. By the time his Ziddi was
released in 1947 he was a superstar and never looked back. He made his
directorial debut with 'Prem Pujari', which was a flop.
He directed Hare
Rama Hare Krishna in 1971, which went on to become a cult hit for
describing the prevalent hippie culture of that time.
Born in Gurdaspur of undivided Punjab to a well-to-do advocate
Pishorimal Anand on September 26, 1923, Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand -
popularly called Dev Anand - graduated in
English literature from the Government Law College in Lahore. His
brothers were eminent film personalities Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand.
His sister Sheel Kanta Kapur is the mother of director Shekhar Kapur.
Vijay “Goldie” Anand brought out the best in him. Not just the brilliant
“Guide”, even in films like “Tere Mere Sapne” the honesty of purpose was
visible. “Jewel Thief” and the path-breaking caper “Johnny Mera Naam”
were ventures where a director knew how to harness the actor’s
capabilities. A quick comparison with Clint Eastwood won’t hurt here.
re-inventing the second half, which becomes most difficult and it is
here intelligence and adaptability emerge as key factors. Dev was not
good in the second coming. He was no longer the leading man and could
never see himself as a character actor. Dev, in his mind’s eye, was
always the hero: The last man standing.
With Goldie no
longer directing, Dev chose modern subjects with poor screenplays and an
outdated style of storytelling. His famed mannerisms were now seen as
parodies. The films died at the point of release.
energy, push and lust for life remained undying.
“Evergreen” remains his biggest victory. Most of his fans would choose
to remember him on a breezy day serenading a lovely lady with the most
indescribable charm ever. Probably
it is best he went suddenly.
(Author is a senior TV
Journalist and Producer. He heads Network1 Media at Present.)
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