The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of someone’s demise is the qualities of the man, and here we are talking about “Pran”; a thorough gentleman in real-life, he played the quintessential bad guy on screen.
Though known more for the negative roles he played, Pran actually never got typecast because he was too versatile and multifaceted to get stereotyped.
Here are some of the things that you didn’t know about Pran.
- Pran’s villainous roles had such an enormous impact on the Indian audiences that parents stopped naming their children ‘Pran’ (life) at the height of his fame (as a “Bollywood baddie”).
- During his heydays, the only actor to be paid higher than Pran was Rajesh Khanna (who was India’s first superstar). That is why producers would think twice before casting these two actors together in single projects.
- Pran worked in over 400 films and played the villain opposite all the top cinema heroes of his era, be it Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan.
- From 1969 to 1982, Pran was paid more than Amitabh Bachchan in the first six films they did together, Don being one of them. In the 1970s, only Rajesh Khannna was paid more than Pran. In the 1950s and 1960s, just Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were paid more than Pran.
- Pran was paid more than Amitabh Bachchan by producers in the first 6 films they did together, and many believe that Pran’s presence did boost Amitbah’s career as a lead hero.
- Pran recommended Amitabh Bachchan to Prakash Mehra for Zanjeer, which was earlier offered to Dev Anand, Raj Kumar and Dharmendra. Pran went on to act with Amitabh in 15 films, including Kasauti, Don, Amar Akbar Anthony, Majboor, Dostana, Naseeb, Kaalia and Sharaabi.
- Pran’s pictures were bigger on the posters, compared to Amitabh Bachchan, in their earlier movies together.
- In 1973 Pran rejected the Filmfare award for Beimaan because he felt the committee was unfair in giving the Best Music Director award to Shankar Jaikishan and not to Ghulam Mohammed for his music in Pakeezah.
- Actor Pran got the Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian award) in 2001, and was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in May 2013.
- In 2010 CNN rated Pran as one of the top 25 Asian actors of all time.
- Last but not the least…Pran’s biography is titled “…And Pran”, because in most of his movies, his name in the credits would appear last and read ‘…and Pran’, sometimes it would be ‘…above all Pran’.
Pran is also one of the very few character actors/villains to have so many songs featured on him. Here are some of the popular ones:
Yaari Hai Iman Mera Yaar Meri Zindagi, sung by Manna Dey, Movie: Zanjeer
Hum Bolega To Bologe Ki (Movie Kasauti)
Kasme Waade Pyar Wafa sung by Mannadey, Movie Upkar
Raaz ki baat keh doon to, singers Mohammad & Rafi Asha Bhosle, Movie: Dharma