Remembering Legendary Dilip Kumar 

Pravin Andhale

Posted on : 7 Jul 2021

Legendary film actor Dilip Kumar passed away today (July 7, 2021) morning at the age of 98 in Hinduja Hospital Mumbai. He was suffering from prolonged illness. As per the doctor Jalil Parkar, who was treating him,  "He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 am."
Dilip Kumar (his original name is Muhammad Yusuf Khan), one of the legendary actors of Bollywood, was born on December 11, 1922, Peshawar, British India). With his low-key, naturalistic acting style, he excelled in a wide range of roles. In addition to his acting, he was noted for his good looks, deep voice, and fine accent.
Kumar was born into a Pashtun family of 12 children. He moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) and began working in a British army canteen, where he was noticed by Devika Rani, a leading actress of the time, and her husband, Himanshu Rai, who hired him to act for the Bombay Talkies, a film company they owned. Kumar made his acting debut with the film Jwar bhata (1944), but it was not until a few years later that he had a box-office hit, with the film Jugnu (1947). In 1949 he co-starred with Raj Kapoor in Mehboob Khan’s film Andaz (“A Matter of Style”), which
catapulted him to stardom.

Career Highlights
As Kumar’s career progressed, he played a string of ill-fated characters in films such as Deedar (1951; “Meeting”), Daag(1952)—for which he received the first of eight Filmfare Awards for best actor—and Devdas (1955). 

His screen persona acquired mournful overtones, and he was known as the “king of tragedy.” Eventually he opted for a brighter image, playing swashbuckling heroes in such films as Aan (1953; “Pride”), Azaad (1955; “Free”), Insaniyat (1955; “Humane”), and Kohinoor (1960). 

In the blockbuster Mughal-e-Azam (1960), set in the 16th century, he played Crown Prince Salim, son of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Kumar’s other memorable films included Bimal Roy’sMadhumati (1958), Nitin Bose’s Gunga Jumna (1961), and Tapan Sinha’s Sagina (1974).
After an extended hiatus, Kumar made a comeback with Manoj Kumar’s film Kranti (1981; “Revolution”). Thereafter he played key roles in Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata (1982), Karma (1986), and Saudagar (1991; “Merchant”). He was also noted for his performance in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982; “Strength”). Kumar’s last film was the family drama Qila (1998; “Fort”). 
In 1994 Kumar received a Filmfare Award for lifetime achievement. The following year he was given the Dadasaheb Phalke award, India’s highest award for cinematic excellence. In 1998 he was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian award, becoming the second Indian (after Morarji Desai) to receive the honour. That same year he announced his intention to retire from acting. From 2000 to 2006 he served as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of India’s bicameral parliament.

Dilipji's Decadal performances
1944-1960: Dilip Kumar’s first film, Jwar Bhata (1944) went largely unnoticed; three years later, Jugnu was his first major box- office hit. Several hits followed: Mela (1948), Andaz (1949), Deedar (1951). After PC Barua, he was the second actor to play the role of Devdas in the 1955 film, an adaptation of a Saratchandra Chattopadhyay novella. The Fifties anointed Kumar as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood (), the only superstar who excelled in this form at the time of Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. The tragic roles, however, took their toll. On the suggestion of his psychiatrist, Kumar decided to do light-hearted roles. And he did just that with films like Aan (1952), Azaad (1955) and Kohinoor (1960).
1960-1970: In 1960, the historical film Mughal-e-Azam, where he played the role of Salim became a blocbuster, and up until 2008, it was the second highest grossing film in the history of Bollywood. In Ganga Jamuna (1961), his first and only production, for the first time Kumar and his brother Nasir Khan appeared together and played the title roles. Kumar, in fact was also one of the few actors of that time to have been offered an international project: he was offered the role of Sherif Ali by British director David Lean for the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Kumar, however, declined rejected the offer. In 1967 with Ram Aur Shyam, Kumar for the first time played a double role. It was a major hit.

1970-1980: The ‘70s wasn’t a particularly good time for Kumar with several new and young actors entering the film industry. His career was at an all time low. He tried his hand at experimenting with his roles in films such as Dastaan (1970) and Bairaag (1976), even playing a triple role, but neither film did well. From 1976 to 1981, he decided to take a hiatus from acting.
1980-1990: After five years, in 1981, Kumar returned to the big screen with the superhit, Kranti, proving once again that a superstar of his caliber would always score big. He then moved on to playing only quality roles in films such as Shakti (1982), Vidhaata (1982), Mashaal (1984) and Karma (1986)- all of which were hits.

1990-2000: With Saudagar (1991), Kumar, alongside veteran actor Raj Kumar delivered a hit film at the box-office. At that time, both actors were reportedly not on good terms with each other. Two years later, Kumar won his first Lifetime Achievement Award after having completed almost 50 years in the industry. In 1996, Kumar wanted to try his hand at direction with the film, Kalinga. Unfortunately, the film was shelved. Kumar made his last film appearance in the movie Qila (1998).



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Posted on : 7 Jul 2021