One of Bollywood’s most beloved villains Pran passed away on July 12 in Mumbai.
Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who collaborated with Pran in movies like ‘Don’, ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Naseeb’ and ‘Sharaabi’, mourns the death of his lifelong friend.
“We have lost another gem from our beautiful collection of jewels ... Pran Saheb has passed away! He had been ailing for some time... I had visited him on a few occasions in hospital, and was in touch with his family all along …” wrote Amitabh Bachchan on his Facebook page.
“He was a gentleman to the core, completely unlike the villain roles he played ... at work he was delight to be with ... always prepared and always on time - in fact much before time! His sense of humor and his dignified presence was a lesson for all of us that came in contact with him. The number of films that I did with him are historic in their concept and what they meant to me as an artist. It is an immense legacy that he leaves behind, one that shall never be matched or replaced. My prayers in this moment of grief and my condolences to his family, who have been close to me also,” he added.
It is to be noted that Pran is credited for helping Amitabh Bachchan transition from a flop actor to the Angry Young Man. Director Prakash Mehra cast Pran in his first supporting role, the Pathan Sher Khan, in 1973 film ‘Zanjeer’. He was then stuck for a hero, having asked and been turned down by Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Dev Anand and Raaj Kumar. Pran suggested Mr. Mehra watch the just-released ‘Bombay To Goa’ starring a little-known Amitabh Bachchan. And history was made.
Amitabh Bachchan has always been vocal about his appreciation and love for Pran.
“Invariably his makeup involved wigs and beards of different nature, but irrespective of the intricacy of its bearing and the time consumption in putting them on, he was always the first person on set, and never went back to his makeup room even if he was not required for the shot. He never argued or disagreed with any procedure on the film, never interfered, just quietly went about his work and left. He has a great repertoire of 'shayari' and would often entertain us with the choicest works through his fantastic memory of them,” Amitabh Bachchan has said earlier.
The fact that Pran, despite his health issues, attended Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday party in October 2012 stands as a testament to their friendship.