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Born Pran Krishan Sikand
February 12, 1920 (1920-02-12) (age 89)
New Delhi, India [1]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1942 — 2003 (Retired)
Spouse(s) Shukla Sikand (1945—present)
Official website

Pran born Pran Krishan Sikand on 12 February 1920 is a multiple Filmfare and BFJA award-winning Indian actor, who is one of the most popular villains of Hindi cinema [2]. He has appeared in over 350 films, including title role of Halaku (1956), dacoit Raka in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Victoria No. 203 (1972), Manoj Kumar’s Upkaar (1967) and Purab Aur Paschim, as Amitabh Bachchan’s loyal friend 'Sher Khan' in Zanjeer (1973) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).

He won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award three times in 1967, 1969, and 1972 and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Govt. of India, for his contribution to Indian cinema. Contrary to the villainous characters he played in his early films, he is very social, a member of various organizations, and even has his very own football team, 'Bombay Dynamos Football Club'.


Personal life and education

Pran Krishan Sikand was born in Ballimaran, New Delhi [1], into a wealthy family. His father, Kewal Krishan Sikand, was a civil engineer and a Government civil contractor, his mother was Rameshwari, and the couple had four sons and three daughters.[3]

He was academically gifted, especially in mathematics. Since his father had a transferable job, he studied in various places, including Dehradun, Kapurthala, Meerut, Unnao Uttar pradesh, finally completing his matriculation from Raza High School, in Rampur. Thereafter, he joined A. Das & Co., Delhi as an apprentice as he wanted to become a professional photographer. This job took him first to Simla, where he played Sita to Madan Puri's Ram in the local staging of "Ramlila" [4].

Pran married Shukla Ahluwalia on 18 April 1945, and has two sons, Arvind and Sunil, and a daughter, Pinky.


A chance meeting with the writer, Wali Mohammad Wali, who worked for Dalsukh Pancholi, at a shop in Hira Mandi, Lahore, led to Pran winning his first role as a villain in Dalsukh Pancholi's Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940), a big hit in that year. This followed by Chaudhary and Khajanchi, soon he established a name for himself as a villain in the Lahore film industry, along with other noted villains of time, Ajit and K. N. Singh. Later, Pancholi also cast him in Khandaan (1942), which was the first Hindi movie in which Pran became a hero, opposite Noor Jehan, who had earlier acted with him as a child artist.[5][6][7]

Pran had acted in 22 films as a villain before his career experienced a brief pause, due to the partition in 1947. He left Lahore, and arrived in Bombay on 14 August 1947, though films didn't come his way, in fact months of wait and unsuccessful hunting followed, after which he moved to smaller hotels and eventually ended up in Delmar Hotel, Marine Drive. It was only eight months later, in 1948, that he got a chance to start all over again, with the help of writer Saadat Hasan Manto and actor Shyam, he got a role in Bombay Talkies film, Ziddi (with Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal as leads), directed by Shaheed Latif, launched his career in Bombay. This film was also Dev Anand's big break as a hero, and there was no turning for Pran from then on.[3][8]. Then within a week, he signed three more films, S M Yusuf's Grihasti, a diamond jubilee hit, Prabhat Films's Apradhi and finally Wali Mohammad, who had first lured him into movies in 1940, had by then also moved to Bombay, turned a producer and set up office at Famous Studios, near Mahalaxmi Racecourse, offered him Putli [9][10]

In the 1960s, with the character of Malang Chacha in Manoj Kumar's Upkaar (1967), he turned to positive character roles, wherein the popular Kalyanji Anandji song, Kasme vaade pyaar wafaa was picturised on him. Ironically in this movie Kamini Kaushal also moved to character roles. He became a well-known character actor in films like Zanjeer, Don, Amar Akbar Anthony and Majboor. He was at the peak of his career in the 1970s, when acted in action thriller, Don, and in those days Pran was paid much more money than Amitabh Bachchan.

The legendary "Villain of the Millennium" has had a marathon six decades long career in Hindi Cinema and is one of the most celebrated actors of the industry. So effective was his acting that it said that people stopped naming their children 'Pran' because of his villain roles, while the industry had started calling him 'Pran Sahab' [11]. His favourite line "Barkhurdaar" became immensely popular.

His biography, ...and Pran was so named because, in most of the movies that he acted in, his was the last name in the cast portion of the credits, with the words "...and Pran" and sometime "..above all Pran" [12].

Awards and honours


Filmfare Awards

Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards

Other awards and recognitions

  • 1973 - Chitrlok Cine Circle Ahmedabad: "Best Character Award".[16]
  • 1976 - Bombay Film Award: Most Versatile Actor.
  • 1978 - Bombay Film Award: Most Versatile Actor.
  • 1978 - North Bombay Jaycees: Best Character Actor.
  • 1983 - Kala Bhushan Award presented by Punjabi Kala Sangam.
  • 1984 - "Extra Ordinary Special Award as Wizard of Acting" by Bombay Film Award.
  • 1984 - "Viyayshree Award" presented for enriching Human Life and Outstanding Attainments India Int. Friendship Society).
  • 1984 - "Ars Gratia Artis" for excellence in emotive Art.
  • 1984 - Filmgoers Award: Reigning "Abhinay Samrat".
  • 1987 - North Bombay Jaycees: Outstanding Performance of Decade.
  • 1990 - Kala Rattan Award presented by Punjabi Kal Sangam for 50 glorious Years.
  • 1990 - Punjab Association: an Award for 50 years in the Industry.
  • 1990 - Southall Lion's Club London: "In recognition of Invaluable Services to Charity at the Celebration of Golden Jubilee of his services tot Film Industry.
  • 1991 - Cinegoers Award: "Abhinay Samrat Golden Jubilee Actor".
  • 1992 - Outstanding contribution to Indian Film Industry, Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association.[16]
  • 2000 - Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2000 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement [9]
  • 2000 - "Villain of the Millennium" by Stardust Award.[6]
  • 2001 - Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award from the Government of India.[17]
  • 2004 - Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Maharashtra Government [6]

Selected filmography

  • Pran also worked in numerous Bengali films in 1960-1970, however they are not listed.


  1. ^ a b Pran as a person (Official biography)
  2. ^ Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema, by Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Pvt. Ltd, Gulzar, Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee. Published by Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Pvt. Ltd., 2003. ISBN 8179910660.
  3. ^ a b Pran Bollywood: yesterday - today - tomorrow, by Ramesh Dawar. Published by Star Publications, 2006. ISBN 190586301. Page 89.
  4. ^ Padma Bhushan Pran -- Fine actor, finer man The Hindu, 28 January 2001.
  5. ^ Pran chosen for Raj Kapoor award The Times of India, 15 July 2004.
  6. ^ a b c A lifetime of villainy Prerana Trehan, The Tribune, 25 July 2004.
  7. ^ Villains
  8. ^ My Best Year - PRAN:1948 India Today, 3 July 2006. "When Bombay Talkies approached me, all I could say was that I needed an advance.".
  9. ^ a b ..In March 2000, he was honoured with the Zee Lifetime Achievement Award Rediff, 5 April 2000.
  10. ^ Bollywood: a history, by Mihir Bose. Published by Lotus Collection, Roli Books, 2007. ISBN 8174365087.Page 161.
  11. ^ Pran is eighty - His is the kind of life (pran) life will always be proud of Screen.
  12. ^ Reel evil The Tribune, 24 October 2004."..Bimal Roy presents, Madhumati, starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Johny Walker, Tiwari . . . and Pran."
  13. ^ 1962:25th Annual BFJA Awards - Awards For The Year 1961 BFJA Awards website.
  14. ^ 1967:30th Annual BFJA Awards - Awards For The Year 1966 BFJA Awards website.
  15. ^ 1974: 37th Annual BFJA Awards - Awards For The Year 1973 BFJA Awards website.
  16. ^ a b Awards
  17. ^ Lata, Bismillah Khan get Bharat Ratnas, 25 January 2001. "The Padma Bhushan...veteran actor Pran,".

Further reading

  • ...and PRAN, a Biography, by Bunny Ruben. HarperCollins, India, 2004. ISBN 81-7223-466-X.
  • The Life of A Villain-Pran by Chobay Gill (2005), HarperCollins New Delhi, 446 pages. ISBN 81-7223-466-X

External links


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