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|in the trailer for Cobra Woman (1944)|
(1924-01-27)27 January 1924
Kingdom of Mysore,
|Deceased||2 December 1963(1963-12-02)
Chatsworth, Los Angeles,
California, United States
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Other names||Selar Shaik Sabu|
|Wife/Husband||Marilyn Cooper (1948–1963) (his death) 2 children|
|Kid(s)||Paul Sabu, Jasmine Sabu|
Sabu Dastagir (January 27, 1924, Mysore, India-December 2, 1963, Chatsworth, United States) was a film actor of Indian origin, although he later became a US citizen. He usually appeared in credits only with his first name, Sabu , and is mostly known for his work in the 1940s.
Born in 1924 in Mysore, India, Sabu was the son of a mahout (elephant driver). Although many of the sources give their name as “Sabu Dastagir”, an investigation by the journalist Philip Leibfried suggests that this name would really be that of his brother, and that his would be Selar Shaik Sabu or Sabu Francis . In fact, it was his brother who directed his career (the brother died during a robbery at his furniture store, a failed business that both were governing.)
Sabu was discovered by documentary maker Robert J. Flaherty, who chose him to play the role of an elephant driver in the 1937 British film Elephant Boy, based on the story of Rudyard Kipling Toomai that of the elephants. The best-known paper of Sabu is probably that of Abu in the 1940 British film The Thief of Baghdad. In 1942 he again played a role based on a Kipling narrative, Mowgli’s in The Jungle Book, a film directed by Zoltan Korda.
After being nationalized American in 1944, Sabu joined the Air Force of the United States Army serving as a tail gunner. He flew several missions during the Pacific War (1937-1945) and was rewarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage.
After the Second World War, unable to achieve in Hollywood roles equivalent to those made by him in the United Kingdom, his career began to decline, although occasionally he achieved some significant interventions, as he did in the classic black narcissus (1947).
Throughout the 1950s he acted in unsuccessful European films, and in 1952 he worked at the Harringay Circus with a number of elephants.
On December 2, 1963, Sabu died suddenly in Chatsworth (Los Angeles), California, due to an acute myocardial infarction. He was 39 years old. He was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. His last film, A Tiger Walks, premiered after his death, in March 1964.
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