Dev Anand, Happy B'day to You

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(added 26 Sep 2011)

 

Dev Anand, Happy B'day to You Today is a very important day for all the fans of Bollywood as today (26 September) Dev Anand is celebrating his birthday. He was born in 1923. He is an actor, director and film producer. Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and English film director Shekhar Kapur.  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 Dev saheb was born Dharam Dev Anand on 26 September, 1923 in Shakargarh Tehsil of Gurudaspur district (now in Narowal District, Pakistan) in undivided Punjab, British India to well-to-do advocate Kishorimal Anand
 
Dev is the second of three brothers born to Kishorimal Anand. Dev's younger sister is Sheela Kanta Kapur, who is mother of Shekhar Kapur. His older brother was Chetan Anand and younger one was Vijay Anand. Dev graduated in English literature from the Government College, Lahore, (now in Pakistan).     
 
Dev Anand, after graduating in English Literature from the Government College, Lahore, British India left his hometown and came to Mumbai in the early 1940s. He began his career in the military censor office at Churchgate, Mumbai, for a salary of Rs.200. He joined his older brother Chetan as a member of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA).     
 
He was soon offered a debut as an actor by Prabhat Talkies to star in their film Hum Ek Hain(1946). While shooting for the film in Pune, Dev struck a friendship with another fellow legendary 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.     
 
In the late forties Dev Anand got few offers to star opposite singer-actress Suraiya in woman oriented films, as the male lead. Dev Anand considered himself to be lucky to get a chance to star opposite such an established actress and accepted the offers. While shooting these films, he became romantically involved with Suraiya. The two of them were paired in six films together - Vidya (1948), Jeet (1949), Shair (1949), Afsar (1950), Nili (1950), Do Sitare (1951) and Sanam (1951), which were all successful at the box office and in these films Suraiya was always first billed in credits to imply she was a bigger star than Dev Anand.     
 
She fell in love with him during the shooting of the song Kinare Kinare Chale Jayenge from the film Vidya, where unfortunately during shooting, a boat capsized and Dev Anand saved Suraiya from drowning. The entire affair was conducted in a clandestine manner with friends like Durga Khote and Kamini Kaushal going out of their way to engineer secret rendezvous. On the sets of the film Jeet, Dev Anand finally proposed to Suraiya and gave her a diamond ring worth Rs 3,000. Her maternal grandmother opposed the relationship as they were Muslim and Dev Anand Hindu, and so, Suraiya remained unmarried all her life.     
 
They stopped acting together after her grandmother opposed and Do Sitare was the last film of the pair to release. Although Dev had tasted success in the films he starred in with Suraiya, the producers and directors attributed the success of these films to the acting prowess and screen presence of Suraiya. Dev was looking for opportunity to play the main male lead in a film where his acting skills could be displayed as people were skeptic about Dev's acting abilities.     
 
Dev was offered his first big break by Ashok Kumar. He 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 an instant success. After Ziddi's success Dev had decided that he would start producing films. So in 1949, Dev turned producer and launched his own company Navketan (which mean newness), which till 2011 has produced 31 films and continues to produce movies even today.     
 
Dev chose Guru Dutt as director for the crime thriller, Baazi (1951). The film starring Dev Anand, Geeta Bali and Kalpana Kartik was a trendsetter regarded as the forerunner of the spate of urban crime films that followed in Bollywood in the 1950s. The film Baazi saw debut of Kalpana Kartik aka Mona Singh as the lead female actress and Guru Dutt as a director. The collaboration was a success at the box office and the pair Dev Anand - Kalpana Kartik were offered many films to star in together.     
 
They signed all the film offers and subsequently the movies Aandhiyan, 1954 Film, House No. 44 and Nau Do Gyarah went on to become big hits too. During the making of film Taxi Driver, the couple fell in love and Dev proposed marriage to his heroine Kalpana. In 1954, Taxi Driver was declared a hit and the two decided to marry in a quiet ceremony. The couple had a son, Suneil Anand in 1956. After her marriage Kalpana decided not to pursue her acting career further.     
 
A rapid-fire style of dialogue delivery and a penchant for nodding while speaking became Dev's style in films like House No. 44, Pocket Maar, Munimji, Funtoosh, C.I.D. and Paying Guest. In the fifties his films were based on mystery genre or light comedy love stories or were films with social relevance like ‘’Ek Ke Baad Ek’’ and Funtoosh. 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 opposite newcomer Waheeda Rehman in C.I.D. (1956), Solva Saal, Kala Pani, Kala Bazar and Baat Ek Raat Ki. Waheeda first became a star with C.I.D becoming a hit. In 1955 he also co-starred with Dilip Kumar in Insaniyat. With his acting in Kala Pani (1958), as the son who is willing to go to any lengths to clear his framed father's name, he won his first Filmfare award for Best Actor for the film. He attempted films of tragic genre occasionally like Pocketmaar(1956), Kala Pani (1958), Bombai Ka Babu (1960) and Sharabi (1964) and tasted success in them.     
 
Dev also played a few characters with a negative shade, like in Jaal(1952). Apart from his pair with Suraiya and Kalpana Kartik, his pair with Nutan and Waheeda Rehman was popular among the audiences in late 50’s and 60’s. His films Rahee and Aandhiyaan, were screened along with Raj Kapoor's Awaara. From the early fifties till mid sixties, the trio of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled the roost.     
 
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.Raj Kapoor though younger than Dev nand, started gaining weight and this affected his career and even Dilip Kumar's films started flopping in the late sixties. But Dev Anand,being slim and fit, continued to look much younger even in the late sixties and seventies. He gave many popular films till 1990 as the leading man.     
 
His first colour film, 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.   
 
Guide, directed by younger brother Vijay Anand, was an acclaimed movie. 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.     
 
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.     
 
His directorial debut, the espionage drama Prem Pujaari, 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. His find 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 and was also successful.     
 
In the 1970s, Raj Kapoor started playing roles of father in films like Kal Aaj Aur Kal in 1971 and Dharam Karam in 1974 and films with Dilip Kumar as lead hero were failures at box office. Some of the hurriedly made films with Dev Anand as the leading man – three each opposite Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman and Yeh Gulistaan Hamara with Sharmila Tagore became flops and posed a threat to his career as leading man.   
 
But he delivered hits again and romanced young heroines Yogita Bali and Rakhee in Banarasi Babu (1973), Hema Malini in Chhupa Rustam(1973) and Amir Ghareeb(1974)[13], Zeenat Aman in Heera Panna(1973), Warrant(1975)[14] and Darling Darling(1977). In 1976, his brother directed a mystery flick named Bullet which though critically acclaimed was not successful at box office.     
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. Dev Anand has also been politically active. 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. He also formed a party called the National Party of India, which he later disbanded.     
 
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 1980’s with Man Pasand, Lootmaar(both opposite Tina Munim), Swami Dada(1982) being both critically acclaimed and box office hits.     
 
Though Dev Anand’s demand as the lead hero had not decreased even in the 1980s, he decided that it was the right time to introduce his son Suneil Anand in films as the hero. He launched his son in the Kramer vs. Kramer inspired Anand Aur Anand (1984), which was produced and directed by Dev Anand himself and had music by R.D.Burman. He expected the film to do well but the film was a box office disaster and Suneil Anand decided to not act in films any more.     
 
But the of films with Dev Anand as the lead hero Hum Naujawan (1985), Lashkar (1989) and Awwal Number(1990) , where Dev Anand costarred with Aamir Khan were average grossers and appreciated by critics. He was already sixty year old in 1983 when he acted with Padmini Kolhapuri in Swami Dada but did not look old. In 1989, his directorial venture the critically acclaimed Sachché Ka Bolbala was released but it was a commercial failure.     
 
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 has 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. Critics say his directorial ventures have always been ahead of its time. Dev Anand's films are well known for their hit songs.   
 
He is known to have been an active participant in the music sessions of a number of his films. His association with music composers Shankar-Jaikishen, O. P. Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Sachin Dev Burman and his son Rahul Dev Burman, lyricists Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Neeraj, Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, and playback singers Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar produced some very popular songs. S.D Burman, R.D Burman, Rafi and Kishore Kumar were his special friends. In September 2007, Dev's own autobiography "Romancing with Life" was released at a birthday party with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. In February 2011, his 1961 black and white film Hum Dono was digitised and colourised and released.     
 
Dev Anand is credited with giving actors like Jackie Shroff in Swami Dada, Tabu in Hum Naujawan and Richa Sharma a break into the film industry and encouraging music composer Rajesh Roshan. Amit Khanna started his career with Navketan as executive producer in 1971 and had been secretary to Dev Anand in 70's. In 2005, he was honoured with a "Special National Film Award" by the Government of Nepal at Nepal’s first Nation 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.
(added 26 Sep 2011) / 1007 views

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