Dharam Devdutt Pishorimal Anand, commonly known as Dev Anand, made major contributions to Indian cinema. Regarded as an influential actor, he was a writer, director and a producer. He acted in about 116 films, out of which, 114 were Hindi films and two were English. He was born on this day, September 26, in the year 1923 in the Shakargarh tehsil of the Gurdaspur district in Punjab (present-day Narowal district of Pakistan).
Let's take a look at 13 Interesting and unknown facts about Dev Anand:
1. He was called DD in school
Born Dharam Devdutt Pishorimal Anand, the actor was fondly addressed as DD, an abbreviated version of his first name by his peers in school.
2. Worked as a clerk before movies happened
During his struggling days in Mumbai, Dev Anand worked as a clerk in an accountancy firm for a meager salary of Rs 85 to make ends meet.
3. First leading role in Ziddi
The first time Dev Anand played a leading man was in Ziddi, opposite Kamini Kaushal. The actor got his big break as a hero when introduced thus by Ashok Kumar, already a major star. Kumar had spotted Anand hanging around and handpicked him as hero for the Bombay Talkies film.
4. Dev Anand was asked not to wear black
After Dev Anand's hit Kala Pani, the actor was asked not to wear a black suit in public because women would swoon and jump from buildings seeing him dressed in black.
5. Saved Suraiya from a capsized boat and fell in love
The Dev-Suraiya romance began when shooting the film Vidya. While filming the song Kinare kinare chale jaayenge on a boat, the boat capsized. Living up to his heroic image, Dev rescued her and wanted to marry her.
6. Proposed to Suraiya with a diamond ring worth Rs. 3000
Dev proposed to Suraiya on the sets of the film Jeet with a diamond ring worth Rs 3,000, but Suraiya's maternal grandmother was strongly opposed to the inter-religious romance. As a result Suraiya remained unmarried all her life.
7. Launched Navketan Films in 1949
Dev launched his own company Navketan Films in 1949. By 2011, including Dev's most recent film, Chargesheet, Navketan had produced 35 films.
8. Fell in love with wife Kalpana Karthik while shooting Taxi Driver
Guru Dutt's first film Baazi established the on-screen pair of Dev Anand and Kalpana Karthik, and the two went on to make Aandhiyan, Taxi Driver, House No 44 and Nau Do Gyarah, another succession of hits. The two tell in love while making Taxi Driver and Dev and Kalpana got married.
9. Bought the iconic checkered cap in Denmark
The iconic, checkered print cap worn by Dev Anand in Jewel Thief was purchased from a shop in Copenhagen, Denmark where he was filming Pyar Mohabbat with Saira Bano.
10. Bagged Filmfare best actor award for Kalapani and Guide
It's but natural that a star of Dev Anand's stature won several awards. From Best Actor Filmfare trophies for Kala Pani and Guide to prestigious laurels like Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke awards, he bagged them all.
11. Never worked with Amitabh Bachchan
It's startling how Dev Anand has worked with everyone from Dilip Kumar and Ashok Kumar to Mithun Chakraborty and Aamir Khan, all except Amitabh Bachchan, who gained stardom after signing on Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer, originally offered to DA.
12. Worked in a Hollywood film
Not many know Dev Anand worked in a Hollywood film, "The Evil Within" that starred one of his favourite leading ladies Zeenat Aman along with Vietnamese actress Kieu Chinh.