People know very well about every star of Bollywood, but after the departure of some of the stars of Hollywood, their history has become like dust. One such artist is Sabu Dastagir. This is the first Hollywood star of India, who brought glory to India, but he could not get that name and position.
They are mentioned only in the comics of Chacha Chaudhary. But have you ever known about Sabu, who was the first Indian actor to make India’s name in the Hollywood industry. Sabu’s luck had turned overnight. Sabu, an orphan working in the elephant stables and poor luck, had made him as pure as gold.
He could not even imagine, where his life has led him. He was an actor as well as a soldier. Along with working in many Hollywood movies, he contributed by joining the Air Force in the Second World War. But somewhere his luck did not favor him. A tremor pushed him to the floor.
The film from which Sunil Dutt has made his name in Bollywood was offered to Sabu. But the adverse circumstances did not allow him to reach the Hindi film industry. If he had got a place in Bollywood, then perhaps what happened to him at the end of his life would not have happened. Come, today we will know about the story of this Sabu Dastagir.
Sabu’s time was spent in the stables of the Maharaja’s elephants.
This thing is many years old, almost 30s. Sabu’s father used to be a mahout of the elephant of the Maharaja of Mysore state. Everything was going well, but at the age of 9, Sabu had lost his father’s hand from his head. He had lost his father. Sabu and his elder brother Shek Dastagir were orphaned. His time was spent in the stables of the Maharaja’s elephants. But Sabu did not know that his luck was about to shine.
Were ignorant of the upcoming changes in life
In 1935, Robert J Flaherty came to India in search of an elephant boy in his upcoming film. Robert J Flaherty had made documentaries like ‘Naanook of the North’ and ‘Moana’ before this film, which people liked and praised them a lot.
He must have been about 11 years old when he came to Mysore and one afternoon he reached the elephant stables where Sabu lived and he used to do his work. When Sabu saw the foreigner, his happiness knew no bounds. He got so excited that he climbed the elephant and started performing one feat.
They did not know that what they were doing, they were going to be selected for a lead actor in a film and then they were selected for the film. After this, all preparations were made to take Sabu and his brother Sheik Dastagir to London. But there was a mistake in the immigration form while writing the name, so Sabu’s name was written as Sabu Dastagir.
The first Indian actor to make it in Hollywood was not Anil Kapoor or Priyanka or even Naseer. He was a 13 year old boy, first cast in a documentary about elephants who starred in the 1940 hit Thief of Baghdad. Sabu Dastagir was originally from Mysore & made more than 20 films. pic.twitter.com/XBCiEiGRjB— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) January 27, 2021
His name is written as Sailar Sabu on legal papers abroad. Exactly 2 years later in 1937, the movie ‘Elephant Boy’ was released and when people saw the exploits of Sabu on the big screen, people praised him very much and his name and discussion was going on everywhere.
A favorite of filmmakers and came in front of the world as a soldier
After the release of the movie ‘Elephant Boy’, Sabu became the favorite of all the filmmakers. Everyone praised his acting very much. Seeing his back to back Hollywood movies started releasing. His special movies like The Drum, The Thief of Baghdad, Arabian Nights, Cobra Woman and Tanjar etc.
In 1942, the movie ‘The Jungle Book’ came, in which he played the role of Mowgli, which everyone liked very much. Sabu Dastagir was now doing Hollywood movies, so he left Mysore and after a short time he got US citizenship and built a house there.
Sabu Dastagir— Indo Islamic Culture (@IndoIslamicPage) July 28, 2019
(Born 1924 Mysore India–
Died 1963 Los Angeles) was an Indian film actor who later gained United States citizenship.
Primarily known for his work in films during the 1930s–1940s in Britain and America.
He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 pic.twitter.com/vPjfCVZOsi
Sabu Dastgir also appeared as a soldier and brought glory to his country, when the Second World War started, he also joined the United States Air Force as a machine gunner.
Due to the same role, it would not have happened if work was available in Bollywood.
The fate that had made Sabu shine and made him a star, who raised the name of his country abroad, the same fate started extinguishing the star. His career was slowly coming to an end. Due to similar roles, he got less film offers.
He almost stopped getting films in the 50s, so he wanted to grow as a business. His last movie was ‘A Tiger Walks’, which was made 58 years ago. It is surprising that Sabu has never done any Bollywood movie. While he also got a chance to do a Bollywood movie once.
In 1957, Sabu was offered to play the role of Birju in the film Mother India and he also said yes to the movie. Along with this, many efforts were also made to bring them back to India which failed.
He did not get a work permit, due to which he could not become Birju and instead Sunil Dutt became Birju in this film and made a name for himself in the whole country. Slowly the dust kept accumulating on the pages of history and one day the only Indian artist of Hollywood said goodbye to the world.
If Sabu had come to India at that time and he could play the role of Birju in Mother India, then perhaps today his name would have been taken along with all the actors and not lost in oblivion like this. Irfan Khan, Anupam Kher as well as all the stars named for working in Hollywood films, similarly Sabu’s name would have been at the top of this list, but it did not happen.
Sabu is the first and only Indian artist to be inducted into Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, but his life, like his career, came to a sudden halt and he died of a heart attack at the age of 39.
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