New Delhi:  Bollywood fraternity on Friday cheered the decision to confer the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award on Pran but felt the honour came late for the iconic villain of Hindi cinema at the age of 93.

READ MORE: Pran to get Dada Saheb Phalke Award

The actor, who has starred in over 400 films in his six- decade-long career, retired from acting after performing in hits like 'Ziddi', 'Milan', 'Madhumati', 'Zanjeer', 'Parichay' and 'Upkar'.

"This is great news and he is the most deserving case. He should have been awarded much earlier. But it is never too late. He has been a source of inspiration to many people and stayed in the profession for such a long time. He credited a big name for himself and to the entire film fraternity," said Prem Chopra, who also achieved fame as a Bollywood villain.

Actor Rishi Kapoor, who worked with Pran in films like 'Naukar Biwi Ka', 'Karz', 'Naseeb' and 'Bobby', said he was happy to see the veteran finally being honoured. "Why so late recognition? He should have been given this years back. I am delighted for Pran sahab. We grew up seeing him in films as a villain but he was a hero. I miss him."

Kapoor recalled that he wanted to cast Pran in his directorial debut "Aa Ab Laut Chalein" but it did not work out. "I wanted him to be in my film 'Aa Ab Laut Chalein'. Initially, he agreed to be a part of the film but later he changed his opinion. He cited his ill health for not being a part of the project. I and my brother were in tears that time," Kapoor said.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said there was a time when Pran became the "metaphor for evil" thanks to his fame as villain.     "We grew up with his films. He became a bigger star in the later part of his career than his beginning. He became metaphor for evil with his roles. But in real life he was a thorough gentleman and a man whom you can depend upon."

Actor Anupam Kher tweeted, "Delighted that Pran Saab is finally given the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Sir, in my mind I congratulated you 20 years back."

Director Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted, "Congratulations Pran saab for the Dadasaheb Phalke award. This is much deserved!"

"Impact Pran had as a villain was such, people stopped naming their kids Pran. Manoj Kumar broke the mould & cast him in a positive role in 'Upkaar'," said filmmaker Kunal Kohli.

"Congratulations to the great Pran saheb on being conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award! He's such an inspiring and iconic figure," Ranvir Shorey said.

The award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dada Saheb Phalke, will be conferred on Pran on May 3, which will also mark the completion of 100 years of cinema this year.

(Agencies)

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