Star of the week - PRAN


Name: Pran Krishan Sikand
DOB: February 12, 1920
Star: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ballimaran, Kotgarh, Old Delhi, India
Occupation: Actor


• In a long and prolific career, Pran appeared in over 350 films and received many awards and honours, including three Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards and three Filmfare awards for his supporting roles, and Lifetime Achievement awards of Filmfare, Star Screen Awards and Zee Cine Awards. He has been awarded as the "Villain of the Millennium" by Stardust in 2000.

• The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 for his contributions to the arts. He was honoured in 2013 with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest national award for cinema artistes.

Interesting facts:

• Pran was born into a wealthy Punjabi family. His father, Kewal Krishan Sikand, was a civil engineer and a government civil contractor, and he had six siblings; three brothers and three sisters.

• Pran was academically gifted, especially in mathematics. Upon completing his matriculation, he became an apprentice to pursue professional photography.

• He got his first role in a Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940) because of an accidental meeting with writer Wali Mohammad Wali at a shop in Lahore.

• Pran's first Hindi film was Khandaan (1942). It featured him as a romantic hero opposite Noor Jehan. She was under 15 years old and compensated for the difference in their heights in close-up shots by standing on top of bricks.

• Pran had acted in 22 films from 1942 to 1946 in Lahore; 18 of which were released by 1947. Due to India's partition, his career had a brief break. His films from 1944 to 1947 were made in undivided India, but Taraash (1951) and Khanabadosh (1952) were released only in Pakistan.

• Because of help from writer Saadat Hasan Manto and actor Shyam, he got a role in the Bombay Talkies' film, Ziddi which starred Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal in the lead roles. The movie launched Pran and Dev Anand's careers. Within a week of its success, he had signed three more films, including Grihasti (1948), which became a diamond jubilee hit. By 1950, he had been gradually established as a premier villain in Hindi cinema.

• Pran's trademark blowing of smoke rings first appeared in Bari Behan (1949). From 1969 to 1982, he was one of the highest paid actors of Bollywood. His acting is said to have been effective enough to desist people naming their children "Pran" because of his negative roles. His line "Barkhurdaar" became immensely popular.

• Despite being in his 40s, he continued to play pivotal roles as a character in the age range of 25 to 30, while Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor’s careers started declining by the 70s.

• Pran and Ashok Kumar were very close friends and acted in 27 films together. Pran also recommended Amitabh Bachchan for the character of Vijay in Zanjeer, a role earlier offered to Dev Anand and Dharmendra. He acted with Bachchan in about 14 films.

• In 1998, Pran suffered a heart attack after which he took retirement.