Heart attack claims Bollywood star Dev Anand
NEW DELHI (AP) — Bollywood star Dev Anand, a charismatic and flamboyant Indian film fixture for more than a half-century, has died of a heart attack in London, his family said Sunday. He was 88.
Famed for his roles in dozens of movies, including “Jewel Thief ” and “Guide,” the veteran actor, director and producer was working up to the last minute, with a new script in the works.
Anand lived and died on “his own terms,” his nephew and renowned film director Shekhar Kapur said in a posting on Twitter. “He was working one minute. Sat down and smiled. And was gone the next. So much to learn.”
Anand died of a heart attack Saturday night in a hotel in London, where he had gone recently for a medical checkup, the family said.
India’s prime minister joined Indian film stars and officials in lauding Anand’s achievements and expressing sorrow for his death.
“ Dev Anand was a great artist who entertained generations of cinema lovers over five decades,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement. “ He was an embodiment of long passion for acting and filmmaking. I join millions of his fans in mourning his death.”
Born on Sept. 26, 1923, as the son of a Punjab lawyer, Anand studied English literature and law, eventually moving in his early 20s to India’s film capital of Mumbai, then called Bombay, where he pursued a love of acting.
Known for his good looks, melodious voice and success in romantic leads, Anand was considered a superstar within just a few years of his 1946 screen debut in the Hindi-language film “Hum Ek Hain.”
Others in his family followed, with his brothers Chetan and Vijay also winning praise as film producers, screenwriters and directors.
Dev Anand also began producing in 1949, and made his directorial debut in 1971 with the popular hippie cult film “Hare Rama Hare Krishna.”
Anand released his latest film, “Chargesheet,” just a few months ago and was reportedly working on another script when he died.
Also known for social work, Anand dabbled in politics in the 1970s, launching a shortlived political party and leading other film stars in opposing then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s “ Emergency” regime, which gave her the power to rule by decree.