With his irresistible good looks and affected mannerisms, Anand ruled Indian cinema for almost three decades. Some of his big hits include Guide (which was featured at the Cannes film festival in 2008), Paying Guest, Jewel Thief, and Hum Dono. As the head of Navketan Films, a production company, he also made some 35 films. “Till the end, he believed in what he did. He made his films with complete conviction,” actor Zeenat Aman told the Times of India.
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Anand was also a style icon. Young men idolized his hairstyle, his clothes, his cocky mannerism and even the way he held his cigarette and wore his sweater. His zest for life, undying faith in his work and youthful spirit made him an inspiration for fans of all ages.
Many of them took to social media to express their grief: “An era has come to an end. Dev Anand leaves a void never perhaps to be filled again. He never gave up belief, his joy of life,” tweeted actor Amitabh Bachchan.
“Grew up watching your films. Sorry to say goodbye,” wrote Salman Rushdie on the popular micro-blog. Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, said in a statement that his country had lost “one of its most endearing heroes.”
Anand reportedly wanted to be remembered in life, not death, and asked his family to perform his last rites privately. More than anything else, he wanted to die with his boots on—and so he did!
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