Bollywood legend Dev Anand dies at 88 in London

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Media captionDev Anand in the film Hum Dono

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.

"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.

Image caption 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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