Remembering Pran: Feb 12, 1920 - July 12, 2013
Veteran actor Pran essayed negative characters in 50s and 60s. We take you down memory lane and focus on his professional and personal life
Pran, the name that epitomised all possible villainous characters in Bollywood, breathed his last at Lilavati Hospital yesterday around 8.30 pm. He was 93. The veteran Bollywood actor was admitted at the medical facility since May 30 after he complained of uneasiness while breathing.
The team of doctors treating him said Pran suffered from several illnesses, including extensive pneumonia, chronic kidney diseases, Parkinson’s, COPD and sepsis and was on ventilator for quite some time.
Speaking to MiD DAY, chest physician Dr Sanjeev Mehta said, “ He was suffering from a chest infection and weakness since the time he was admitted.
After his condition started deteriorating, we shifted him to the ICU a few days ago. He eventually succumbed to pneumonia.” Confirming Pran’s death, his son Sunil said, “ He was ill for a long time now. The funeral will be held at Shivaji Park crematorium tomorrow ( Saturday) afternoon.”
Born as Pran Krishan Sikand on February 12, 1920, Pran started his acting career in 1940. He had acted in about 22 films, before Partition, most of which were released by 1947. Post- Partition, Pran moved to Bombay and after an eightmonth- long struggle, finally managed to bag a role in Dev Anand’s Ziddi. After Ziddi, Pran never looked back and went on to deliver one hit after another — Zanjeer, Ram Aur Shyam, Amar Akbar Anthony, Upkaar, Johnny Mera Naam and Don, among others.
Though he played each character with panache, dedication and ease, it was his negative roles that people swear by even today. Such was his aura in the 50s and 60s that parents feared naming their child ‘Pran’ thinking that their son would grow up to become a baddie.
Pran won Filmfare Awards for best supporting actor in 1967, 1969 and 1972. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan Award in 2001 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013. He was also rated as one of the top 25 Asian actors of all time in 2010 by CNN. Pran also received the ‘Villain of the Millennium’ award from a Bollywood magazine.
Not many might know that Pran’s first role as an actor dates back to 1938, wherein he portrayed the character of Sita to Madan Puri’s Ram during a local Ram Lila show in Shimla.
— With inputs from Anuradha Varanasi