Web Desk (December 3, 2017): Dev Anand’s unique dialogue delivery, style and charm earned his the title of ‘Gregory Peck of India’. During the 60s and 70s, the actor had unmatched stardom.
The star is known for movies such as Guide, Jewel Thief, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Baazi, Gambler and Paying Guest among plenty others.
Born on September 26, 1923, Anand’s real name was Dharam Dev Anand. The actor passed away in his room at The Washington Mayfair Hotel in London at the age of 88 on December 3, 2011.
Anand earned Rs160 before becoming an actor
The superstar spent his early years in Gharota village in Gurdaspur district in Punjab. A 20-year-old Anand, after completing his BA in English Literature, moved to Mumbai with big hopes in 1943.
He started working as a clerk in an accountancy firm for a meager salary of Rs85 to make ends meet. Later, he worked at the Military Censor Office where he earned Rs160. Just after a few months, he got cast in his first movie, Hum Ek Hain.
Anand was a huge fan of Ashok Kumar, also called Dadamoni, and it was Kumar’s movie Achyut Kanyawhich 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.
Kumar had asked Anand about remuneration, to which he replied: “My fee will be people saying that you have given the industry a star.”
Anand was ‘banned’ from wearing black suits
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’s love affair with Suraiya
Dev Anand fell in love with actress Suraiya, who at the time was 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 desire to marry the actress however the actress’ maternal grandmother opposed the relationship due to religious differences.
The duo have worked in seven films together; Vidya, Jeet, Shair, Afsar, Nili, Do Sitare and Sanam.
Eventually, Anand married his Taxi Driver co-star Kalpana Katik, while Suraiya remained single all her life..
Anand’s ‘Hail Chaplin’ moment
Anand, who was a big fan of Charlie Chaplin got the opportunity to meet the comedy icon in 1954. Chaplin had settled in Montreux, Switzerlan, after allegations emerged that he was involved in un-American activities. Anand along with an Indian delegation went to meet him.
Upon seeing him, Anand couldn’t contain his excitement and exclaimed: “Hail Chaplin’, after which Chaplin burst into laughter and replied: ‘Welcome to my white house!’
Anand turned down Junglee, Teesri Manzil
The legendary actor is believed to have turned down blockbusters such as Junglee, Teesri Manzil and Zanjeer due to creative differences with the producers.
Anand was the first choice for Subodh Mukherjee’s Junglee and Nasir Hussain’s Teesri Manzil but the actor turned them both down. Interestingly, the movies went on to become the biggest hits of Shammi Kapoor’s career.