Remembering Dev Anand on his 94th birth anniversary.

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Dharam Devdutt Pishorimal Anand (26 September 1923–3 December 2011), known as Dev Anand, was an Indian film actor, writer, director, producer, and comedian known for his work in the history of Indian cinema.

Part of the Anand family, he co-founded Navketan Films in 1949 with his elder brother Chetan Anand. Anand is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. Nicknamed “Evergreen Dev “, several of the films he starred in, (alongside producing & directing them), are regarded as classics of their respective genres. Commercially, Anand and M. G. Ramachandran were India’s highest paid movie stars from 1955 to 1965.

Often compared to the famous actor Gregory Peck the world over, Dev Anand said that he didn’t feel ecstatic hearing the tag line bestowed on him in his heyday. “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”.

Acquainted with the Bollywood actor, Peck’s personal interactions with him spanned four to five long meetings in Europe and Mumbai.

Dev Anand and Suraiya met Peck for the first time at Mumbai’s Willingdon Club, after the Filmfare Awards in 1954, on Peck’s stopover from a schedule at Sri Lanka after shooting for The Purple Plain. He knew of the “Indian Star” as an actor, more so probably because his romance with Suraiya was grabbing the headlines, and they had a chat. The second time they met was in Rome when Dev Anand was on his way back from the Venice Film Festival, he visited him on the set of Roman Holiday. “I was returning from the Venice film fest. I stopped my car and joined the crowd watching the shoot, hoping that his eyes would fall on me. As expected, he nodded and I walked up to him. He remembered me and we exchanged pleasantries.” The third meeting was at London on the set of Moby Dick. However, Suraiya asked for an exclusive meeting with her idol at her house. Though Anand says jealousy was natural for anyone in love, he didn’t mind that he was not invited. “I didn’t quite feel anything. It wasn’t as if they were going to fall in love or make love. Even if they would have, it wouldn’t have mattered. I was mature enough. Moreover, he wasn’t my rival. I too was a big star by then,” says Anand.

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