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The Secret Behind Evergreen Hero’s Smile

Remember childlike, seductive and that infectious smile of Dev Anand with that small gap in his upper left denture that sent women swooning. What became a selling point was actually a bone of contention between Dev Saheb and his director. Well, it’s a ‘painful’ story. Dev Anand got the first break in the movie because of his smile. Baburao Pai, producer of Prabhat Films part of the Pune-based Prabhat Studio (founded by the likes of VG Damle and V Shantaram was), was mesmerized by Dev’s smile and signed him to play a hero’s role. But, when the shooting began director PL Santoshi (father of Rajkumar Santoshi) and the cameraman did not like the gap in Dev’s teeth. It ‘looked odd’, they both felt, in close-up shots. So, it was suggested Dev put cotton buds and fill the gap. After few days of shooting the gum got infected and Dev Saheb could not bear the pain and he complained. Giving to hero’s complaints, the cotton buds were removed and it was status quo ante. The smile took him more than a mile. No wonder he was called the Evergreen Hero till he passed away in 2011 at the age of 88 in London.