Bollywood Icon Dev Anand Dies in London

Often compared to Gregory Peck, the 88-year-old actor and film-maker was the uncle of “Elizabeth” director Shekhar Kapur.

MUMBAI - One of India’s most iconic film figures, veteran actor and film-maker Dev Anand, died Saturday in London. Anand was one of the biggest stars of the his time, beginning with his debut in 1946. He ruled the silver screen until the ’70s, though the energetic icon continued to make films even through this year with Chargesheet, which was distributed in Mumbai by Warner Bros. India.

Often compared to Hollywood legend Gregory Peck—whom Anand emulated in his mannerisms and hair style early in his career—he evolved into an accomplished director as well, known for his seventies classic Hare Rama Hare Krishna which captured the hippie revolution at its peak. Anand’s memorable roles as an actor include his acclaimed lead in 1965’s spiritual-themed Guide, directed by his brother Vijay Anand. Along with a third brother, Ketan, the trio ran one of Bollywood’s most successful banners in its heyday, Navketan Films.

Anand was in London for medical treatment, and he was staying at the Washington Mayfair Hotel accompanied by his son Sunil Anand.

“Dev Anand persuaded me to come to the movie industry and gave me my first break as an actor,” Anand’s nephew, director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), posted on his Twitter account.

“Dev Anand was a great artiste who entertained generations of cinema lovers over five decades,” India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement. “He was an embodiment of a life long passion for acting and film making. I join millions of his fans in mourning his death.” 

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