Bollywood legends Guru Dutt, Nargis, Meena Kumari, Amitabh Bachchan and Pran have been named the list of CNN’s top 25 Asian actors of all time.
The list has been prepared ahead of the Oscar night on March 7 and has actors from India, China, Japan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. With five actors listed, India has highest number of entries.
“In the history of the Academy Awards only two Asians have ever taken home Best Actor or Actress statue (we don’t count Ben Kingsley as true Asian). Yet Asia has produced incredibly talented thespians that have changed the course of their nations cinematic history,” CNN said.
Comparing Guru Dutt to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), the website said the actor-filmmaker ushered in the golden era in Hindi cinema with movies like Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool. He has been named in the list “because of his soulful acting”. His role of a struggling poet 1957 movie Pyaasa has been named his best performance.
Bachchan, 67, has been picked up for his role of brooding inspector Khanna in Zanjeer, which cemented the actor’s image as the ‘angry young man’ of Indian cinema.
Pran, who starred in close to 300 Indian films has been described as the pre-eminent villain of Hindi cinema.
Nargis has been described as one of the greatest actresses in the history of cinema with her “versatility and natural expression”.