CNN lists Gurudutt-Amitabh-Pran-Nargis-Meena among “Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time”

ZANJEERGuru Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Pran, Nargis, and Meena Kumari are among “Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time”, according to CNNGo, a division of Cable News Network (CNN).

The listing, posted on March four, lists struggling poet of “Pyaasa” (1957) (Buy PYASA DVD Online ) as the “best role” of Guru Dutt and mentions about his “soulful acting”. Talking about “deep voice and broodiness” of Amitabh Bachchan, it declares Inspector Khanna in “Zanjeer” (1973) (DVD ) as his best role. Portraying Pran as “pre-eminent villain of Hindi cinema”, it states his best role as Good Samaritan in “Upkaar” (1967) (Upkar DVD ). Praising Nargis’s “versatility and natural expression”, it announces strong-willed Radha in “Mother India” (1957) (dvd ) as her best role. Dubbing Meena Kumari as “The Tragedy Queen”, it finds “yearning to be understood” woman of “Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam” (1962) [Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film ] as her best role.

With five actors listed, India has highest number of entries. It compares Guru Dutt to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane). About Amitabh Bachchan, it argues that “Zanjeer” “cemented his image as a dark and deep character, triggered to explode”. Talking about Pran, it says: “So great is his notoriety as a villain that some Indian parents dare not name their sons Pran”. It stresses that Nargis stole the show in the Oscar-nominated “Mother India”, known as the Indian “Gone with the Wind (Blu-Ray DVD)” About Meena Kumari, it points out that her grief-stricken roles “mirrored the sufferings in her private life”.

Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that India should be proud of its cinematic achievements and producing great film stalwarts. No book on world cinema is complete without mention of India’s wonderful contributions like “Pather Panchali” (Satyajit Ray) [DVD ]. India’s government, various film organizations, and universities should launch world-level film academies to train its rich talent, Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, added.

Other 20 Asia’s greatest actors listed by CNNGo are: China—Zhou Xun, Gong Li, Ruan Lingyu; Hong Kong—Leslie Cheung, Josephine Siao, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai; Japan—Toshiro Mifune, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Takeshi Kitano; Pakistan—Mohammad Ali,  Zeba; Sri Lanka—Malini Fonseka; Korea—Ahn Sung-ki, Shim Eun-ha; Singapore—Ng Chin Han, Fann Wong; Thailand—Petchara Chaowarat, Mitr Chaibancha; Malaysia—P. Ramlee; Cambodia—Kong Som Eurn.

It adds that in the history of the Academy Awards, “only two Asians have ever taken home a Best Actor or Actress statue (we don't count Ben Kingsley as true Asian)”.

CNNGo; an arm of Atlanta (USA) headquartered Turner Broadcasting System; currently covering Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo; focuses on travel/lifestyle/entertainment; and its tagline is "Local Insights, Global Experiences".