Legendary Bollywood actor Pran, known and beloved for his iconic villain roles, has died at the age of 93.
Pran, whose full name is Pran Kishan Sikand, died in Lilavati Hospital at 8:30pm Friday, according to his son. His official cause of death is pneumonia.
One of Bollywood’s best-known villains, Pran appeared in more than 350 Hindi movies over a six-decade career. Though he has played heroes, he was best known for playing bad guys and was even dubbed “Villain of the Millennium” by Stardust magazine.
Despite his on-screen villainy, Pran is remembered by family, friends and colleagues for his “heart of gold” and for being a “gentleman.”
“Indian cinema has lost an icon,”” tweeted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Famed Bollywood leading man Amitabh Bachchan also released a statement mourning Pran’s death:
“Pran sahab passes away! A gentleman, most collaborative colleague, a senior of immense distinction, a true disciplined professional.Another magnificent pillar of the Film Industry, falls. Our illustrious edifice in ruins, as stalwart after stalwart leaves.”
You can read more Bollywood celebrity reactions to Pran’s death at the Times of India.
Interestingly, Pran spoke so little about his career to his family that his daughter didn’t even know that he was a famous Bollywood villain until she was much older.
At Pran’s 90th birthday party, she recalls that he said: “Now I will be 100, and then out.”
In a foreword to the Pran biography And Pran by film journalist Bunny Reuben, Bachchan noted that being Bollywood’s go-to villain was a “thankless job.”
“Pran accepted and carried out with such a degree of perfection that he became the actor the entire nation loved to hate,” he wrote.
Pran is survived by his wife, Shukla Sikand, and three children.