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Dev Anand Biography

Dharam Dev Pishorimal Ānand (Hindi: धर्मदेव आनन्द), better known simply as Dev Anand देव आनन्द, is a famous Indian Bollywood actor,director and film producer. Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Bollywood. His elder brother Chetan Anand was a film director, as was his younger brother, Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and English film director Shekhar Kapur.

Dev was born Dharam Dev kundan lal Pishorimal Anand in Gurdaspur district in undivided Punjab to well-to-do advocate Pishorimal Anand. He graduated in English literature from the Government College, Lahore (now in Pakistan). His love for acting made him leave his hometown for the centre of the Hindi film industry, Mumbai. Dev began his career in the military censor office at Churchgate, Mumbai, for a salary of Rs. 160.

He was soon offered a break as an actor by Prabhat Talkies to star in their Hum Ek Hain (1946). While shooting for the film in Pune, Dev struck a friendship with fellow actor Guru Dutt.

Dev was offered his first big break by Ashok Kumar. Kumar 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 a success. In 1949, Dev turned producer and launched his own company Navketan, which continues to churn out movies.

Dev was successful after that. Dev relied on Guru Dutt as director for the crime thriller, Baazi (1951). The dice rolled in favour of this creative collaboration; the Sahir Ludhianvi, lyricist song, Tadbeer se bigdi huyee taqdeer bana de, proved prophetic and Dev became a true star.

He also played a few characters with a negative shade, like in Jaal (1952). His films Rahee and Aandhiyan, were screened there along with Raj Kapoor's Awaara. In the same year, Taxi Driver was declared a hit. Dev's heroine was Kalpana Kartik again, and the two decided to marry in a quiet ceremony.

Marriage and the birth of son Suneil in 1956 did not affect Dev's career. A rapid-fire style of dialogue delivery, an array of hats (see for example Aye meri topi palat ke aa), and a penchant for nodding while speaking became Dev's style in films like Munimji, C.I.D. and Paying Guest. 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. In 1955 he also co-starred with Dilip Kumar in Insaniyat.

Despite his characteristic style, Dev's detractors cast aspersions on his acting abilities. However, 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 the Best Actor Award for the film.

He was romantically involved with singer-actress Suraiya and the two of them paired in six films together. She fell in love with him when — during the shooting of a song sequence in the film — a boat capsized and Dev Anand saved Suraiya from drowning. Her grandmother opposed the relationship as they were Muslims and so,Suraiya remained unmarried all her life.

His first film in colour, 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. This is regarded by many as his best work to-date.

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 Jewel Thief, featuring a bevy of beauties led by Vyjayanthimala and including Tanuja, Anju Mahendru, Faryal and Helen.

Their next collaboration, Johnny Mera Naam (1970) was a big hit. Unlike Raj and Dilip, who slowed down in the Seventies, Dev continued to be a romantic hero.

His maiden attempt at direction, the espionage drama Prem Pujari, flopped, but Dev got lucky with his 1971 directorial effort, Hare Rama Hare Krishna which talked about the prevalent hippie culture. 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.

The presence of his discoveries — the Zeenat and later, the Tina Munim (heroine of Dev's last recognised hit Des Pardes in 1978) — fuelled Dev's image as the evergreen star even when he was well into his fifties.

Dev Anand has acted in over 100 films, produced nearly 30, directed almost 20 and has written more than 10 scripts. Dev Anand is one of those few Indian actors/filmmakers who are politically aware and 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 while very few among the film fraternity participated. He also formed a party called the National Party of India, which he later disbanded.

Most of his films have dealt with socially relevant subjects, and he frequently emphasises this in interviews; he thinks that his films represent his personal points of view.

Since his 1978 hit Des Pardes his subsequent films in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s failed to do well at the box office. His most recent film appearance was in Mr Prime Minister in 2005.

Dev Anand's films are well known for their successful songs. Some of the most popular Bollywood songs were from his films. His association with music composers Shankar-Jaikishen, O. P. Nayyar, Sachin Dev Burman and his son Rahul Dev Burman, lyricists Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Neeraj, Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, and playback singers Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar produced some very popular songs.

In September 2007, Dev's autobiography "Romancing with Life" was released at a birthday party with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
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