Evergreen Dev Anand dies, cremation next week in London

Mumbai : Evergreen romantic star Dev Anand, who has given classic films like “Guide” and “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” and epitomised the suave, urban gentleman on screen, died after a cardiac arrest in London. He was 88.

Mohan Churiwala, Dev Anand’s manager, said that the actor passed away in a London hotel where he was staying with his son, Sunil, a one-time actor. According to Churiwala, Sunil saw Dev Anand not responding and called the doctor. “The doctor said that he had a heart attack. He died at 10 in the night in London,” he said.

The iconic star is survived by his wife, former actress Kalpana Karthik, Sunil and a daughter.

According to Churiwala, the cremation will be held next week in London. “He will be cremated in London only after Tuesday. Cremation cannot take place till his daughter reaches there. His body is kept in a hospital right now,” adding that his wife may also accompany her daughter.

Dev Anand, who started his career in the black and white era with 1946 film “Hum Ek Hain”, spent 65 years under the arc lights as an actor and filmmaker. The actor worked tirelessly, coming up with new films after short intervals. He never hung his boots or sat on his laurels. In fact, before his death, he was planning another movie.

His latest film “Chargesheet”, which he acted and directed and was released this year, became his swan song.

His amazing zest for life and dynamism became a source of inspiration for many.

His nephew and acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur summed up his 65-year-long journey in showbiz aptly by saying, “Dev Anand lived n died at his own terms. He was working one minute. Sat down and smiled. And was gone the next. So much 2 learn,” tweeted Kapur, who reconnected with his indefatigable uncle Dev Anand after eight years.

From colleagues to fans – everyone woke up to a rude Sunday morning shock as the news of the legendary actor’s passing away in London unfolded here.

Actress Preity Zinta tweeted, “Woke up to the sad News of Dev Saheb’s demise ! May God give peace to his soul ! He inspired us all by living his life 2 the fullest. R.I.P”. Abhishek Bachchan, her co-star from “Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom”, said: “Never believed I would ever wake up to this news. Very sad!”

Prem Dube, Dev Anand’s driver for the last 22 years, said he had not able to stop his tears since morning.

“I have been praying why God did not take me away instead of Dev Anand? He had given his entire life the industry and they needed him… He was himself a God,” Dube said.

A close aide of the deceased actor, Chandra Shekhar, (himself 89), said he was ‘shaken’ when he heard the news from a friend, the first thing this morning.

“I only wish that this time the news should be wrong… Dev saab had given his soul to the industry and now his life… I personally feel that he could not accept the fate of his latest movie,” Shekhar said .

Dev Anand seemed to have adopted the philosophy of the song “Main Zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya” from “Hum Dono”, in real life too. His body of work speaks volumes about the man who was not only a great actor, but multi-tasker and a trendsetter.

If as an actor he proved his versatility with hits like “Tere Ghar Ke Samne”, “Jewel Thief” and Guide”, as a director he made a “zara hatke” movie “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” that also gave Bollywood its first anglicised glamour icon in Zeenat Aman.

He played a long innings in filmdom and saw ups and downs, but his never-say-die spirit reigned supreme. His fans and colleagues still say, “Abhi na jao chodkar ki dil abhi bhara nahin”.

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