GURU DUTT Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » guru dutt


Guru Dutt Padukone was born in Mysore in South India on July 9, 1925. His father was initially a headmaster, and then a bank employee. His mother Vasanthi, while initially a housewife, later taught in a school, gave private tuition and also wrote short stories and translated Bengali novels into Kannada. Vasanthi was only 13 when Guru Dutt was born.


Guru Dutt spoke fluent Bengali, and carried a distinct stamp of Bengali culture in his work. Later, when he moved to Mumbai and Bollywood in the 1940s, he dropped the Shivsankar Padukone part of his name, and was known simply as Guru Dutt. Because Dutt is a common Bengali last name, many people assumed that he was a Bengali.


He had his early education in Calcutta before doing basic training with dance maestro Uday Shankar after which he joined Prabhat Studios. It was here that he got a break as a choreographer with the film Hum ek Hain (1946 ), Aar Paar released in 1954 established Guru Dutt as a director to reckon with.


Followed some of his best work Mr. and Mrs 55, Pyaasa and Kaagaz ke Phool but the last mentioned was adismal failure at the box office and a dejected Guru Dutt never directed a film again. He continued to produce films and act in both home and outside productions. But never did he ever give his name in the credits as director again.


Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam though credited to writer Abrar Alvi bears his unmistakable stamp. The film won the President’s silver medal as well as the film of the year award from the Bengal Film Journalists Association.


In 1953, Dutt married Geeta Roy, a well-known playback singer. They had been engaged for three years and had to overcome a great deal of family opposition to marry. They had three children, Tarun, Arun, and Nina.


Unfortunately, the marriage was unhappy. According to his brother Atmaram, Guru Dutt was “a strict disciplinarian as far as work was concerned, but totally undisciplined in his personal life” (Kabir, 1997, p. 124). He smoked heavily, he drank heavily, and he kept odd hours. Guru Dutt’s relationship with actress Waheeda Rehman also worked against their marriage. At the time of his death, he had separated from Geeta and was living alone.


On October 10, 1964, Guru Dutt was found dead in his bed. He is said to have been mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. His death may have been suicide, or just an accidental overdose.


Guru Dutt’s son, Arun Dutt views this as an accident in an interview with India Abroad in October 2004 on the 40th anniversary of his father’s death. Guru Dutt had scheduled appointments the next day with actress Mala Sinha for the movie, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, and Raj Kapoor to discuss making colour films. According to him, “my father had sleeping disorders and popped sleeping pills like any other person. That day he was drunk and had taken an overdose of pills, which culminated in his death. It was a lethal combination of excessive liquor and sleeping pills


Indian cinema had lost one of its greats. At the time of his death Guru Dutt was starring in Love and God and in Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi, a home production. Both the films were ultimately completed by different actors, Sanjeev Kumar and Dharmendra respectively.