Remembering Dev Anand


Dev Anand’s unique dialogue delivery, style and charm earned him the title of ‘Gregory Peck of India’ and during the 60s and 70s, the actor had unmatched stardom.

Bollywood’s yesteryear’s superstar is well-known for movies such as Guide, Jewel Thief, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Baazi, Gambler and Paying Guest among others.

Born on September 26, 1923, Anand’s real name was Dharam Dev Anand. He spent his early years in Gharota village in Gurdaspur district in Punjab and after completing his BA in English Literature, moved to Mumbai with big hopes in 1943 when he was only 20 years old.

He started working as a clerk in an accountancy firm for a meagre salary of Rs 85 to make ends meet after which he moved to the Military Censor Office where he earned Rs 160.

However, just after a few months, he got cast in his first movie, Hum Ek Hain and the rest they say is history.

Anand was a huge fan of Ashok Kumar, also called Dadamoni, and it was Kumar’s movie Achyut Kanya which encouraged Anand to pursue acting. A chance encounter led to Anand meeting his idol Kumar, who then offered him a role in Ziddi. The movie went on to become the first hit of Anand’s career.

Dev Anand fell in love with actress Suraiya, who at the time was the highest paid actress in India. During the shooting of a song for their film Vidya, the boat overturned with both the actors inside it. In a true Bollywood style, Anand rescued her leading to their love affair. Anand also expressed a desire to marry the actress however the actress’ maternal grandmother opposed the relationship due to religious differences. And eventually, Anand married his co-star Kalpana Katik, while Suraiya remained single all her life.

At the peak of his career, Anand was banned from wearing black suits in public as it led to his female fans swooning over him. There was a time when his frenzied female fans starting sending him letters written with their blood and jumping off buildings, after seeing him in a black suit.

Anand passed away in his room at The Washington Mayfair Hotel in London at the age of 88 on December 3, 2011.