Pran, 93, could not attend the ceremony in New Delhi due to ill-health. It is probably for the first time that an artist was given the Phalke award at his home. Best known for his portrayal of negative roles in Hindi movies like Milan, Madhumati and Kashmir Ki Kali, the veteran actor was honoured with a Swarna Kamal (golden lotus) medallion, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl.
Wheel chair bound Pran, dressed in a kurt-pyjama, received the award at his apartment in Pali Hill, Bandra. He was accompanied by daughter Pinky and son Sunil. "He was not well so it was our responsibility to give him the award at his place. He thanked everyone," Tewari said. When asked if the felicitation came late, Tewari said, "There is a procedure that is followed for the awards. It is the jury that decides when to give the award."
Even Pran's children expressed happiness over the honour. "He (Pran) is also happy. We all are happy that they (Minister) came here to give the award. It feels good. We did a party and enjoyed," Pinky said. The veteran actor was not keeping well since sometime. "He is better than before. He is fine," Sunil said.
When asked if the award came late, he said, "We don't want to get into all this." Pran has acted in more than 350 films in a career spanning six-decades, giving memorable performances in movies like Milan, Madhumati, Kashmir Ki Kali and Upkaar. Such was the magic of his unique on-screen villainy that people stopped naming their children 'Pran' at the height of his fame. He ruled the industry from 1969 to 1982.