Contents 1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life 4 Death 5 Filmography 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Born in 1924 in Karapur, Mysore, Kingdom of Mysore, then a Princely State of British India, and raised as a Muslim,[5] Sabu was the son of an Indian mahout (elephant rider). While most reference books have his full name as "Sabu Dastagir," research by journalist Philip Leibfried suggests that was his brother's name. Sabu's full name was in fact Selar Shaik Sabu or Sabu Francis. His brother managed his career.[6] His brother was killed in a robbery of his furniture store, a failing business jointly owned by the two men.

Career[edit] When he was 13, Sabu was discovered by documentary film-maker Robert Flaherty, who cast him in the role of an elephant driver in the 1937 British film Elephant Boy. This was adapted from "Toomai of the Elephants", a story by Rudyard Kipling. In 1938 producer Alexander Korda commissioned A. E. W. Mason to write The Drum as a starring vehicle for the young actor. Sabu is perhaps best known for his role as Abu in the 1940 British film The Thief of Bagdad. Director Michael Powell said that Sabu had a "wonderful grace" about him.[7] In 1942 Sabu played another role based on a Kipling story, namely Mowgli in Jungle Book directed by Zoltán Korda, which was shot in India on a low budget. He starred alongside Maria Montez and Jon Hall in three films for Universal Pictures: Arabian Nights (1942), White Savage (1943) and Cobra Woman (1944). After becoming an American citizen in 1944, Sabu joined the United States Army Air Forces and served as a tail gunner and ball turret gunner on B-24 Liberators. He flew several dozen missions with the 370th Bombardment Squadron of the 307th Bomb Group in the Pacific, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor and bravery.[8] His career declined after World War II as he was unable to secure equivalent roles in Hollywood that British films had offered. He occasionally did gain significant parts, such as his supporting role in the British film Black Narcissus (1947). Through most of the 1950s he starred in largely unsuccessful European films. In 1952, he starred in the Harringay Circus with an elephant act.[9] His last completed film, A Tiger Walks, was released in March 1964, three months after his death.

Personal life[edit] On 19 October 1948, Sabu married little-known actress Marilyn Cooper[10] (whose only film part, as Princess Tara in Song of India in 1949, was not credited), with whom he had two children. Their marriage lasted until his death.[citation needed] Their son Paul Sabu established the rock band Sabu in the 1980s, and their daughter Jasmine Sabu was an animal trainer on various films; she died in 2001. Sabu was the subject of a paternity suit that resulted in a published opinion by the California Court of Appeal, Dastagir v. Dastagir, 241 P.2d 656 (Cal. App. 1952). Sabu was sued by an infant girl born in 1948, through her mother, an unnamed, unmarried English actress, who claimed to have had an affair with Sabu, and that he was the infant's father. The suit was tried by a jury, which returned a nine to three verdict in favour of Sabu.[citation needed]

Death[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) On 2 December 1963, Sabu died suddenly in Chatsworth, California, of a heart attack, a month before his 40th birthday. He is interred at the Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery. His wife said in a television interview that two days before his death, during a routine medical check, his doctor told him: "If all my patients were as healthy as you, I would be out of a job".

Filmography[edit] Sabu in Hello Elephant (1952) Year Title Role 1937 Elephant Boy Toomai 1938 The Drum Prince Azim 1940 The Thief of Bagdad Abu 1942 Jungle Book Mowgli Arabian Nights Ali Ben Ali 1943 White Savage Orano 1944 Cobra Woman Kado 1946 Tangier Pepe 1947 Black Narcissus The Young General The End of the River Manoel 1948 Man-Eater of Kumaon Narain 1949 Song of India Ramdar 1951 Savage Drums Tipo Tairu 1952 Bagdad Hello Elephant Sultan of Nagore 1954 The Treasure of Bengal Ainur 1956 The Black Panther Sabu the Jungle Boy Jungle Hell Sabu the Jungle Boy Jaguar Juano 1957 Sabu and the Magic Ring Sabu, the stable boy 1960 Mistress of the World Dr. Lin-Chor 1963 Rampage Talib 1964 A Tiger Walks Ram Singh

References[edit] Notes ^ "Meet Sabu, Mysore's elephant boy - Times of India".  ^ "Remembering Sabu, the mahout from Mysore - Times of India".  ^ "Sabu". IMDb.  ^ "BFI Screenonline: Sabu (1924-1963) Biography". Screenonline.  ^ "Quit India": The Image of the Indian Patriot on Commercial British Film and Television, 1956-1985, by Dror Izhar page 12. ^ Leibfried, Philip; Willits, Malcolm (2004). Alexander Korda's "The Thief of Bagdad", An Arabian Fantasy. Hollywood, Calif.: Hypostyle Hall Publishers. ISBN 0-9675253-1-4.  ^ "Black Narcissus (The Criterion Collection) (2001) DVD commentary". Criterion. Retrieved 27 October 2013.  ^ "People:Reservations". TIME, 19 March 1945. ^ Leibfried, Philip (October 1989). "Sabu". Films in Review.  ^ "Marilyn Cooper". IMDb.  Bibliography Leibfried, Philip. Star of India: The Life and Films of Sabu. Oklahoma; BearManor Media, 2010. Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 125-126. Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 207-208.

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sabu (actor). Sabu on IMDb Powell and Pressburger Pages article Criterion Collection Essay Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100242633 LCCN: n92113873 ISNI: 0000 0001 0803 895X GND: 121801616 SUDOC: 060990252 BNF: cb137515740 (data) BNE: XX1298197 SNAC: w6c686q7 Retrieved from "" Categories: 1924 births1963 deathsIndian emigrants to the United StatesIndian male film actorsAmerican male film actorsAmerican military personnel of World War IIAmerican male actors of Indian descentPeople with acquired American citizenshipBritish male film actorsIndian MuslimsBritish MuslimsAmerican MuslimsBurials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)Male actors from MysoreRecipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)Indian male child actorsUnited States Army Air Forces soldiers20th-century British male actors20th-century American male actorsHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from September 2015All articles needing additional referencesUse dmy dates from February 2016Use Indian English from February 2016All Wikipedia articles written in Indian EnglishArticles with hCardsAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from September 2015Articles needing additional references from November 2016Wikipedia articles with VIAF identifiersWikipedia articles with LCCN identifiersWikipedia articles with ISNI identifiersWikipedia articles with GND identifiersWikipedia articles with BNF identifiersWikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers

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