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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

A champion for justice, he was a 'gentleman villain'

Pankaj Vohra, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 13, 2013
First Published: 00:21 IST(13/4/2013) | Last Updated: 16:38 IST(13/4/2013)

He is not only one of Bollywood's most popular villains, but also one of the most versatile actors Indian cinema has seen.

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Though it was long overdue, Pran Krishan Sikand, known to his fans as only Pran has finally won the Dada Saheb Phalke award. What is significant is that the 92-year-old thespian has been selected for the honour when Indian cinema is celebrating its 100 years.

An extremely stylized actor, Pran added a new dimension to his roles.

Remembered best in negative presentations for Madhumati, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Himalaya Ki Godh Mein and Ram Aur Shyam, this talented actor became a character artiste after Manoj Kumar's blockbuster, Upkaar.

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He went on to give stellar performances in Johnny Mera Naam, Victoria 203, Bobby, Beimaan and Zanjeer amongst scores of other memorable films.

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In Zanjeer, he played the role of a Pathan alongside Amitabh Bachchan whose super stardom started immediately after that. From 1969 to 1982 he remained the highest paid character actor of Hindi cinema.

Pran who was born in Delhi was also a champion for justice. In 1972, Pran declined to accept the Filmfare award for Best supporting actor for Beimaan because he felt that Ghulam Mohammad had been wrongly denied the Best music award for Pakeezah.

He was also amongst the few eminent film stars to protest against the emergency and along with Dev Anand, I.S.Johar and Shatrughan Sinha raised his voice for the restoration of democracy.

Starting off as an actor in a Punjabi film, Yamla Jat in early forties, he also played a lead role opposite Noor Jehan in Khandaan and received praise for his histrionics in Halaku.

In his private life, Pran was considered to be opposite of the kind of dark roles he played and was often described as a 'Gentleman Villain'.

Pran is married to Shukla Sikand and the couple have two sons-Arvind and Sunil and a daughter, Pinky.

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