Mumbai: He was a stalwart and also a great writer. Actor Balraj Sahni was lauded not only for his acting skills but was appreciated for his writing skills. Dharmedra's first salary for his debut film was meagre amount of Rs 51! As we celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema, here are some interesting trivia about Bollywood stars which were unheard of until now. Read on!
Did you know Ashok Kumar was with the Bombay Talkies for 7 years and gave them India's first blockbuster - Kismet...which ran on movie halls for three straight years.
After fallout with Ashok Kumar, Devika Rani went on to discover a young pathan named Yusuf Khan and offered him 'Jwar Bhata' under the Bombay Talkies banner. Jahangir-Vasudev-and Dilip Kumar-three screen names were offered and Dilip Kumar is what Yusuf chose.
Raj kapoor worked as assistant director on Dilip Saab's first film- Jwar Bhata' before making his debut in 'Aag'.
Balraaj Sahni is best remembered for playing 'Shambhu' in Bimal Roy's classic 'Do Bigha Zameen'. But incidentally, when he had initially met Roy for the film he was rejected because Roy thought he looked and behaved like an Englishman. Sahni, had just returned from England and had gone to meet the director wearing a suit.
Did you know Balraj Sahni was also famous for his writing? Besides penning award winning books, he also wrote the screenplay for the Dev Anand starrer 'Baazi'.
Before becoming an actor, Sunil Dutt was an RJ for Radio Ceylon and dreamt of interviewing his favourite actress Nargis. The interview was arranged but seeing Nargis for the first time in person, Dutt fumbled and could not utter a word in front of her and the interview was cancelled. Eventually, the two fell in love while working together in 'Mother India' and got married.
In Sholay, both Amit Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar were more keen to play the dacoit Gabbar Singh which eventually was played by newcomer Amjad Khan.
Actor Dhamendra started his career in films in 1960 in the film 'Dil Bhi Tera, Hum Bhi Tere'. He got paid Rs 51 for the film and a daily breakfast of tea, two toasts and butter. Strictly no jam!
Did you know actor Jeetendra started his career as a body double- that too for actress Sandhya in the film 'Navrang'?
Dadasaheb Phalke found his heroine - a man called Anna Salunke - at a canteen in Bombay by noticing his hands. Anna Salunke played Queen Taramati in 'Raja Harishchandra' and went on to play several female characters in other talkies.
Devika Rani also had many other firsts to her name... She was the first heroine to arm herself with a degree in filmmaking. She turned into a producer with her husband Himanshu Rai and launch Bombay Talkies.
Besides being a great actress, Meena Kumari was a closet poet, and used to hide away her own attempts at poetry from her poet husband, filmmaker Kamaal Amrohi.
(Bollywood@100 is a show hosted by Karan Johar, being telecast every Friday 9:00 PM on HISTORY TV18)