100 and never out: Remembering the evergreen Dev Anand

Dev Anand, the charismatic and evergreen star of Indian cinema, is celebrated on September 26 on what would have been his 100th birth anniversary. Born in 1923 in Gurdaspur, Punjab, Dev Anand, whose real name was Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand, left an indelible mark on the world of Indian cinema through his remarkable acting prowess, charismatic screen presence, and a career that spanned over six decades.

His journey into the world of cinema was a result of his insatiable passion for acting and an undying dream to make it big in the film industry. After completing his education in Lahore, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) to chase his dreams. His initial years were marked by struggle and hardship as he searched for opportunities in the world of showbiz.

The veteran actor’s break in the film industry came in 1946 when he was cast in Prabhat Talkies’ film “Hum Ek Hain.” Though the film did not catapult him to stardom, it opened the door to more opportunities. It was his role in “Ziddi” (1948), opposite Kamini Kaushal, that marked his arrival as a promising actor.

Dev Anand was not just an actor; he was a style icon. With his trademark puff hairstyle, charming smile, and stylish dressing, he carved a niche for himself in the hearts of fans. His charismatic on-screen presence made him the ultimate romantic hero of his era. His mannerisms, from the way he lit his cigarette to the unique way he walked, were copied by fans all over the country.

Some of his iconic films are  ‘Guide’, ‘Jewel Thief’, ‘Kala pani’, ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, ‘Johny Mera Naam’, etc. His contribution to Indian cinema extends beyond his acting skills. He ventured into film production and direction with his own banner, Navketan Films, which produced several successful films. His collaborations with his brother Vijay Anand and legendary music director S.D. Burman resulted in cinematic masterpieces.

He was one of the first Indian actors to embrace color cinema and international collaborations. His unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity and storytelling set the stage for the future generations of filmmakers and actors. His demise on December 3, 2011, marked the end of an era in Indian cinema.

Image courtesy of Instagram

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