Karan Dewan

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Karan Dewan
Karan Diwan in Ratan.JPG
Karan Diwan in Rattan 1944 film.
Born Dewan Karan Chopra
(1917-11-06)6 November 1917
Gujranwala, Punjab, British India
Died 2 August 1979(1979-08-02) (aged 61)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor
Years active 1941–1979
Spouse(s) Manju (actress)

Karan Dewan (born Dewan Karan Chopra; 6 November 1917 - 2 August 1979) was an Indian cinema actor in Hindi films. He worked in over seventy films from 1941 to 1979.[1] He started as a journalist while still in college,[2] editing a film-based magazine in Urdu.[3] His brother was the film producer and director Jaimani Dewan.[4]

His decisive film was Rattan (1944), which was produced by his brother Jaimini Diwan, and this movie had turned out to be the biggest hit of 1944.[5] He also sang songs in this movie under music director Naushad, and his song "Jab Tum Hi Chale Pardes" became popular.[6] He sang in films such as Piya Ghar Aaja (1947), Mitti Ke Khiloune (1948) and Lahore (1949).[7] His other important films were Zeenat (1945), Lahore (1949), Dahej (1950), Bahar (1951) and Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953). Known as a "jubilee star", about twenty of his films are stated to have been jubilee (twenty-five weeks or more) hits.[3]

Dewan married co-actress Manju in 1944 following the release of Rattan, in which she had a character role.[3] By 1966, he was working as a casting agent for the film unit of Maya (1966).[8] He continued to work in the 1960s and 1970s playing supporting parts in films such as Apna Ghar (1960), Shaheed (1965), Jeene Ki Raah (1969) and Nadaan (1971), with the last film in which he was credited being Sohanlal Kanwar's Atmaram (1979).

Early life[edit]

Dewan Karan Chopra, youngest of three brothers was born on 6 November 1917, at Gujranwala, Punjab (now in Pakistan), British India. He studied in Lahore, where he became interested in journalism and started editing a film magazine in Urdu, Jagat Lakshmi. One of the local distributors he met was Tarachand Barjatya, who was then the Manager of Chandanmal Inder Kumar's distribution office at Lahore. Through his connection with Barjatya he landed in Calcutta, and in 1939, made his acting debut as Puran in the Punjabi language feature film Puran Bhagat (1939).[3]



Meena Kumari and Karan Dewan in Piya Ghar Aja (1948)
Karan Dewan in Mitti Ke Khiloune (1948)

Dewan started his film career with the role of Puran in Puran Bhagat in Punjabi in 1939 in Calcutta. It was produced by Raisaheb Sukhlal Karnani and directed by Roop K. Shorey's father R. L. Shorey. His second film Mera Maahi (1941) was also a Punjabi film, directed by Shankar Mehta at Lahore and starring Ragini and Manorama. This was the movie in which he sang songs for the first time in the movies under the baton of legendary music director Shyam Sunder. Later, in Rattan, he sang for the first time in Hindi movies for Naushad. B. R. Chopra, then working as a film journalist in Lahore, helped Karan Dewan to get in touch with Devika Rani, who invited Dewan to come to Bombay. When this did not help Dewan get films, he taught "Urdu pronunciation to actors and actresses".[9]

In 1944, Karan Dewan acted in Rattan, a musical romantic drama, directed by M. Sadiq, which became one of the most popular films of that year. "A tremendous hit", it paired Dewan with Swarnalata.[5] The music director was Naushad, who gave a break to all the singers in the film; Zohrabai Ambalewali, Amirbai Karnataki, Rajkumari (of Varanasi), Tun Tun (as Uma Devi) and including Dewan himself. The songs of the film became popular.[6] The song "Saawan Ke Baadalon" (O Monsoon Clouds), sung by Dewan and Zohrabai Ambalewali, and picturised on Dewan and Swarnalata, became famous as the pair's "signature" song.[10] Gaali (1944) was a social film, written and directed by Rama Chowdhary, for producer Nanubhai Desai, under his N. R. Desai Productions banner. It co-starred Dewan with Manjula and Yakub. The film was stated to have been a commercial success at the box office.[11]

In 1945, Bhai Jan was a successful Muslim social family melodrama, which starred Dewan with Noor Jehan, Shah Nawaz, Meena (Shorey) and Anees Khatoon. The music was composed by Shyam Sunder. The film was a debut from a small production company called United Films, and was praised for quality and content.[12] Another Muslim social, which was a big success the same year, especially for its leading lady Noor Jehan, was Zeenat. Directed by Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, it had music by Mir Saheb with several popular songs sung by Noor Jehan.[13] In 1947, Nargis, Begum Para and Dewan starred in Mehndi, directed by S. Faizal.[14]

1948 had Dewan acting in films such as Phir Bhi Apna Hai, Chand Chakori with Swarnalata, and Piya Ghar Aja with Meena Kumari. Piya Ghar Aja was a social film directed by Prahlad Dutt for Ranjit Movietone. It co-starred Dewan with Meena Kumari, Aga Jan and S. N. Tripathi, with music composed by Bulo C Rani. The film was stated to be a "clean picture from Ranjit" free from "cheapness and vulgarity". Meena Kumari, who was then working in her second film as a lead, was praised for her acting.[15] Chaman (Garden, 1948), the first post-Partition Punjabi film in India, directed by Roop Shorey, and starring Karan Dewan, Meena Shorey and Kuldip Kaur, became a major hit. The "melodious" music by composer Vinod became "instantly popular".[16]

Duniya (1949), directed by S. F. Hasnain, under the Fazli Brothers banner, had music by C. Ramchandra and starred Suraiya with Karan Dewan, Yakub, and Shakila.[17] Lahore (1949), a film based on the effect partition had on people, had Dewan co-star with Nargis. It was produced by his brother Jaimani Dewan.[18][19]


In 1950, Dewan acted in six films, three of which were with M. Sadiq. Anmol Ratan (Rare Jewel), directed by M. Sadiq, was produced by Jaimini Dewan. It co-starred Meena Shorey (as Meena) and Nirmala. The film had music composed by Vinod, who used Talat Mehmood for his first Hindi film venture. However, since Arzoo (1950), a film in which music was composed by Anil Biswas was released earlier, the first Talat song became "Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi" from Arzoo.[20] Pardes directed by Sadiq, had Madhubala, Surendra and Rehman in a social family drama with music by Ghulam Mohammed. Sabak directed by Sadiq for his own Sadiq Productions, starred Dewan with Munawwar Sultana and Shyama; the music was by Allah Rakha Qureshi.

Dahej (1950) was a melodrama about the evils of the dowry system. It was directed by V. Shantaram for his Rajkamal Kalamandir. This was the first of two films Dewan worked in for Shantaram. The cast included Prithviraj Kapoor, Karan Dewan and Jayshree, with music by Vasant Desai.[21]

In 1951, Karan was cast in the box office success Bahar, which had Vyjayantimala acting in her debut Hindi film. It was directed by M. V. Raman for AVM Productions.[22] The music was composed by S. D. Burman in association with N. Dutta.[23] The film's success in Vyjayantimala's words made her a "national star overnight".[24]

In 1953, Dewan acted in his second film with Shantaram; Teen Batti Char Raasta. A social family comedy-drama on national integration, it starred Dewan with Dewan Sharar, Sandhya and Shashikala.[25] The music was composed by Shivram Krishna. Aag Ka Dariya was a 1953 film directed by Roop K. Shorey for Shorey Films. It starred Prithviraj Kapoor with Meena Shorey, Johnny Walker and Dewan.

1955 was a busy year with eight films. The directors he worked with that year ranged from Om Prakash; Duniya Gol Hai, Shakti Samanta; Bahu, Roop K. Shorey; Jalwa, Dhirubhai Desai; Oonchi Haveli. M. Sadiq's rare comedy venture; Musafirkhana (Rest House) was a social comedy about three men from different places, who meet up in Bombay. Dewan, Om Prakash and Johnny Walker played the three characters.[26] Produced by Sadiq Productions, it had music by O. P. Nayyar.

In 1956, Dewan acted in another production from M. Sadiq; Chhoo Mantar (Hocus Pocus), starring opposite Shyama, Anita Guha and Johnny Walker. The music was composed by O. P. Nayyar.[27] Chandan in 1958, a family melodrama, was directed by M. V. Raman for Dossi films. The cast included Nutan, Mala Sinha, Kishore Kumar and Johnny Walker, with popular songs such as "Aankh Milane Ke Liye", sung by Geeta Dutt.[20]


With Apna Ghar in 1960, Dewan was relegated to playing supporting characters. The film was directed by Ram Pahwa and had Prem Nath, Shyama and Nanda in main roles. The music director was Ravi. Some of his important films during this period included Shaheed (1965), Aamne Samne (1967), Jeene Ki Raah (1969), Maa Aur Mamta (1970), Nadaan (1971), Shehzada (1972), Jalte Badan (1973), Kala Sona (1975), Bhanwar (1976) and Atmaram (1979).

Personal life[edit]

Dewan married actress-singer Manju, who had earlier worked in Aadmi and its (original) Marathi version Manoos in 1939, in a character role. She worked for six years in films, and after acting in Dewan's most famous film Rattan, the two got married and she stopped working. Dewan and Manju have five daughters and two sons. Dewan died on 2 August 1979, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.[9]



Year Film Director Co-stars Composer Studio/Producer
1939 Puran Bhagat (Punjabi) R. L. Shorey Dhummi Khan Raisaheb Sukhlal Karnani. (1939)[31]
1941 Mera Mahi (Punjabi) Shankar Mehta Ragini, Manorama Shyam Sunder
1942 Tamanna (Desire) Phani Majumdar Leela Desai, P. Jairaj, Nargis, Suraiya K. C. Dey Laxmi Productions
1942 Shobha Kumarsen Samarth Shobhna Samarth, Shahu Modak, Mubarak Vasant Desai Wadia Movietone
1943 School Master C. M. Luhar (Chimanla Muljibhoy Luhar) Maya Bannerji, Kaushalya, Jeevan Ninu Majumdar Sun Art Pictures
1943 Adab Arz (My Respects) V. C. Desai (Virendra Chimanlal Desai) Nalini Jaywant, Sulochana Chatterjee Gyan Dutt Amar Pictures
1944 Ghar Ki Shobha Harshadrai Mehta Swarnalata, Jagdish Sethi, Yashodhra Katju Alla Rakha Magnet Pictures
1944 Rattan (The Jewel) M. Sadiq Swarnalata, Wasti, Manju Naushad Jaimani Dewan Productions
1944 Gaali Rama Chowdhury Nirmala, Yakub, Kanhaiyalal Sajjad Hussain N. R. Desai Productions
1945 Bhai Jaan S. Khalil Noor Jehan, Meena Shorey Shyam Sunder United Films
1945 Zeenat Shaukat Hussain Rizvi Noor Jehan, Yakub, Bibbo Mir Saheb Eastern Pictures
1946 Phir Bhi Apna Hai Raja Nene Nalini Jaywant, Sunalini Devi, Saroj Borkar Ramchandra Pal Venus Pictures
1947 Do Dil Jagdish Sethi Motilal, Suraiya, Gulab Gobindram Jamuna Productions
1947 Piya Ghar Aaja Prahlad Dutt Meena Kumari, Agha Bulo C Rani Ranjit Movietone
1947 Krishna Sudama R. Bajaj Balakram, Dulari Shyam Babu National Artists
1947 Mehandi (Henna) Sibtain Fazli Nargis, Begum Para, Murad, Ghulam Haider Fazli Bros
1947 Gaon (The Village) Dwarka Khosla Indu, Tiwari Khemchand Prakash Jamuna Productions
1948 Chaman (Punjabi) Roop K Shorey Meena Shorey, Kuldip Kaur, Om Prakash Vinod Jaimini Pictures
1948 Shakti S. I. Hassan Suraiya, Mumtaz Ali, Sofia, Cuckoo Ram Prasad, Azim Baig Greater Bombay Pictures
1948 Mitti Ke Khiloune Prahlad Dutt Nigar Sultana, Nirupa Roy, Dulari Bulo C Rani Ranjit Film Company[32]
1949 Lahore M. L. Anand Nargis, Kanan Devi, Om Prakash Shyam Sunder Jaimani Dewan Production
1949 Duniya S. F. Hussain Suraiya, Yakub, Shakila, Bhudo Advani C. Ramchandra Fazli Bros
1949 Rakhi Shanti Kumar Kamini Kaushal, Kuldip Kaur, Pran, Yashodhara Katju Husnlal Bhagatram Prakash
1950 Wafa (Trust) J. P. Advani (Jagatrai Pesumal Advani) Shyam, Nimmi, I. S. Johar, Yakub Vinod, Bulo C Rani Goodluck Pictures
1950 Anmol Ratan (Rare Jewel) M. Sadiq Meena Shorey, Nirmala, Gope Vinod Dewan Production
1950 Chhoti Bhabhi Shanti Kumar Nargis, Shyam, Kuldip Kaur, Shyama Husnlal Bhagatram Filmkar
1950 Dahej (The Dowry) V. Shantaram Prithviraj Kapoor, Jayshree, Lalita Pawar Vasant Desai Rajkamal Kalamandir
1950 Pardes (Abroad) M. Sadiq Madhubala, Rehman, Surendra, Cuckoo Ghulam Mohammed All India Pictures
1950 Sabak (The Lesson) M. Sadiq Munawwar Sultana, Kumar, Shyama, Om Prakash A. R. Qureshi Sadiq Productions
1951 Bhai Ka Pyar (A Brother's Love) Raja Nene Nalini Jaywant, Jagdish Sethi, Sunalini Devi Ramchandra Pal Charolia Production
1951 Bahar M. V. Raman Vyjayantimala, Pandhari Bai, Pran, Om Prakash S. D. Burman AVM Productions
1951 Ek Nazar (One Look) O. P. Dutta Nalini Jaywant, Gope, Kuldip Kaur, Rehman S. D. Burman Kuldip Pictures
1953 Aag Ka Dariya (The River Of Fire) Roop K. Shorey Meena Shorey, Prithviraj Kapoor, Shammi Vinod Shorey Films
1953 Jalianwala Baag Ki Jyot (The Flame Of Jalianwala Baag) Rama Chowdhary (R. S. Chowdhary) Achla Sachdev, David, Kamlesh Kumari, Roopmala Anil Biswas Famous Pictures
1953 Teen Batti Char Raasta (Three Lights Four Roads) V. Shantaram Sandhya, Shashikala, Nirupa Roy, Smriti Biswas Shivram Krishna Rajkamal Kalamandir
1954 Raman Hiren Bose Meena Shorey, Purnima, Om Prakash, Cuckoo Vinod Metropolitan Films
1954 Guzara (Making A Living) S. M. Yusuf Jabeen Jalil, Paro Ghulam Mohammed Aina Pictures
1954 Laadla Surya Kumar Shyama, Agha, Krishna Kumari Vinod Verma Films
1955 Duniya Gol Hai Om Prakash Anita Guha, Kuldip Kaur, Indu Paul, Om Prakash C. Ramchandra New Sai Production
1955 Bahu (Daughter-In-Law) Shakti Samanta Usha Kiron, Shashikala, Johnny Walker, Mehmood, Pran Hemant Kumar P. R. Films
1955 Jashan S. Shamshuddin Vyjayantimala, Kuldip Kaur, Pran, Johnny Walker Roshan National Studios
1955 Jalwa Roop K. Shorey Meena Shorey, Begum Para, Hari Shivdasani Vinod Shorey Films
1955 Sau Ka Note (Hundred Rupee Note) Yeshwant Pethkar Geeta Bali, Begum Para, Krishna Kumari S. Mohinder R. S. Films
1955 Musafirkhana (Rest House) M. Sadiq Shyama, Johnny Walker, Om Prakash, Jayant, Gope O. P. Nayyar Sadiq Production
1955 Oonchi Haveli (The Big Mansion) Dhirubhai Desai Bhagwan, Lalita Pawar, Nirupa Roy Shivram Krishna Sharad Productions
1955 Deewar (Wall) S. Khalil Munawwar Sultana, Bhagwan, Sheikh Mukhtar Mohammed Shafi Indralok Pictures
1956 Chhoo Mantar (Hocus Pocus) M. Sadiq Shyama, Anita Guha, Johnny Walker O. P. Nayyar Sadiq Production
1958 Chandan (Sandalwood) M. V. Raman Nutan, Shyama, Kishore Kumar, Mala Sinha, Pran Madan Mohan Dossi Films
1958 Miss 1958 Kuldip Kahar Suraiya, Madan Puri, Naaz, Krishna Kumari N. Dutta A. K. Movies
1958 Taqdeer A. S. Arora Shyama, Asha Mathur, Madan Puri Dhaniram Neela Productions
1959 Madhu Gyan Mukerjee, S. Banerjee Meena Kumari, Kumkum, Tun Tun Roshan Maya Art Pictures
1959 School Master B. R. Panthulu Kamini Kadam, B. R. Panthulu, Shakila, B. Saroja Devi, Gemini Ganeshan Vasant Desai A. L. S. Production
1960 Apna Ghar Ram Pahwa Prem Nath, Shyama, Nanda Ravi Kaizer Films
1961 Jija ji (Punjabi) Baldev R Jhingan Nishi, Sunder Sapan Jagmohan S Kirpal
1961 Tanhai (Loneliness) Ram Gabale Usha Kiran, Purnima Mohammed Shafi Padma Production
1962 Raj Nandini Ramchandra Pal Ameeta, Nishi, Agha Ramchandra Pal Pal Films
1965 Shaheed (The Patriot) S. Ram Sharma Manoj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Indrani Mukherjee Prem Dhawan K. P. K. Movies
1967 Aamne Samne (Neighbours) Suraj Prakash Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Prem Chopra Kalyanji–Anandji Suraj Prakash
1969 Jeene Ki Raah (The Way Of Life) L. V. Prasad Jeetendra, Tanuja, Anjali Laxmikant–Pyarelal Prasad Production
1972 Shehzada (The Prince) K. Shanker Rajesh Khanna, Rakhee Gulzar, Veena R. D. Burman Surinder Kapoor
1976 Bhanwar (The Whirlpool) Bhappi Sonie Randhir Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Kamini Kaushal, Ashok Kumar R. D. Burman Nand Mirani, Shyam Keswani


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