New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday joined millions of fans in condoling the death of legendary Bollywood star Dev Anand, calling him a "true genius" and an embodiment of a life-long passion for acting and film-making.

In her condolence message, Patil said the film industry had lost a creative talent who "personified the spirit of graceful ageing with dignity".

She said Dev Anand had delighted fans with his vivacious acting and as a popular romantic hero. "Anand was a legendary film artiste as well as a producer, director and writer who adorned the Hindi cinema with great distinction.

"He shall always be remembered by a generation of film watchers for his exemplified acting in the movies; Taxi Driver, Munimji, Guide, Johny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes," she said.

Vice President Ansari said the film legend had entertained generations of Indians with his versatile acting, direction and production of films. He had an "intense passion for films", Ansari said.

Describing Dev Anand as a great artiste, Prime Minister Singh said the legendary actor was "an embodiment of a life- long passion for acting and film-making." "I join millions of his fans in mourning his death," he said in a statement.

I&B Minister Ambika Soni called him a true genius and evergreen star with whose death an era has come to an end. "For a career spanning over more than five decades, Dev Anand gave us films which will stay entrenched in our minds for years on," Soni said.

Political leaders in Maharashtra paid glowing tributes to Indian cinema's legend with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan saying in Mumbai that the country has lost an iconic film personality who gave joy to countless movie buffs.

Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, "True to his name, he always gave 'anand' (happiness) to millions. There won't be any other Dev Anand."

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Dev Anand's love for life and cinema will live on through his films.

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan described Dev Anand as an "ageless wonder". The actor was a darling of three generations, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the 88-year-old screen legend was a gift of God to the film industry and the country, while Public Works Minister Chhagan Bhujbal termed as an "irreparable loss" the demise of the actor.

Terming Dev Anand a "legend", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his demise has created a void.

"(Dev Anand's death is) the passing of an era, a void never to be filled. Rest in peace Dev Sahib. (You were) a legend in your own life time, you will be sorely missed," Omar wrote in Twitter.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that in Dev Anand's demise, "India has lost a great actor, an illustrious son and a true patriot".

Hailing the Dada Saheb Phalke award winner as the "most versatile actor", Jayalalithaa said in Chennai that "his foot prints on Indian cinema are indelible. He was a multifaceted personality and every role he played created an impact on the minds of viewers".

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hailed Dev Anand's contributions to the film industry. "Dev sahab's death has left a deep void in the film industry," he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the film and entertainment industry has lost a true "guide".

"During the 1975-77 Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, Dev sahab was the one who stood up in favour of democracy with most conviction," Modi tweeted. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condoled the death of Dev Anand, saying his achievements would inspire youths to keep working in dedicated manner.

LJP president and Rajya Sabha member Ram Vilas Paswan said, "Dev Anand showed a new path to the film industry and the nation as well. He made revolutionary movies with messages against social evils like caste system."

His son Chirag Paswan, who made his Bollywood debut with recently-released movie 'Mile Na Mile Hum', also expressed grief over the death of the actor-filmmaker.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also mourned the death of Dev Anand.

"Dev Anand was an evergreen star and a legend who had passion for life and acting. The life of this great actor and true patriot is a lesson for the posterity," he said.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also expressed profound grief over demise of the legendary actor and said with his death an era of Indian film industry comes to an end.

Tamil superstar Rajnikanth and his family members also condoled the death of the legendary Bollywood star and said he would always remain in their hearts.

Rajnikanth, his wife Latha, daughters Aishwarya and Soundarya and sons-in-law Dhanush and Ashwin in a statement said, "Devanandji, we had the proud privilege of taking your blessings, shaking hands and giving you a hug as we humbly offered 'The Legend' award two-years ago. All of us here, who were part of that evening, are so moved on Sunday."

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members, said Dev Anand was the most popular, charismatic and romantic superstar, who acted in more than a hundred films.

Condoling the demise of Dev Anand, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said he was an evergreen star who mesmerized his admirers across the world as a suave and sensible hero and later as a highly creative director.

"I am pained to learn about Dev sahab' s sad demise...In his demise, India has lost an iconic artist," she said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her condolence message said, "Dev Anand was a legendary personality. His film 'Guide' will always be regarded as a special chapter in the history of Indian cinema."

"On behalf of all film lovers of West Bengal, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of the legendary actor," she said.

Film Federation of India president T P Aggarwal described Dev Anand as the most disciplined artiste who showed no arrogance even when he worked under other directors.

"Dev Anand had himself been a renowned producer, director and actor but he did not let even newcomers feel conscious about this," he said.

In his condolence message, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said with the death of Dev Anand, an era of film industry has come to an end. He said Dev Anand was a versatile actor and a great human being and his demise has created a void in Indian cinema.

Dhumal said then actor had special attachment with the state as he had studied in Dharamsala College.

Paying tribute to the legendary actor-filmmaker, BJP leader L K Advani said the Bollywood icon had stood for democracy, when emergency was imposed in the country. "I knew his family well. When democracy was suspended, Devsaab and his brothers supported the democracy," he said.
Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat expressed grief over the death of the legendary actor-filmmaker. "Devanand was a great motivator and a great supporter of IFFI in Goa and the state will miss his presence and enthusiasm," he said in his condolence message.

The Entertainment Society of Goa, a co-host of the recently concluded IFFI, also paid tributes to the evergreen hero.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav said contribution of Dev Anand to the Hindi film industry would not be forgotten by the people.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi said the late Padma Bhushan awardee was known for leading a simple life.

"Though he was big actor, he was known for leading a simple life. I express my deepest condolences to his family members," he said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, "Dev Anand's death is an irreparable loss to the film industry. He is no more but...will remain evergreen in the hearts of his fans and continue to inspire them."

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "Devanand occupied a special place in Hindi film industry as a popular actor, able director and successful producer. He has become a legend due to his magnificent acting."

(Agencies)