July 12, 2013 / 4:58 PM / 6 years ago

Bollywood's 'bad man' Pran dead at 93

Mumbai (Reuters) - Bollywood’s most famous villain Pran died in a Mumbai hospital on Friday after prolonged illness. He was 93.

A family source confirmed over phone to Reuters that the actor died in Lilavati hospital. The funeral will be held on Saturday.

Pran Krishan Sikand, known to moviegoing audiences just by his first name, was easily the Hindi film industry’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.

“RIP PranSaab.....truly the end of maginficent (sic) glorious era....he was a gentleman superstar and heaven is blessed today....” filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tweeted “Indian cinema has lost an icon”.

Pran, whose career spanned over 300 films and five decades, was awarded the 2012 Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest award in Indian cinema.

The actor made his Bollywood debut in 1948 in “Ziddi”, alongside evergreen hero Dev Anand.

His memorable roles include playing a hapless father who turns to crime in “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977) and the affable gangster in “Zanjeer” (1973).

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; Editing by Vipin Das M

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