Age hasn’t dampened Dev Anand’s zest at 85 (Lead)

September 26th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 26 (IANS) It was business as usual for India’s hero through six decades and more who spent his 85th birthday Friday in the studios. But, a day before he leaves for London for the international launch of his book, the ever ebullient Dev Anand was also ready to party. “I will be there in my studio and my friends will drop in to wish me. All are welcome in my studio. The whole industry including you is my friend,” Anand told IANS.

No party had been planned but Anand said: “The get together of people who will come to wish me will automatically turn into a party.”

The man who has epitomised romance through generations of cine watchers leaves for London Saturday for the launch of the international edition of his book “Romancing With Life”.

“It will be a great moment of my life,” he said.

He returns on Oct 5 after which he starts with the next schedule of the shoot for his film “Chargesheet” - he’s acting and directing too.

“After I return from London, I will record a song with Asha Bhosle for my film and then proceed with the next schedule of shoot at Panchgani.”

Clearly, that zest for life and work have kept him going when not just his contemporaries, but even those who followed him into the industry have long retired.

The man who serenaded generations of actresses and has had the fortune of having some of Bollywood’s most memorable songs filmed on him is clearly set for more years of filmmaking.

Born in 1923 as Devdutt Pishorimal Anand in Gurdaspur, Punjab, Dev Anand was the middle son of well-to-do advocate Pishorimal Anand.

After graduation, Dev Anand moved to Mumbai in 1943 and joined his brother Chetan Anand. His first film was “Hum Ek Hain” (1946), but wasn’t a big success.

The actor was offered his first big break by Ashok Kumar for “Ziddi” (1948) opposite Kamini Kaushal and the film went on to be a huge success.

A year after the success of “Ziddi”, Anand launched his own company Navketan, which continues to churn out movies till date.

His next big hit was “Baazi” (1951) and after that the actor never looked back. He gave hits like “C.I.D” (1956), “Guide” (1965), “Jewel Thief”(1967), “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” (1971) and “Des Pardes” (1978).

Dev Anand, who was bestowed India’s highest award for cinematic excellence - the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002, was also romantically associated with singer-actress Suraiya. But since her grandmother opposed it, their relationship fell apart.

Heartbroken Dev Anand married his “Taxi Driver” co-star Kalpana Kartik and has son Suneil and daughter Devina.

The actor was known for his distinct dialogue delivery and dressing. His buttoned collar and full-sleeved shirts, colourful mufflers, hats and rebellious dressing sense still makes him stand apart from many an actor of his times.

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.

He worked closely with his brother Vijay Anand for the much-hyped “Jewel Thief”, featuring a bevy of beauties led by Vyjayanthimala, Tanuja, Anju Mahendru, Faryal and Helen.

Their next collaboration, “Johnny Mera Naam” (1970) was also a big hit.

Anand tried his hand at direction with “Prem Pujari” in the same year but the film did not fare well at the box office. However, he got lucky with his 1971 directorial venture “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”, based on the then prevalent hippie culture.

His last big hit as a director and actor was “Des Pardes” — after that his films failed to excite the audience.

His most recent films which include “Love At Times Square” and “Mr Prime Minister” bombed at the box office.

Anand also has the credit of discovering Bollywood divas like Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim.

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