Bollywood legend Dev Anand dies at 88 in London


Dev Anand in the film Hum Dono

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Legendary Bollywood actor-director Dev Anand has died in London of a heart attack, aged 88, family members say.

Anand, who produced and acted in dozens of films, was unwell and had gone to London for a check-up.

He was known as the Adonis of Indian cinema for his good looks and the ease with which he played romantic roles.

His films included Guide, Paying Guest and Jewel Thief. He continued to direct almost until his death, releasing his last film, Chargesheet, in September.

Over the course of his 65-year career, which began in 1946, Anand became one of India's iconic actor-directors.


Dev Anand was the first hero of India cinema who was a happy figure.

The heroes of post-independence era cinema were solemn and grave like Dilip Kumar or tragic underdogs like Raj Kapoor.

Dev Anand ushered in positivity. He made the Indian leading man look dapper and debonair and playful and romantic.

His dashing looks and makeover included a quiff, neckties and hats jauntily perched on his head with a stick he liked to twirl. He dressed like a gentleman of leisure and smiled and joked with his leading ladies.

His early success had him playing a rake and bad guys with a magic touch with women who found his appeal irresistible.

He was called Mr Charming and later with his magic pairing with actress Madhubala he was called the Adonis of Indian cinema. Though he had a long standing marriage his image of a ladies' man was one he wore with elan.

Some of the actresses he introduced to Bollywood went on to become some of the most famous on the South Asia screen.

"An era has come to an end. Dev Anand leaves a void never perhaps to be filled again. He never gave up belief, his joy of life," tweeted Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

Mr Bachchan wrote that he had met Anand at a film premier recently. "He was weak but full of spirit," he tweeted.

"Grew up watching your films. Sorry to say goodbye," tweeted writer Salman Rushdie.

Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt said: "As the new dawn breaks over Mumbai I salute the memory of this star who has left left us with the glow of his smile."

Dev Anand introduced some of the most fashionable actresses to Bollywood, including Zeenat Aman, with whom he paired in Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

He also set up a production company in 1949, Navketan International Films, which produced more than 35 films.

Anand was much feted, winning the Dada Saheb Phalke award, the highest honour in Indian cinema, in 2002, and countless other awards.

One of his most popular films was Guide, based on a novel by celebrated Indian writer RK Narayan.

Dev Anand Dev Anand is survived by his wife and two children

In his autobiography, Romancing with Life, he said he had been approached by the Nobel prize-winning author Pearl S Buck and director Tad Danielewski to act in an American film, based on an English novel by an Indian writer.

"But I eventually declined the offer. I told them that keeping my star status in India in mind, I would accept a role only if it was really challenging and aroused my interest," he wrote.

Dev Anand is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    My heart sank... This is second bad news of last 4 months and felt empty.. First Jagjit and now Dev saheb... nothing to say but just deep emptiness.
    I have watched Guide more than 9 times and always wished NavKetan produced more filsm...
    Dev Saheb will be miss forever he has touched every soul in india and abrod.. and we will always remember his smiling face ... A legend, A Tribute to India

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    For those Indians who grew up in the 50s, 60s or the 70s when the solitary weekend film on state run TV was the only means of entertainment available, anything even vaguely resembling Internet or mobile phones could only be dreamt of and international stardom hadn’t quite the same meaning as it does today, a man who made their childhood / youth a time worth remembering has gone away forever

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    So sad to hear the news. Grew up in the era when 3 famous stars ruled the then Bollywood - Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand. Dev Anand's film Munimji, Guide, Paying Guest and the film and song in Hare Krishna Hare Ram were all classics. His good looks, ease of acting and cheerful personality were trade marks of Dev Anand. Really sad day for India, particularly Bollywood.


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