Dev Anand, an actor-director once known as the Adonis of Indian cinema (and dubbed ‘the Indian Gregory Peck’) due to his good looks and his success in romantic films, has died at the age of 88. He suffered a heart attack while in London to have a medical check-up.
While working in Bombay at the military censor office, Dev Anand made his acting debut in the 1946 film Hum Ek Hain. During filming, he struck up a friendship with Guru Dutt, and as he went on to star in a number of romantic films Anand developed a romantic relationship with another star, Suraiya.
It was in the 50s that Dev Anand got his real breakthrough. After Ziddi was a hit a few years earlier, Anand began to work not only as an actor but also as a producer. Often paired with Kalpana Kartik, Dev Anand quickly rose to become one of the three leading male Bollywood star alongside Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar.
Dev Anand continued as a romantic star in the 60s and 70s, and also began directing. In the late 70s he made a political stand against the Indian government, and from the 80s onwards he increasingly focused on directing. Not all of his later films were successes, but he remained revered as a key figure of 20th century Indian cinema.