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12 February


Delhi, India

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Pran Sikand


Pran Krishan Sikand Ahluwalia (12 February 1920 – 12 July 2013), better known by his mononym, Pran, was an Indian actor, known as the greatest villain ever in the history of Indian cinema and a character actor in Hindi cinema from the 1940s to the 1990s. He has been one of the most highly successful & respected veteran actors in the history of Indian cinema. He was also one of the highest-paid actors of his time.


He played hero roles from 1940 to 1947, negative characters from 1942 to 1991, and played supporting and character roles from 1967 to 2007. The late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s were the peak periods of Pran's stint as a hostile character actor, especially 1950s & 1960s. 


Pran was the first true personification of "evil" on the Indian screen. The intensity of his portrayal of negative/villainous characters on the screen was effective enough to desist the Indian people from naming their children "Pran" in the 1950s & 60s & subsequently thereafter (when Pran was at the peak of his villainy). 


In a long and prolific career, Pran appeared in over 362 films. He played the leading man in works such as Khandaan (1942), Pilpili Saheb (1954), and Halaku (1956). He is known for his roles in Madhumati (1958), Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Upkar (1967), Shaheed (1965), Purab Aur Paschim (1970), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool (1969), Johny Mera Naam (1970), Victoria No. 203 (1972), Be-Imaan (1972), Zanjeer (1973), Majboor (1974), Don (1978), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and Duniya (1984).


Pran has received many awards and honors in his career. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1967, 1969, and 1972 and was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. He was awarded the "Villain of the Millennium" by Stardust in 2000. 


The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 for his contributions to the arts. He was honored in 2013 with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest national award for cinema artists, by the Government of India. In 2010, he was named on the list of CNN's Top 25 Asian actors of all time.


Pran died on 12 July 2013 at the age of 93 of old age after suffering from a prolonged illness in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital.


Pran was born on 12 February 1920 in Ballimaran, Old Delhi, into a Punjabi Hindu family from Hoshiarpur. His father, Kewal Krishan Sikand Ahluwalia, was a civil engineer and a government civil contractor, his mother was Rameshwari Ahluwalia. Pran was one of seven children; four sons and three daughters.


Pran was academically gifted, especially in mathematics. His father had a transferable job, and so Pran studied in various places, including Dehradun, Lahore, Kapurthala, Meerut, and Unnao (Uttar Pradesh), finally completing his matriculation from Hamid School, in Rampur (U.P.). After that, he joined A. Das & Co., Delhi as an apprentice to become a professional photographer. He traveled to Shimla and played Sita in a local staging of "Ramlila". Madan Puri enacted the role of Rama in this play.


Pran got his first role in Dalsukh M. Pancholi's Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940) because of an accidental meeting with writer Wali Mohammad Wali at a shop in Lahore. Directed by Moti B. Gidwani, the film featured Noor Jehan and Durga Khote. This was followed by small roles in the films Chaudhary and Khajanchi, both in 1941. Pancholi cast him again in Khandaan (1942), which was Pran's first Hindi-language film. 


It featured him as a romantic hero, opposite Noor Jehan, who had acted with him in Yamla Jat as a child artist. In Khandaan, she was under 15 years old and compensated for the difference in their heights in close-up shots by standing on top of bricks. In the pre-independence era, director Gidwani cast Pran in more films like Kaise Kahoon (1945) and Khamosh Nigahen (1946).


Pran acted in 22 films from 1942 to 1946 in Lahore; 18 were released by 1947. Due to India's partition in 1947, his career had a brief break. His films from 1944 to 1947 were made in undivided India, but Taraash (1951) and Khanabadosh (1952) (both co-starring Manorama) were released only in Pakistan after Partition. 


He left Lahore and arrived in Bombay. For a few months, he looked for acting opportunities while doing other jobs. He worked in Delmar Hotel, Marine Drive for eight months, after which he got a chance to act in 1948.



Nigahen: Nagina Part II as Grandfather


Toofan as Inspector Hanuman Prasad Singh


Andhaa Kaanoon as Anthony D'Cruz


Nastik as Balbir


Kaalia as Jailer Raghvir Singh


Naseeb as Namdev


Don as Jasjit Ahuja


Ganga Ki Saugand as Kalu Chamar


Amar Akbar Anthony as Kishanlal


Kasauti as Pyarelal


Bobby as Mr. Nath


Milan as Rajendra


Khandan as Navrangi Lal