Mumbai– Indian film multihyphenate Dev Anand died in London on Sunday after a heart attack. He was 88.
Known as one of the triumvirate of superstars who ruled Hindi cinema in the 1950s and ’60s (along with the late Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar) Anand made such hits as “Guide,” “Hare Rama hare Krishna” and “Prem pujari.”
Memorable films from that period include “Taxi Driver,” “C.I.D.,” “Tere ghar ke saamne” and “Teen deviyaan.”
His films were known for their superb songs, usually collaborated with composer Sachin Dev Burman and later his son, Rahul Dev Burman. He introduced such actresses as Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim, who would later marry Reliance topper Anil Ambani, to films in 1971’s “Hare Rama hare Krishna” and 1978’s “Des pardes” respectively.
Anand debuted as an actor in 1946’s “Hum ek hain.” His first hit film was 1948’s “Ziddi.” In 1949, he began his production company Navketan Films where his brothers, helmer Chetan Anand and actor-director Vijay Anand, joined him. Navketan’s “Baazi” (1951) launched the directorial career of Guru Dutt, another great of Indian cinema.
In 1965, Anand produced and starred in the Hindi-language “Guide,” based on R.K. Narayan’s eponymous English-language novel, directed by Vijay Anand. A shorter English-language version based on a screenplay by Pearl S. Buck (“The Good Earth”) and co-produced by Anand and Tad Danielewski (“The Big Wave”) was released in the U.S. and screened again at the Cannes film fest in 2007.
Anand made his directorial debut with 1970’s “Prem pujari” and scored a major hit with his 1971 take on hippie culture “Hare Rama hare Krishna.” He directed 17 more films, all with him starring, with his last release being 2011’s “Chargesheet.”
In 2002, Anand was accorded India’s highest film honur, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Survivors include his wife, Kalpana Kartik (who co-starred with him in “Taxi Driver”), a son, a daughter and nephew the helmer Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth”).
Kapur tweeted: “My uncle Dev Anand. We spoke about him as if he would live forever. Maybe he will. That which seemed immortal passes into myth.”