Pran was an actor of the Hindi film industry, particularly known for acting in a negative role. Referred to as the 'Villain of the Millennium', Pran was credited with evolving the role of the villain as important as that of a hero.
In a long and prolific career spanning six decades, the legendary actor Pran acted in 400 films and the most successful and memorable were Madhumati, Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai, Upkar, Shaheed, Ram Aur Shyam, Johny Mera Naam , Victoria No. 203, Zanjeer, Don and Amar Akbar Anthony among others. The government of India awarded him with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award for his contribution to cinema.
Pran was born as Pran Krishan Sikand on 12 February 1920 in Delhi to Kewal Krishan Sikand, a civil engineer, and Rameshwari. Pran had four brothers and three daughters. As Pran's father had a transferable job, so he studied in various places like Kapurthala, Dehradun, Meerut and Unnao. Completing his matriculation from Hamid School, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh Pran joined A. Das & Co., Delhi to become a professional photographer. In 1945 Pran married Shukla Ahluwalia and the couple had two sons - Arvind and Sunil and a daughter, Pinky.
Pran made his acting debut with the 1940 Punjabi film 'Yamla Jat'. He made his Hindi film debut with the 1942 film 'Khandaan'. Interestingly Pran acted in 22 films from 1942–46 in Lahore, before independence. Pran's acting career took off with the superfit film "Ziddi" starring Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal. This movie launched Pran's career in Bombay. By 1950s Pran established himself as a premier villain in cinemas.
As a villan Pran's first successful films were Ziddi and Bari Behan. Pran's trademark blowing of smoke rings first appeared in the film 'Bari Behan'. During the 50s and 60s he acted in the role of the main villain in films with Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Dev Anand.
Pran portrayed his character as a villian with such reality and surety that the audience really hated him.
Pran's memorable performance as the premier villian were the films Ziddi (1948), Aah (1953), Munimji (1955), Devdas (1955), Azaad (1955), Chori Chori (1956), Jagte Raho (1956), Madhumati (1958), Amar Deep (1958), Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Dil Hi Toh Hai (1963), Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), Aadmi (1968).
Pran was a versatile actor. Along with being a villian Pran also acted in different roles in cinemas and has given memorable films on the silver screen. Pran acted in different roles like that of a lead actor, comedian, and supporting actor. During his initial days Pran had acted as the lead hero and in that character his films Pilpili Saheb (1954) and Halaku in 1956 were big hits. The films like 'Pooja Ke Phool' 'Kashmir Ki Kali', 'Sadhu Aur Shaitaan', Aasha, Bewaqoof, and Half Ticket brought out the comical side of Pran. In the film 'Upkar' Pran played a more sympathetic role than his earlier ones. Pran received his first Filmfare Award for the film 'Upkar'. His good character as 'mangal chacha' in 'Upkar' is still remembered by the audience. In the films 'Jangal Mein Mangal', 'Dharma', 'Ek Kunwari Ek Kunwara' and 'Rahu Ketu' he acted as supporting actor, unlike his role as a villain.
Pran had been a close friend of Ashok Kumar and they had acted in 27 films together. Their memorable films together were 'Afsana, 'Mr. X', 'Adhikar', 'Victoria No. 203', 'Chori Mera Kaam'. Pran acted in about 14 films with Amitabh Bacchan, with whom he had a very good rapport. His notable films with Amitabh were Zanjeer, Don, Amar Akbar Anthony, Dostana, Naseeb and Sharaabi.
During the period between 1969–1982, Pran had been one of the highest paid actors of Bollywood. He also produced a film 'Lakshmanrekha' and acted in it as well. There were some memorable songs picturised on Pran like "Yaari hai imaan mera", "Kasme vade pyar wafa", "Hum Bolega To Bologe Ke Bolta Hai" and, "Micheal Daru Pita Hai".
Pran introduced to Hindi cinema what was called "Villain". He showed to Bollywood the importance of bad man in cinema. Pran was known for his sophistication and style on screen. Such was the impact of Pran's acting that the audience would be shaken to the core seeing him on celluloid and would hate Pran. Pran's smile and his glance struck fear in many hearts. It is said that parents would never name their children as "Pran" fearing they would grow up a villian as Pran.
Ill Health and Death:
Pran had been suffering from health problems during the later part of his life. He died on 12 July 2013, following a heart attack in Mumbai.
Words and Wishes:
On the sad demise of the 'Villain of the Millennium', Bollywood mourned the death of Pran. Some of the notable messages are:
Amitabh Bachchan: "Pran Saheb passes away ! A gentleman, most collaborative colleague, a senior of immense distinction, a true disciplined professional"
Shah Rukh Khan: Why do icons who shaped our lives and emotions have to go away? U will sir, remain etched in our hearts. Allah bless ur soul Pran Sahib.
Karan Johar: "RIP PranSaab.....truly the end of a maginficent and glorious era....he was a gentleman superstar and heaven is blessed today....Funeral for PranSaab at 12 noon tomorrow...Saturday the 13th... at the Shivaji Park electric crematorium."
Anupam Kher: "Final Curtain Call for one of the Most Loved Actors of Indian Cinema. An Actor & A Gentleman. Pran Saab- We will miss you & your Warmth.RIP"
Mahesh Bhatt: "Enchanting memories of Pran Saab courses through the hearts of millions of people who grew up watching his films. India loves u Sir!"
Abhishek Bachchan: Thank you for the memories Pran Saab. You will live forever in our hearts. RIP.
Sridevi: "Today we have lost a legend, a gem and an iconic actor. We will miss you. RIP Pran Saheb."
Boman Irani: "And Pran Saab is no more.Generations will never forget. That is your legacy."
Mohit Chauhan: "The villian we loved to hate. You will be missed Pran saheb. Thank you for all those brilliant performances."
Preity Zinta: R.I.P Pran Saheb ! Did not know him personally but heard he was a perfect gentleman with a heart of gold ! May your soul rest in Peace...
Manoj Bajpayee: May pran saab's soul rest in peace!in an industry of hero an villain he ruled the space he was given.thank you praan saab!
Awards and Recognition:
Pran was a recipient of numerous awards for excellent contribution to cinema. For his vast contribution to cinema, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 2001. In 2013, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the most prestigious award of the Indian cinema, for his lifetime of work in the film industry. In 2000 he was awarded the 'Villain of the Millennium' by Stardust. Pran received three Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actor in the films Upkar, Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool and Be-Imaan. He was also awarded with three Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards for supporting roles in 'Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai', 'Shaheed' and 'Zanjeer'. Pran was honoured with Lifetime Achievement awards by Filmfare, Star Screen Awards and Zee Cine Awards. In 2010, Pran was named on the list of CNN's Top 25 Asian actors of all time.
Children: Arvind, Sunil, Pinky
(FAN OF Shri PRAN KRISHAN SIKAND)
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