Dev was born Dharam Dev Pishori Anand on 26 September 1923 Gurdaspur district in Punjab (British India). Dev graduated in English Literature from the Government College, Lahore post which he came to Bombay and started working in the military censor’s office at Churchgate, for a monthly salary of Rs. 165. Later, he joined his older brother, Chetan, as a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA).
He made his film debut with "Hum Ek Hain" in 1946. While shooting the film in Pune, Anand befriended the actor Guru Dutt. Their bond was so strong that they formed a mutual understanding that when Anand produced a film, Dutt would direct it and when Dutt directed a film, Anand would act in it.
Dev Anand formed his film production company Navketan International Films in 1949 and Baazi (1951) was the first film to be directed under the banner. He gained the status of an evergreen romance hero with films like Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Asli-Naqli, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai, Guide etc. Guide, Dev Saab’s first colour film with Waheeda Rehman was based on the novel of the same name by R.K. Narayan. Guide was the first international collaboration of Indian cinema and its premiere was held in New York.
He had worked with singer-actor Suraiya in his initial years in the industry and the couple fell in love instantly. He proposed marriage to Suraiya by gifting her a diamond ring however Suraiya’s grandmother had an issue with this alliance and banned her grand-daughter from working with Dev Anand in the future. A few years later, Dev Saab married co-star Kalpana Kartik with whom he had a son, Suneil Anand.
Dev Saab was awarded the Padma Bhushan. During the course of his career, he was often compared to the famous actor Gregory Peck. Dev Anand said that he didn’t feel ecstatic bearing the tagline bestowed on him in his hey days. He had been quoted saying "When you are at an impressionable age you make idols. But when you grow out of the phase, you develop your own persona. I don’t want to be known as India’s Gregory Peck, I am Dev Anand".
In September 2007, Dev Saab’s autobiography "Romancing with Life" was released at a birthday party with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Dev Saab has left us with some sweet memories and a lesson for life which will remain fresh for many years. May his soul rest in peace.
We have collated a few of his evergreen songs as a tribute to the legend. Watch on!
1. Yeh Kaun Aaya Re- Ziddi (1948)
2. Tabdeer Se Bigdi Hui- Baazi (1951)
5. Har Ek Nazar- Farar (1955)
6. Chhod Do Aanchal- Paying Guest (1957)
7. Aankhon Mein Kya Jee- Nau Do Gyarah (1957)
8. Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara- Solva Saal (1958)
9. Achcha Jee Main Haari- Kala Paani (1958)
10. Abhi Naa Jao- Hum Dono (1961)
12. Tujhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se- Asli Naqli (1962)
13. Tere Ghar Ke Saamne- Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare (1963)
14. Tere Mere Sapne- Guide (1965)
15. Yeh Dil Naa Hota- Jewel Thief (1967)
16. Pal Bhar Ke Liye- Johnny Mera Naam (1970)
17. Phoolon Ke Rang Se- Prem Pujari (1970)
18. Dum Maaro Dum- Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)