Dev Anand was born as Dharam Dev on September 26, 1923, in the Punjabi-speaking Anand family, son of Advocate Pishorimal, younger brother to Chetan and Manmohan, and senior to Vijay. He had one sister, Sheela. Dev graduated from Government College, Lahore, and British India.
He left his hometown to work in the Military Censor Office at Church gate, Bombay. He was offered a role in the 1946 film ‘Hum Eke Hain’, and there he struck a friendship with Bollywood legend Guru Dutt.
Ashok Kumar added Dev as a foremost man opposite Kamini Kaushal in ‘Ziddi’. Thereafter there has been no looking back for the ‘evergreen’ Dev Anand, who went on to star in over 110 movies, spanning from 1946 through to 2005.
After having performed the Lead Actor for more than five decades in over 110 motion pictures, Dev Anand proceeds to mount Indian Cinema today. He has given a unique dimension to that magical state known as Stardom. And for his exemplary work, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2001 by the President of India. From the time he started on his career as a Film Actor in the mid-forties till now, his movies have been a journey filled with enriching lives for the ‘Evergreen Living Legend’ of Indian Cinema. And he has always resided endlessly youthful by his exceptional ability to live always in the present and the future; never in the past.
As head of his film production company Navketan International Films, which was founded in 1949, he has introduced a multitude of talent to the Indian Film Industry by way of actors, directors, music composers and cinematographers. Anand Recording Studios – which has to its credit more than 3,000 Indian feature films that have been mixed/ surround mixed for worldwide release. Anand has won two Filmfare Awards – India’s equivalent of the Oscars – in 1958 for his performance in the film “Kala Paani” (Black Water) in 1966 for his performance in Navketan International Films’ “Guide”. “Guide” went on to win Filmfare Awards in five other categories including ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’ and was sent as India’s entry for the Oscars in the foreign film category that year. He co-produced the English Version of “Guide” with the Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck (“The Good Earth”).
Ultimately, his creative sensibilities got the better of him and he started writing and directing his movies.
In 1993, he held a Filmfare ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and in 1996 he received a Screen Videocon ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Then in 1997, he was given the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images Award for his Outstanding Services to the Indian Film Industry. In 1998, he was given a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Ujala Anandlok Film Awards Committee in Calcutta. In 1999, he earned the Sansui ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his ‘Immense Contribution to Indian Cinema’ in New Delhi. In the year 2000, he has conferred the Film Goers’ ‘Mega Movie Maestro of the Millenium’ Award in Mumbai.
And then in July 2000, in New York City, he was honoured by an award at the hands of the then First Lady of the United States of America – Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton – for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema’. And again Annand was awarded the Indo-American Association ‘Star of the Millennium’ Award in the Silicon Valley, California.
The President of India honored Annand with the prestigious Padma Bhutan Award on India’s Republic Day – August 15, 2001. And again, Donna Ferrer, Member New York State Assembly, honored him with a New York State Assembly Citation for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Cinematic Arts Worthy of the Esteem and Gratitude of the Great State of New York’ on May 1, 2001.
Recently, in April 2003, Anand was given a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the F.I.F.A. Committee in Johannesburg, South Africa. For an Indian Movie Icon who has fraternized with royalty, heads of state and celebrities, he has done it all. Dev Anand was highest paid Hindi actor from 1957-1964 and the 2nd highest paid Hindi actor from 1965-1975.
– Arti chaudhary