Legendary actor Dilip Kumar passes away at 98
Dilip KumarI4net/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Legendary actor Dilip Kumar passes away at 98

Mumbai, July 7, 2021

Legendary Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar, who was popularly known as the tragedy king but was equally at home in lighthearted roles and had won his way into the hearts of millions of fans in a career spanning more than five decades, passed away here this morning after a prolonged illness.

He was 98. He is survived by his wife, the well-known actress Saira Banu.

"With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return," Faisal Farooqui, a family friend who handles the Twitter page of the thespian, said on the micro-blogging site.

Dilip Kumar had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Hinduja Hospital in Khar on June 30, for the second time in that month, after complaining of breathlessness.

Pulmonologist Dr Jalil Parkar, one of the doctors treating him, said Dilip Kumar breathed his last around 7.30 am today.

Farooqui said details of the funeral were being worked out and would be announced soon.

He was earlier hospitalised on June 6 with similar complaints and discharged five days later.

Dilip Kumar was regarded as one of the greatest actors ever in India who avoided the loud and theatrical elements of acting and inspired generations of actors with his style and mannerisms.

Among other things, he was considered a master of understatement who brought a distinct form of method acting to cinema.

Dilip Kumar was born as Mohammed Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, as one of the 12 children of Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Ayesha Begum in Peshawar, now in Pakistan.

His father was a landlord and fruit merchant who owned orchards in Peshawar and Deolali near Nashik in Maharashtra. Yusuf studied at Barnes School, Deolali.

In his early years, Yusuf Khan briefly ran a sandwich stall at the Army Club in Pune.

In early 1943, he was introduced to actress Devika Rani, owner of Bombay Talkies, who signed him up for her company. Initially, he helped out with the story-writing and scripting department because of his proficiency in Urdu language.

Devika Rani requested him to change his name to Dilip Kumar, and later cast him in a lead role for Jwar Bhata (1944), which marked his entry into the Hindi film industry.

He went on to appear in more than 65 films, including Andaz (1949), Aan (1952), Daag (1952), Devdas (1955), the comical Azaad (1955), the epic historical Mugal-e-Azam (1960), Ganga Jamuna (1961) and the comedy (1967).

In 1976, he took a five-year break from films before returning in 1981 with Kranti. He later played leading roles in movies such as Shakti (1982), Mashaal (1984) and Saudagar (1991). His last film was Qila (1998).

Some of his other well-known films were Naya Daur, Madhumati and Vidhaata.

In his long career, Dilip Kumar receiving many awards, including the Filmfare Best Actor Award, which he won as many as eight times. He was, in fact, the inaugural recipient of the award for Daag. He also won the Filmfare Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1993.

He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 2015. He won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian ciema, in 1994.

The Government of Pakistan conferred Dilip Kumar with Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan, in 1998.

The actor had formed popular on-screen pairings with top actresses of the time such as Vyjayanthimala, Madhubala, Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari and Kamini Kaushal.

He was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha for the period 2000-2006.

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