When Pran said he was 'so effective' as villain people didn't name kids after him: 'Not a single boy, just like Raavan'

Published on May 20, 2022 04:53 PM IST

Late actor Pran Kishan Sikand had said in an old interview that people don't name their kids ‘Pran’ because of his negative roles in the films.

Pran Kishan Sikand died in 2013.
Pran Kishan Sikand died in 2013.

Late actor Pran Kishan Sikand was known for doing negative roles in Bollywood films back in the 1950s and 1960s. In his career, he appeared in over 350 films. In an old interview, Pran revealed that due to his roles in the film, people stopped naming their children Pran. On July 12, 2012, Pran died after a prolonged illness in Mumbai. Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan pens tribute to ‘the gentleman called Pran’ on 100th birth anniversary

Pran worked in films such as Ziddi (1948), Munimji (1955), Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961), Chori Chori (1956) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960). Besides, he also worked in action thrillers like Azad (1955), and historicals such as Aan (1952) and Raj Tilak (1958). He also worked in movies themed on social issues such as Baradari (1955) and romances like Munimji (1955) and Asha (1957).

In a 2000 interview with Dr Rajiv Vijayakar, Pran said “As a villain, I was so effective that people were scared of me in real life. When I went to someone's house in Delhi for tea, his young sister was whisked out of my sight. My friend later phoned me and said his sister had fought with him for bringing a bad man into the house."

He added, "Some journalists conducted a survey in schools and colleges in Bombay, Delhi, Punjab, and, UP and found that not a single boy was named Pran after the '50s, just like no one has ever named his son Raavan!”

Pran's career started after he met Urdu poet Wali Mohammad Wali, who worked for Dalsukh Pancholi in Lahore in the forties. It led to Pran getting his first role as a villain in Dalsukh Pancholi’s Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940), which proved to be a big hit that year.

Later he worked in other films like Chaudhary and Khajanchi, following which Dalsukh cast him in Khandaan in 1942. It was the first Hindi movie in which Pran became a hero, opposite Noor Jehan, who had earlier acted with him as a child artist. After having acted in 22 films as the lead hero from 1942-46 in Lahore, his career hit a dead-end of sorts due to the partition in 1947.

Post-independence, Pran's first successful film was Badi Behan (1949). In the 1950s and 1960s, he was regularly offered the role of the main villain or a negative character in films with Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raj Kapoor as lead heroes. At the same time, movies with him as a lead hero were hits too. He proved his versatility in the 1950s by playing the pirate in Sindbad the Sailor (1952) and Daughter of Sindbad (1958).

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