Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone (9 July 1925 – 10 October 1964), popularly known as Guru Dutt, was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He made 1950s and 1960s classics such as Pyaasa (Thirsty), Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers), Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (The King, the Queen and the Jack) and Chaudhvin Ka Chand (The Fourteenth Day Moon in Muslim calendar but actually means full moon, a metaphor for beauty). In particular, Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool are now included among the greatest films of all time, both by Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies and by the Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll, where Dutt himself is included among the greatest film directors of all time. He is sometimes referred to as "India's Orson Welles". In 2010, he was included among CNN's "top 25 Asian actors of all time".
He is most famous for making lyrical and artistic films within the context of popular Hindi cinema of the 1950s, and expanding its commercial conventions, starting with his 1957 film, Pyaasa. Several of his later works have a cult following. His movies go full house when re-released; especially in Germany, France and Japan. The latest book on him is Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi's Journey by Sathya Saran based on the recollections of his chief scriptwriter and friend.
Guru Dutt was born on 9 July 1925, at Bangalore to Shivashanker Rao Padukone and Vasanthi Padukone in a Konkani Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin family. His parents were originally settled at Panambur, Mangalore in South Kanara district (present day Dakshina Kannada) of Karnataka. His father was initially a headmaster, and then a bank employee. His mother Vasanthi, while initially a housewife, later taught in a school, gave private tuition and also wrote short stories and translated Bengali novels into Kannada. Vasanthi was only 16 when Guru Dutt was born.His mother outsurvived him and died in 1994,30 years after his death.