September 26, 2023 is celebrated as the 100th birth anniversary of the late actor Dev Anand.
Long before the word "superstar" was formally established, Dev Anand was one of the first in the history of the Hindi film business. The legendary actor, who has had a career spanning more than six decades, has earned the audience's undying love for his performances that he delivered through films. Lovingly known as Dev Saab, he was a loverboy, bollywood did not know it needed.
Dev Anand, one of the finest stars of the 1940s to 1970s, was born on September 26, 1923. The versatile actor appeared in more than 100 movies, from his debut film, 1946's Hum Ek Hain to 1965's Guide and many more. He would dabble in screenplay and filmmaking over the years. A Padma Bhushan laureate, he is still called as one of the finest performers in Hindi cinema history who dominated Bollywood in the 1950s and 1960s.
Despite the actor's considerable professional success, not much is known about him personally. So let's discover some lesser-known facts about him to get to know him better on his 100th birthday.
- Anand, also known as Dharam Dev Anand, attended Sacred Heart School in Dalhousie until matriculation and then attended college in Dharamsala before completing his studies in Lahore. Before making his Bollywood debut, the actor had to make do with a meager wage of Rs 85 from his job as a clerk in an accountancy firm in Mumbai. Later, he earned Rs 160 working at the Military Censor Office.
- Anand loved Ashok Kumar, commonly known as Dadamoni, and it was Kumar's film Achyut Kanya that gave Anand the inspiration to pursue acting. Anand met his hero Kumar by coincidence, and he later extended an offer to star him in Ziddi. The film went on to become Anand's first commercial success.
- The renowned actor has been reported to have rejected box office hits like Zanjeer, Teesri Manzil, and Junglee because of creative disagreements with the producers.
- Dev Anand's relationship with Suraiya is widely known. The actress, who starred alongside the actor in several movies, fell in love with him while they were filming the song "Kinare kinare" for the movie Vidya. On the shooting of the film Jeet, he subsequently proposed to the actress and gave her a diamond ring costing Rs 3,000. Anan, however married actress Kalpana Katik, while Suraiya remained single all her life.
- Anand was banned from donning a black suit in public at the height of his popularity because it made women drool over him. When he used to wear a black suit, his insane female followers would start sending him messages that were written in their blood and jumping from buildings.
- He has a history of political activism. He was the leader of a group of movie stars that protested the totalitarian authority during the Emergency. As a matter of fact, he also established the "National Party of India," which he later disbanded.
- In July 2000, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Dev Anand the "Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema" award.
Dev Anand passed away after a cardiac arrest in his hotel at The Washington Mayfair Hotel in London on December 3, 2011, leaving a void in the world of Indian cinema. He was 88 years old.