His birth name was Dharam Dev Pishori Anand. He obtained his graduate degree in English Literature from the Government College, Lahore. Soon after completion of his studies, he relocated to Bombay and started working in a military censor's office. Simultaneously, he also joined his elder brother Chetan Anand at Indian People’s Theatre Association.
He was offered a role in the famous film Hum Dono in the year 1946 where he was paired opposite veteran actress Suriya in the year 1946. Their pairing became hit among the people and they then starred in 7 more films like Do Sitare, Jeet, Sangam and Vidya among others. They started dating each other as well but due to family differences, they couldn’t marry and also stopped working with each other as well. The first big film that he received was offered to him by Ashok Kumar who signed him for a Bombay Talkie film titled Baazi in the year 1948. The film was a huge hit and Dev Anand became very popular among the audiences. After this film, he also established his own production house named Navketan and under his production house, he produced around 35 films till his death in 2011. He signed up the legendary director and actor Guru Dutt to direct his film Baazi. He was the producer of that film and also played the lead role. He was paired Kalpana Karthik in this film. This film was a huge hit and he was offered various films opposite Kalpana then. Eventually, the couple fell in love on the sets of Taxi Driver.
He will forever be remembered for his style of nodding his head while speaking. This style of his became very popular among his fans. In the decade of the 1960s, he established himself as the most sought-after romantic hero and was paired with all top actresses of that time like Mala Sinha, Nutan, Asha Parekh, and Meena Kumari among others. Some of his films which require a special mention are Hum Dono, Guide, C.I.D., Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Tere Ghar Ke Saamne among various others. He had an illustrious career both as an actor and as a producer and along with various Best Actor Awards, he was felicitated by the Government of India with Padma Bhushan and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in the year 2001 and 2002 respectively.