Memorial service held for ‘evergreen hero’

The memorial service for legendary actor-director Dev Anand saw fans and the Bollywood fraternity honour the life of their beloved ‘evergreen hero.’ The actor passed away in London on December 3; he was cremated there last Saturday and his ashes were dispersed over the waters of the Godavari near Pune.

Many producers, directors and stars of the Mumbai film industry were in attendance at the service, held at the city’s Mehboob Studios where many of his memorable films like Guide, Hum Dono and Johny Mera Naam were shot. His personal make-up room there is kept intact in his memory.

Dev Anand’s co-actors Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman and Bindu were present at the condolence meeting. Other popular faces like Abhishek Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Tabu, Tina Ambani, Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Shekar Kapur, Raza Murad, Fardeen Khan, Akbar Khan, Madhur Bhandarakar, Bharat Shah and Yash Chopra were also present.

The service was open to the public and many fans came to pay tribute to his memory. Dressed in a typical Dev Anand get-up with scarf, red jacket, wavy hair and the signature head nod, Chandrashekhar Mahamuni had come from Pune. “I loved him as a hero and as a person. I used to call him regularly and talk to him about my life and he would listen and advice me. He was so easily approachable, just a phone call away,” he said.

Dev Anand was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002 for his contribution to Indian cinema. His career spanned more than 65 years with 114 Hindi films to his credit, of which he was the lead actor in as many as 110 films.

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