Reel life villain, real life hero
Legendary Bollywood actor Pran passed away in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on Friday evening. He was 93. The veteran actor, who played the dreaded villain and lovable character with elan in hits like ‘Milan’, ‘Madhumati’, ‘Bobby’, ‘Zanjeer’ and ‘Ram Aur Shyam’, had been unwell for the last few months.
“He died after a spell of prolonged illness,” said his daughter Pinky. He was admitted to the hospital a month ago after his health started deteriorating, she said. The funeral will be held tomorrow noon at Shivaji Park in Dadar.
The actor, who had a six-decade-long career that saw him performing in over 400 films, was conferred the country’s highest cinema honour — Dada Saheb Phalke award — in April.
Pran left his imprint as a villain with powerful roles in films like ‘Kashmir ki Kali’, ‘Khandaan’, ‘Aurat’, ‘Bari Behen’, ‘Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai’, ‘Half Ticket’, ‘Upkar’, ‘Purab Aur Paschim’, ‘Don’ ‘Karz’ and ‘Naseeb’.
Born on February 12 in 1920 in old Delhi, Pran Krishan Sikand was educated at places like Kapurthala, Unnao, Meerut, Dehradun and Rampur as his father Lala Kewal Krishnan Sikand was in government service. Initially, Pran wanted to become a photographer but destiny had different plans for him. A chance meeting with a film producer got him his first break in Punjabi film ‘Yamla Jat’ in 1940. There was no looking back for the actor after that as he went on to star in films like ‘Chaudhary’ (1941), ‘Khandan’ (1942), ‘Kaise Kahun’ (1945) and ‘Badnami (1946).
After the Partition, Pran came to Mumbai with his wife Shukla and sons Arvind and Sunil but found it difficult to get work as an actor in the city of dreams. Pran had almost given hope when writer Saadat Hasan Manto helped him get a role in Dev Anand starrer ‘Ziddi’ in 1948 which revived his career.
He will be forever remembered for bringing villains on par with the heroes, ruling the industry from 1969 to 1982.
He commanded equal money and respect for his negative characters in ‘Madhumati’, ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ and ‘Devdas’.
The actor’s baritone and good looks helped him bring charm to his villainy which was very unique to Pran.
Such was the magic of his onscreen roles that parents stopped naming their children ‘Pran’ at the height of his fame.
6 decades, 400 films
- The veteran actor, who had a career spanning six decades that saw him performing in over 400 films, had been unwell for the last few months
- He was conferred the country’s highest cinema honour — Dada Saheb Phalke award — in April
- Pran left his imprint as a villain with powerful roles in films like ‘Kashmir ki Kali’, ‘Khandaan’, ‘Aurat’, ‘Bari Behen’, ‘Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai’, ‘Half Ticket’, ‘Upkar’, ‘Purab Aur Paschim’, ‘Don’ ‘Karz’ and ‘Naseeb’
The legendary actor won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award in 1967, 1969 and 1972.
Honoured with the ‘Villain of the Millennium’ by Stardust in 2000.He was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1997.
The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013 for his contributions towards Indian cinema.
In 2010, he was named on the list of CNN’s Top 25 Asian actors of all time.