Dev Anand: Bollywood’s greatest discoverer

The late Dev Anand had a career spanning around six decades, during which he donned several hats including those of director, producer and actor. There is one more lesser known aspect: casting director. Though you may not find him mentioned as such in the credits of his films, several B-Town actors will tell you they are grateful to him for bringing them into the industry. We tell you more about them:

Zeenat Aman: Officially, Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna is not her first film, but that’s the one that made Zeenat a star. She was one sexy sister of the hero and stole the show from the film’s female lead, Mumtaz. Her song Dum maaro dum from the film is iconic even today.

Tina Ambani: The petite actor was first seen on the big screen in Dev Anand’s Des Pardes. She played an Indian version of My Fair Lady and was an instant hit.

Deepak Sareen: You may remember him as the guy who is in love with Zeenat’s character in Hare Rama Hare Krishna. If you can’t, don’t fret. He is one of the few discoveries who had to really struggle for roles and didn’t quite manage to make it in Bollywood.

Jackie Shroff: Yes, Subhash Ghai gave him his first lead role in Hero, and made Jackie a star. But even before Hero, Dev Anand had cast him in two of his films – a bit role in Heera Panna and a bigger one in Swami Dada. Jackie went on to become one of the top heroes in Bollywood in the late eighties and early nineties.

Tabu: Her first-ever film was Dev saab’s Hum Naujawan, in which she plays a young teenager who is raped and murdered by a powerful minister’s son. Despite having only a small role, she proved, under Dev Anand’s direction, that she was a talented actor years before her others realised it in Maachis.