Pran: 10 things you didn't know about Bollywood's greatest bad guy

Written by Gitanjali Roy   | July 13, 2013 10:12 IST (New Delhi)
Amitabh Bachchan

Pran died in Mumbai on July 12 after a long illness


Pran Kishan Sikand died in Mumbai on July 12 after a long illness. He was 93. This year's Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, Pran dominated Hindi films from the '40s to the late '80s. His career spanned 350 films and he was credited with making the role of the villain as important as that of the hero.

Here are 10 things about Pran only a true fan would know.

1.Pran was often the highest paid actor in the films he starred in. During the '60s and '70s, the only actor to command a higher salary than Pran was Rajesh Khanna. Producers never wanted to cast them in movies together because their combined salaries sent expenses rocketing up. They appeared in eight films together. Pran was better paid than Amitabh Bachchan in the first six of the 14 films they co-starred in - Zanjeer, Majboor, Kasauti, Don, Ganga Ki Saugandh, Amar Akbar Anthony and Nastik.

2.Pran was one of four actors with most number of Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Awards - three - and one of two actors with most number of Filmfare Best Supporting Actor nominations - nine.

3.Pran and actor Ashok Kumar were best friends and co-starred in 27 films of which 20 were hits. Pran was also great friends with Shammi and Shashi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Dilip Kumar and Kishore Kumar, all of who he co-starred with.

4.He was a collector of pipes and walking sticks, some with concealed swords.

5.When Pran got his first film break in 1940 Punjabi film Yamla Jat, he didn't dare tell his father. He asked his sister to hide the newspaper which carried the first ever interview with him. However, when Pran's father eventually found out, he was far less upset that his son had chosen an acting career than Pran had imagined.

6.Pran left Lahore during the Partition and moved to Mumbai hoping to continue his acting career. He always said his biggest loss during Partition was his dog. Later, he had three dogs named Bullet, Whisky and Soda.

7.Pran broke his ankle after doing his own stunt, which involved jumping 15 feet, in the film Dus Numbri. He was 56 at the time.

8.In 1973, Pran refused his Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award for Be-Imaan in protest against Ghulam Mohammed not being given the Filmfare Best Music Director award for Pakeezah.

9.Raj Kapoor cast Pran as Rishi Kapoor's father in teen romance Bobby but could not afford his fee. Pran agreed to a signing amount of just Re 1.

10.Pran's trademark on screen was blowing smoke rings. He first did this in 1949 film Badi Behen.