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Dev AnandJaya Bachchan thanks Dev Anand for 'rejecting Zanjeer'
16th Oct 2007  09.00 IST
By Agencies  

Legendary actor Dev Anand , who's amazing acting enthralled the viewers over half-a-century, has come in praise for "rejecting a role", which later kickstarted the career of mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan .

Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan publicly thanked Dev Anand in London Sunday night for turning down the lead role in Prakash Mehra 's film Zanjeer 25 years ago, which was then offered to a struggling Amitabh Bachchan, her husband.

The movie went on to make history at the box office, making Amitabh a star with a popular title "angry young man."

Jaya was launching the autobiography of Dev Anand titled 'Romancing With Life' at the Nehru Centre where the 'evergreen actor' was complimented by several speakers.

But Jaya, who played the lead female role in the 1973 film, was in a reminiscent mood and thanked Dev Anand "heartily", for "you gave up Zanjeer".

Eighty-four year-old Dev Anand, then a leading actor admitted: "Zanjeer was offered to me."

The hero in Zanjeer typified the raw seething, anger of the youth of the time while also providing, for the first time, some cathartic relief.

According to Prakash Mehra if Zanjeer scored, it was because of the suppressed rage portrayed by the protagonist, played by Amitabh, who was preparing to pack up his bags and return to his native Allahabad if the film failed.

Speaking on the occasion, Monika Kapil Mohta, Director of Nehru Centre described Dev Anand as a "great Indian who has made outstanding contribution to the Indian film industry. He is one of the greatest legends of our time."

Among the 250 special invitees present at the launch were Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord Karan Billimoria, Co-Chairman of the India-UK Network and G P Hinduja, President of the Hinduja Group.

Rajat Bagchi, Minister (Coordination) in the Indian High Commission, said Dev Anand "has brought to the world the image of India in a proper spirit and proper light."

Lavishing praise on Dev Anand, Jaya Bachchan said her mother was a huge admirer of the actor. "The entire film industry in Mumbai not only adore you, but just love you. My entire family and entire Bollywood loves you, the ever-green hero."

Hinduja said his relationship with Dev Anand went beyond friendship.

"We have been distributors of most of his films, the Navketan International films in Middle East and Iran. We were pioneers to take Indian movies to global theatres with English subtitles."

He said in those days Raj Kapoor , Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand were the leading stars and Dev Anand was the heartthrob of women.

Dev Anand narrated the struggle he had undergone for two-and-a-half years after he shifted from Lahore to Mumbai in 1943, with just Rs 30 in his pockets. "I was always waiting for a special ray of sunshine to fall on me. Once I got my break I never looked back," he said.

Lord Billimoria appreciated the "energy, passion and zest for life" displayed by Dev Anand.

With his association with Bollywood spanning over six decades, Dev Anand produced popular movies such as 'Hum Ek Hain (1946)', 'Aandhiyan (1952)', 'Rahi (1953)', 'Hum Dono (1961)', 'Guide (1965)', 'Jewel Thief (1967)', 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)' besides many others.

Dev Anand
Amitabh Bachchan
Jaya Bachchan
Prakash Mehra
Raj Kapoor
Dilip Kumar

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