18 September, 2020

A Gentleman, A Star

Dutt's unstarry approach to life made him a hit. He never called a spade anything else.

A Gentleman, A Star

Balraj Dutt's rise to fame was almost imperceptible. Spotted on the Bombay Jai Hind College stage, he was signed on by the ad agency D.J. Keymer to present a star-oriented show on Radio Ceylon called Liptons Ke Sitare. While covering the shooting of the Dilip Kumar-starrer Shikast, he met director Ramesh Saigal. Impressed by his voice and bearing, Saigal asked him if he would work in his next film. "Only if you cast me as hero," was Dutt's response. Saigal screen-tested him in Dilip Kumar's clothes which were at hand.

Remembering the episode, Dutt said, "The jacket sleeve reached only my wrist and the trousers were ankle length. I felt so awkward in them that I never thought Saigal saab would call me back". But Saigal did.

Railway Platform, opposite Nalini Jaywant was anything but spectacular. Big time came Dutt's way after B.R. Chopra's...



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