Vijay Anand was a celebrated filmmaker, writer, editor, and actor in Hindi cinema. Known as “Goldie,” the younger brother of filmmaker Chetan Anand and matinée idol Dev Anand, Vijay Anand was born in Gurdaspur, Punjab, on January 22, 1934. He lost his mother when he was only seven, and he along with his other siblings went to live with his eldest brother Chetan and his wife Uma who raised him like their own child. In fact, Uma urged him to write and had a great influence on him. A very literate man, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, where he had graduated several college plays. While still a teenager, he co-wrote the script with his sister-in-law Uma for his filmmaker brother Chetan Anand. The film was “Taxi Driver” (1954) where his other brother Dev Anand played the title role, and it was inspired by the crime thrillers of Hollywood. It was released through their home production company Navketan and became Goldie’s first big hit. “Nau Do Gyarah” (1957) was Vijay Anand’s directorial debut, which was based on his own script. The film starred his brother Dev Anand and Dev’s wife Kalpana Kartik. It became another hit. Goldie showed an exceptional visual style, especially when it came to picturizing song sequences. His next film was the story of a black marketer and his redemption in “Kaala Bazaar” (1960). The film starred his brother Dev again, along with Waheeda Rehman, who became a regular heroine for most of Navketan films during that era. This was also the only film where all three brothers (Chetan, Dev, and Vijay Anand) acted together. “Tere Ghar ke Saamne” (1963) with Dev Anand and Nutan was a romantic comedy that became another hit.
Goldie also wrote the screenplay for “Hum Dono” (1961) and supposedly ghost-directed the film as well. His masterpiece as a filmmaker came with “Guide” (1965). Based on RK. Narayan’s novel The Guide, the film is unforgettable for its bold themes about how a man (Dev Anand) and woman (Waheeda Rehman) live together outside the sanctity of a marriage. Composer S.D. Burman’s songs were given stunning visuals. The film became a huge hit and won several major awards, including two Filmfare Awards for Vijay himself for directing and for writing the dialogue for the film. With Guide, Vijay Anand became the Hindi film industry’s big star filmmaker. He was a visionary, a genius who could make intellectually stimulating films that could also generate profits and win industry awards. His next film also brought him everlasting glory. He directed and edited “Teesri Manzil” (1966) for producer and writer Nasir Husain. The film starred Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh and gave composer R.D. Burman (S.D. Burman’s son) his first major success. The film’s suspenseful story, combined with the stars’ romantic chemistry, and Burman’s modern songs, made it into another box office smash and a perpetual favorite among moviegoers. Vijay Anand was at the pinnacle of his fame, when he went back to Navketan to direct the hit film “Jewel Thief” (1967). But there was a wrinkle. He found his “Jewel Thief” leading lady Vyjayantimala to be a distracted diva, especially after he enjoyed the professionalism and dedication of his previous leading ladies Nutan, Waheeda Rehman and Asha Parekh. Nevertheless, Vyjayantimala gave a heartfelt and polished performance in “Jewel Thief,” and it seemed like Vijay Anand can do no wrong. But his next film proved otherwise. After three hit films in a row (Guide, Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief), Vijay Anand experienced his first flop. Initially, “Kahin Aurchal” (1968) had the makings of a hit, as it starred Dev Anand and Asha Parekh, who were both top box office draws in 1968, along with music composers Shanker-Jaikishen. But the film’s financier Tolaram Jalan wanted a flop film to adjust his income taxes, and so he took the film from Vijay Anand and released it in a single matinée show and then pulled it. This experience pained the filmmaker, especially since the film never resurfaced again. He bounced back with “Johnny Mera Naam” (1970), which grabbed the top stop at the box office in 1970. It starred Dev Anand and Hema Malini. Vijay Anand won two Filmfare Awards, one for editing and the other one for his screenplay. He then directed “Tere Mere Sapne” (1971) based on the A.J. Cronin’s novel “The Citadel.” He also played a supporting role as an alcoholic doctor. While, the film became his personal favorite, it wasn’t a major success at the box office and became a turning point in his career. His subsequent films like “Blackmail” (1973), “Chhupa Rustom” (1973), “Bullet” (1976) were major disappointments. Also, Dev Anand was establishing himself as his own director, so Goldie wasn’t getting many directing opportunities at Navketan. Furthermore, he was going through personal problems, as he married his much younger relative in 1978 and turned to a spiritual leader Godman Rajneesh. He did return to directing films with multi-starrers like Ram Balram (1980) and Rajput (1982) but filming took a long time, because of the stars’ busy schedules and Anand felt he made too many compromises. He still made occasional films, such as Hum Rahe Na Hum (1984) and Main Tere Liye (1988) but these films lacked the famous Vijay Anand style and weren’t hits.
Vijay Anand also acted in films for other directors, such as Double Cross (1973) and Ghungroo ki Awaaz (1980). Waheeda Rehman and Rakhee proclaimed him to be an genius filmmaker but also told the press that his acting skills paled in comparison to his directing skills. He acted in two major hit films, Kora Kagaz(1974) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan ki (1978), but in both instances his acting was overshadowed by his leading ladies, Jaya Bhaduri and Nutan, who both won Filmfare Awards in the Best Actress category. In the early 1990s, he was seen in the television serial Tehqiqaat playing Sam the Detective. In 1997, his older brother Chetan Anand’s death devastated him. In 2001, he took over as the new censor board chief after Asha Parekh finished out her controversial three year term. Earlier, she hadn’t given clearance to his nephew Shekar Kapur’s film “Elizabeth” (1998) and several film industry insiders expected some tension between them, especially after Parekh admitted that she and Anand didn’t see eye-to-eye on policing adult films. But she invited him to her sixtieth birthday celebration in 2002, and they both celebrated the occasion as old friends and colleagues. Anand was in the process of making another film with brother Dev Anand, when he died on February 23, 2004 due to a heart attack. He left behind his wife, Sushma and son Vaibhav, an aspiring filmmaker. His grief-stricken older brother Dev Anand wept openly at the funeral.Mini Biography By: Ramstep