Sabu Dastagir is India's first Hollywood hero

His world and work were the elephant stables of the Mysore Palace. And it was here in 1935, that the famous director Robert Flaherty saw him for the first time and knew immediately that, in Sabu Dastagir, he had found his ‘Elephant Boy’.

He was given no time to adjust or even absorb the complete over turn his life would now take. He travelled to England for the film shooting. The movie was a smash hit, raked in millions for the studio and made him famous overnight.

Sir Alexander Korda, then one of the topmost film producers/studio owners in England asked his writers to script a film especially for Sabu. Shot in America, The Thief of Baghdad was a major hit. Sabu was established in Hollywood, and many films followed, co-starring him with the big names of those times — Maria Montez, John Loder, Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Sabu was listed among the richest stars in Hollywood. Among his closest friends were Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck.

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