India's 'bad man' Pran to get Dadasaheb Phalke award

MUMBAI Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:20pm IST

Actor Pran in a still from the Hindi movie 'Aan Baan' taken from www.pransikand.com.

Actor Pran in a still from the Hindi movie 'Aan Baan' taken from www.pransikand.com.

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood's most famous villain Pran will receive the highest award in Indian cinema, the government announced on Friday, in a rare honour for an actor whose career spanned over 300 films in the second half of the 20th century.

Pran Krishan Sikand, 93, known to moviegoing audiences just by his first name, is the 2012 recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award, instituted in the name of the man who made India's first feature film a century ago.

Pran was easily Bollywood's first-choice villain from the 1950s to the 1980s, although he successfully broke that mould to prove himself equally adept at comedy and drama. He played a hapless father who turns to crime in "Amar Akbar Anthony" (1977) and the affable gangster in "Zanjeer" (1973).

"His impressive performances have bestowed an entirely unique new dimension to the negative and character roles in Hindi cinema," the ministry of information and broadcasting said in a statement.

Pran, who lives in Mumbai and has been ailing for some months, may not be able to attend the awards ceremony.

"He watched all the news bulletins and he was very happy. He knows it's a big honour," the actor's daughter Pinky Bhalla said. "The whole world has been calling."

Pran made his Bollywood debut in 1948 in "Ziddi", acting alongside evergreen hero Dev Anand. In the ensuing decades, his body of work would come to include some of the Indian movie industry's most famous films.

Such was the dread his name evoked during his heydays as a movie villain that 'Pran' is said to have fallen out of favour as a baby name.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Writing by Tony Tharakan)

Controversial Documentary

Reuters Showcase

Indian Healthcare

Indian Healthcare

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

India-Pakistan Ties

India-Pakistan Ties

Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad.  Full Article 

Food Security

Food Security

India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout programme - PM   Full Article 

Ola's Expansion Drive

Ola's Expansion Drive

Taxi group Ola steps up expansion drive  Full Article 

Controversial Film

Controversial Film

Film on 2012 Delhi gang rape stokes debate on Indian male mindset  Full Article 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Sahara's Grosvenor House hotel in London put up for sale   Full Article 

Beef Trade

Beef Trade

Maharashtra clamps down on beef trade through new act  Full Article 

Environment Concerns

Environment Concerns

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry.  Full Article 

 'Smart Cities'

'Smart Cities'

India's 'smart cities' would be stupid without disaster strategy  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage