Dev Anand, the actor the cameras loved for his good looks and charm, did not want his face after death shown to the public, a close family friend told Hindustan Times.
“It was his express wish not to be seen dead. He did not want to be exposed to the camera any more once he was gone,” the family friend said on Wednesday, giving details of the Bollywood veteran’s final moments.
Anand, 88, died of a heart attack on Saturday night in a London hotel room.
The actor had come to the city for a short holiday after the release of his latest film, Chargesheet. “He just wanted to walk around and not be mobbed... to relax and think,” the friend said.
On Saturday night, accompanied by his son Suneil and UK representative Kenny Muir, Anand ate his last meal at an Indian restaurant in central London, not far from the plush Washington Mayfair hotel where he was staying.
“It was a favourite restaurant of his and he had a pretty healthy meal,” the friend said. It was a “very Punjabi affair” — chana masala, bhindi, chicken, tandoori roti and plain rice.
The three men returned to the hotel at around 9pm (London time) and Suneil went up to the room with his father while Muir went to the business centre to check emails. Anand, who was being treated by a top Harley Street doctor, fell ill soon after.
As the hotel staff called for nurses and paramedics, Anand, held by Suneil and Muir, became unconscious and died soon after, at around 10pm. The paramedics arrived but were unable to resuscitate him.
"It was a very, very peaceful end," the friend said. "There was no struggle."