Four decades after their massive box-office success, Johny Mera Naam, Bollywood veterans Dev Anand and Pran shared the stage yet again as they were honoured by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy on the eve of Maharashtra Day for their contribution to Indian cinema.
Pran, best known for essaying villainous roles, received the Phalke Icon and Legendary Cine Versatile Star Award. “I feel extremely proud and honoured to receive this esteemed award. I thank the industry for showering its love and support,” said Pran (90).
Anand (86) received the Phalke Ratna Award. “I feel privileged.,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal presented the awards. “While watching Pran saheb’s films, I used to hate his character. He performed with such passion that everybody was bound to hate his role,” Bhujbal said.
Bhujbal recalled all the times he stood in long queues to buy tickets for “Dev saheb’s movies”, stating that Guide and Hum Dono were among his favourites.
The annual ceremony, which marked Phalke’s 141st birth anniversary this year, concluded with 59 more awards being handed out to members of the film industry. The awardees included fimmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra and actor Aamir Khan. Singer Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the Phalke Golden Era Singer honour and comedian Jadgeep received the Phalke Legendary Actor Award.
In 1969, the government instituted the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, named after the father of Indian cinema, to honour lifetime contributions to cinema.