Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone or Guru Dutt was born on July 9, 1925 in Bangalore, Karnataka. He was born to Shivashankar Rao Padukone and Vasanthi Padukone. He was renamed Guru Dutt as it was considered an auspicious name by everyone. Film director Kalpana Lajmi is his niece.
As a child Guru Dutt had to face financial constraints. Though he was a good student, Guru Dutt never went to college due to financial hardships. He later joined the performing arts troupe of Uday Shankar. He joined the centre in 1941 and studied there till 1944. Guru Dutt was first married to Vijaya then to Suvarna. He later married playback singer Geeta Dutt in 1953. In his golden days, Guru Dutt had a soft corner for actress Waheeda Rehman.
Film Career of Guru Dutt:
The films of Guru Dutt were considered ahead of times. He was noted for making artistic and lyrical films. He popularized Hindi cinema of the 1950s. He was part of exclusive school of Indian film directors, including the likes of Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan and Bimal Roy who were able to achieve a healthy blend of artistic and commercial success between the mid 1950s and 60s. Dutt made commercial films however the leading film critics still rank him in the same line with Satyajit Ray.
His song's cinematography and the vivid character portrayal are the special features of all his film. Several of his later works have a cult following. His movies went full house when re-released in Germany, France and Japan. His films were shown at the film festivals throughout India and the world. His is dubbed as the Orson Welles of India. Guru Dutt’s movies are noted for the technical developments.
Dutt used close up shots in the film “Baazi”, as many as 14 in the film, which became a catchphrase in the Indian movie-making as the “Guru Dutt Shot”. He also used songs as long narratives in the films. Guru Dutt introduced actress Zohra Sehgal, comedian Johny Walker, cinematographer VK Murthy, among others. He is credited for introducing actress Waheeda Rehman to Hindi cinema. Guru Dutt wrote short stories for the “Illustrated Weekly of India”.
Guru Dutt started his film career under a three year contract with the Prabhat Film Company in 1944. Here he met his two friends who remained with him forever - Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. Dev Anand and Guru Dutt made two super hit films together “Baazi” and “Jaal”. His first film as a director - “Baazi” which was released in 1951. The film was an immediate success.
Some of the finest movies of Guru Dutt are “Jaal”, “Aar Paar”, “Mr and Mrs. 55”, “CID”, “Sailaab” and “Kaagaz Ke Phool” among others. He wrote the script of the classic release “Pyaasa”. His movie was included among one of the 100 best movies of all times. In 2002, Sight & Sound critic’s and Director’s polled “Pyasa” and “Kaagaz Ke Phool” among the 160 greatest films of all time.
Guru Dutt was an actor par excellence. He acted in the film “Sri Krishna”, “Lakhrani”, “Sanjh aur Savera”, “Suhagan”, “Bahurani”, “Bharosa”, “Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam”, “Chaudvi Ka Chand”, etc. He produced the films “Aar Paar”, “CID”, “Pyasa”, “Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam”, “Chaudvi ka Chand”, “Kaagaz Ke Phool”, “Gauri” and “Bahare Fir Bhi Aaengi”. Guru Dutt was hired by the Prabhat Film Company as a choreographer. He worked as a choreographer for the film “Hum Ek Hain”.
He died on October 10, 1964 due to sleeping pill overdose.
Awards and Honours of Guru Dutt:
Guru Dutt’s film “Pyaasa” and “Kaagaz Ke Phool” are included among the greatest films of all time by the time magazine’s "ALL TIME” 100 best movies and by the Sight & Sound critic’s and Director’s poll" where Dutt is included among the greatest directors. He was included among CNN’s top 25 Asian actors of all time in 2010. The book “Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey” written by Sathya Saran is based on him.
Daughter: Nina Dutt
Sibling: Lalita Lajmi
(FAN OF Mr. VASANTH KUMAR SHIVASHANKAR PADUKONE)
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