New Delhi: Legendary actor Dev Anand, the 'evergreen romantic superstar' of Indian cinema, died in London on Saturday night following a cardiac arrest. He was 88.
According to reports, Dev Anand died in his sleep at the Washington Mayfair Hotel where he was staying. The hotel is owned by local Indian businessman Joginder Sangar.
His son Sunil Anand had accompanied him to London for treatment. The hotel staff called an ambulance after family alerted them, but he died before he could be taken to hospital.
The family have issued a statement asking them to be left alone in this hour of grief.
Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday morning tweeted, "Just reading news about Dev Saheb.. praying it is not true... He was such a positive person.. never associated death with him.."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday condoled Dev Anand's death and said, "Dev Anand was a great artiste who entertained generations of cinema lovers over five decades. He was an embodiment of a life long passion for acting and film making. I join millions of his fans in mourning his death."
UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi and Information Ambika Soni also condoled Dev Anand's death.
Dev Anand made his debut as an actor in 1946 in 'Hum Ek Hain'. By the time his 'Ziddi' was released in 1947 he was a superstar and has never looked back.
Versatile Dev Anand has given countless hits like 'Paying Guest', 'Baazi', 'Jewel Thief ', 'CID', 'Johny Mera Naam', 'Amir Garib', 'Warrant', 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' and 'Des
For his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, Dev Anand was honoured with the prestigious the 'Padma Bhushan' in 2001 and 'Dada Saheb Phalke Award' in 2002.
He established his film production company 'Navketan International Films' in 1949 and has produced more than 35 movies.
Dev Anand won two Filmfare Awards - India's equivalent of the Oscars - in 1958 for his performance in the film 'Kala Paani' (Black Water) and in 1966 for his performance in 'Guide'.
'Guide' went on to win Filmfare Awards in five other categories including 'Best Film' and 'Best Director' and was sent as India's entry for the Oscars in the foreign film
category that year.
He co-produced the English Version of 'Guide' with the Nobel Laureate Pearl S Buck ('The Good Earth').
In 1993, he received a Filmfare 'Lifetime Achievement Award' and in 1996 he received a Screen Videocon 'Lifetime Achievement Award'.
Of late he was involved in the direction of a new all American film Project 'Song Of Life' - a musical love story which was to be shot in the United States.
He was to play the central character in the film which was to have a predominantly American star cast.
Dev Anand is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned film director Shekhar Kapur.
With Additional Inputs from PTI