Bollywood’s never say die attitude actor Dev Anand passed away on Saturday night following a cardiac arrest. The actor was not keeping well for some time and was in London for his medical check-up were he was announced dead. His son Suneil was by his side. He was 88 years old. He celebrated his birthday two months back on 26th September.
Fondly known as Dev Saab, is survived by his wife, former actress Kalpana Karthik, son Suneil and a daughter, Devina. His wife and daughter will be flying to London for the last rites slated to be held on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Dev Anand was the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His late brothers were filmmaker Chetan Anand and director Vijay Anand respectively. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned film director Shekhar Kapur who lives in Surrey, has arrived in London for her brothers last rites.
Dev Saab started his film career in late 40’s and was offered few roles starring opposite singer-actress Suraiya. They fell in love in one of their films and Dev Saab finally proposed to Suraiya. However, marriage plans went awry when Suraiya’s maternal grandmother rejected the proposal as religious differences being the barrier and so, Suriya remained unmarried.
He met his wife Kalpana Karthik after acting opposite her in many romantic films and hence proposed marriage in the year 1954.
In 1949, Dev Saab launched his own company Navketan International Films and produced more than 35 movies till date. Under his banner films like ‘Paying Guest’, ‘Baazi’, ‘Jewel Thief ‘, ‘CID’, ‘Johny Mera Naam’, ‘Amir Garib’, ‘Warrant’, ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ and ‘Des Pardes’ were successful box office hits. And who can forget India’s master piece film ‘GUIDE’, the film which is based on the critically acclaimed novel, The Guide, by R. K. Narayan. This film won awards for most of the categories including best actor award for Dev Saab. He once said “I want to die in my boots”. The fact that Navketan was producing the movies meant that he could go on living the life of the Bollywood hero until the very end.
The versatile actor-filmmaker was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2001 by The Government of India and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002 for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.
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 title “evergreen romantic hero.” He was already 60 years old in 1983 when he acted with Padmini Kolhapure in ‘Swami Dada’.
Dev Saab was the one to discover fashionable Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim. He is also credited with launching the careers of young actors like Jackie Shroff in ‘Swami Dada’, Tabu and Richa Sharma in ‘Hum Naujawan’.
In 2007 his autobiography titled Romancing with Life was released in which he speaks his romantic alliances with some of his heroines including Suraiya and Zeenat Aman.
Indian Film Industry and millions of his fans from all the corners of the world are mourning his death remembering him for his positive attitude towards life, perhaps singing “Abhi na jao chhodkar…..”