Veteran actor Pran to be cremated in Mumbai

Mumbai, July 13 (ANI): The funeral of veteran actor Pran, who passed away at around 8.30 p.m. at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Friday, will take place at around noon on Saturday.

The funeral is expected to be attended by the who's who of the Indian film industry, besides representatives from other walks of life.

Pran, who played the dreaded villain and lovable character with elan in hits like 'Milan', 'Madhumati', 'Bobby', 'Zanjeer' and 'Ram Aur Shyam', died aged 93 after a spell of prolonged illness," his daughter Pinky said.

He was admitted to Lilavati Hospital a month ago following deterioration of his health.

His funeral will be held at Shivaji Park in Dadar.

During his six-decade-long career, Pran performed in over 400 films, and was conferred the country's highest cinema honour, the Dada Saheb Phalke award, in April.

Among his other famous films were 'Kashmir ki Kali', 'Khandaan', 'Aurat', 'Bari Behen', 'Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai', 'Half Ticket', 'Upkar', 'Purab Aur Paschim', 'Don' 'Karz' and 'Naseeb'.

Born on February 12, 1920 in old Delhi, Pran Krishan Sikand was educated in places like

Kapurthala, Unnao, Meerut, Dehradun and Rampur, as his father Lala Kewal Krishnan Sikand was in government service.

Initially, Pran wanted to become a photographer, but destiny had different plans for him. A chance meeting with a film producer got him his first break in Punjabi film 'Yamla Jat' in 1940.

There was no looking back for the actor after that as he went on to star in films like 'Chaudhary' (1941), 'Khandan' (1942), 'Kaise Kahun' (1945) and 'Badnami (1946).

After Partition, Pran came to Mumbai with his wife Shukla and sons Arvind and Sunil, but found it difficult to get work as an actor in the city of dreams. Pran had almost given hope when writer Saadat Hasan Manto helped him get a role in Dev Anand starrer 'Ziddi' in 1948 which revived his career.

The actor's baritone and good looks helped him bring charm to his villainy which was very unique to Pran. Such was the magic of his onscreen roles that parents stopped naming their children 'Pran' at the height of his fame.

His chameleon-like ability helped Pran transform himself from one of the most hated onscreen villains to one of the most beloved character actors-be it the 'Mangal chacha' in 'Upkar', Sher Khan of opposite Amitabh Bachchan in 'Zanjeer' or the discipline-loving but soft-hearted grandfather in Gulzar's 'Parichay'.

In the 70s, Pran was among the highest paid actors in Indian cinema, ahead of his co-stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna.

Pran, who was married to Shukla Ahluwalia in 1945, is survived by two sons, Arvind and Sunil and a daughter, Pinky. (ANI)

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