Dilip Kumar, one of the finest legendary Bollywood actors departed for eternal abode at the age of 98 on the 7th of July. The death of the actor left behind his die-hard fans devastated. He had been ill for months with prostate cancer. He was admitted to the hospital on the 30th of June due to reported difficulty in breathing. His burial took place in Juhu Qabrastan, Mumbai, India.
Playing the roles of the heartthrob romantic chap to an endearing hero, his cinematic role spanned around six decades. He worked in 65 Bollywood films. Dilip Kumar has been survived by his life-long partner Saira Banu, who had been a Bollywood actress herself. The couple, however, had no children.
Let us discover the life of Dilip Kumar in and out of reel in this article:
Dilip Kumar, originally named Muhammad Yousaf Khan, was born in Peshawar, then British India and now Pakistan, on December 11, 1922. His father, Lala Ghulam Sarwar was a landlord as well as a fruit merchant and he had 11 other siblings. He received his early education from a renowned school in Deolali.
His family relocated to Mumbai in the 1930s in search of a better future and he himself afterward relocated to Pune in 1940s, where he started off working as a canteen waiter as well as sold dry fruits part-time to supplement his income.
Dilip Kumar’s life took a huge turn when he met actress Devika Rani and her husband, Himanshu Rai in 1943. Rai was then the owner of Bombay Talkies and Dilip was selected by the husband-wife duo for a maiden lead role in ‘Jwar Bhata’. The film was released in 1944 and by then he was given the screen name of Dilip Kumar. He was famously known as Tragedy Actor in Indian cinema history and ruled it with full grace and zeal. His natural-inspired acting won the hearts of millions of fans and showed his versatile skill by playing a number of iconic roles. His first major hit was Jugnu, released in 1947 in which he starred against Noor Jehan and Shashikala.
The Tragedy King of Indian Cinema
After the huge success of Jugnu, he was flooded with a number of offers and starred in several movies, with famous ones including Shaheed, Mela, Anokha Pyar, and Andaz. In Andaz, he co-starred against Raj Kapoor and Nargis, which was then all-time biggest hit in the Indian Film Industry. His Tragic style made him even a huge success in the 50s era, where he played iconic roles in Jogan, Deedar, and Daag. His famous hit movies in that era included Devdas and Naya Dour.
In the 60s era, his role in Kohinoor as Yuvraj Rana Devendra Bahadur won him the Best Filmfare Actor Award. Other famous hits of the 60s included Gunga Jumna, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Ram Aur Shyam, and Aadmi. However, the 60s era did not turn out to be as successful as the preceding ones for Dilip in his cinematic history. The 70s era further flattened his popularity due to the arrival and stardom of various new actors within the Indian Cinema Industry. In &0s, his appearance remained limited to Gopi, Sajina and Bairaag only, However, they failed to deliver the stardom he was once bestowed with and failed miserably at Box Office.
Surprisingly, Dilip Kumar made a strong comeback in the 1980s, with a super hit film of Kranti where he starred against huge stardom consisting of Hema Malini, Prem Chopra, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, and Paintal. Later on, he confided to roles that matched his age and were mostly of an elder in nature. His last film in his career was playing a dual role in Qila back in 1998.
The Bollywood legend, Dilip Kumar had been reported to be in a relationship with a number of Indian film actresses. He got serious about the then famous actress Madhubala but could not marry her due to objections by his father. He finally got married at the age of 44 to Saira Bano. The marriage took place in 1966. Saira was a young actress who was 22 years old then. Later on, he had a second marriage with Asma in 1981. But, that couldn’t survive for a long period, ending up in divorce in 1983.
- Dilip Kumar was an ardent lover of cricket and himself played the sport too. He was also an expert player of Antakshari and remained unbeatable as stated by his wife.
- Dilip Kumar was a fluent multi-lingual and spoke five languages including Pashto, Urdu, Hindko, Hindi, and English.
- Due to continuously playing the role of tragedy, Dilip Kumar himself went into depression. He was advised by psychiatrists to refrain from such roles and rather opt for light-hearted ones.
- Dilip Kumar was the first Indian actor in his time where he played three roles at a time in a single movie of Bairaag back in 1955.
- Dilip Kumar held the Guinness World Record for winning the maximum number of Indian awards.
- Contrary to his popular image of a serious actor, he was a fun-loving person in real life. He was popular in his company for making people laugh for hours.
- The actor entered politics and remained a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2006 on behalf of the Rajya Sabha.
- The legendary actor once refused to co-star against Saira Bano, prior to marrying her.
- Dilip Kumar mentioned in his autobiography The Substance and the Shadow that marrying for the second time with Asma was a grave mistake. He would cherish to forget about.
- Dilip Kumar left no stone unturned to play iconic roles and had to take Sitar training for about six months for his role in Kohinoor.
- He has been awarded the highest civilian award of Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani Government.
- Dilip Kumar’s has an ancestral home in Peshawar, Pakistan. It has been decided by the Pakistani Government to convert it into a National Heritage and preserved thereafter.