Legend Dilip Kumar dies at 98
Dilip Kumar, one of Indian cinema’s most iconic actors, has died in the western city of Mumbai, his family said. He was 98 and ailing for some time, “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, a few minutes ago,” Faisal Farooqui posted on Kumar’s official Twitter on Wednesday.
The veteran actor is survived by his 76-year-old wife Saira Banu, a former Bollywood actress, Kumar starred in some of Indian cinema’s most successful films, including, Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur (New Era), Ram Aur Shyam, and Madhumati.
Nicknamed “The Tragedy King” with his brooding good looks, tousled hair, and deep voice, he enjoyed a career spanning more than 50 years and nearly 60 films, With Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, Kumar was one of the three big names who dominated the golden age of Indian cinema from the 1940s to the 1960s, The actor was born Mohammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, in Peshawar city, now in Pakistan. His father was a fruit merchant who took his family to India’s entertainment capital in the 1930s, Kumar’s screen name was suggested by Devika Rani, who cast him in his first movie, Jwar Bhata (Sea Tide), in 1944.
Although Jwar Bhata flopped and leading film magazines criticized his performance, Kumar was undeterred and eventually broke through with the 1946 film Milan, among his most remembered roles was in the lavish historical romance, Mughal-e-Azam, based on the lives of Mughal emperors Akbar and his son Jahangir, The movie, released in 1960, was eight years in the making and cost a whopping 15 million rupees, but soon became one of Bollywood’s biggest-grossing films of all time.
Kumar’s first major box-office hits were Jugnu (Firefly) in 1947 in which he starred alongside Noor Jehan, and the 1948 film Shaheed (Martyr). He played a variety of characters – a romantic hero in Andaz (Gesture) a swashbuckler in Aan (Pride), a dramatic drunkard in Devdas, a comic role in Azaad (Free), a Muslim prince in the historical epic Mughal-e-Azam, and a robber in the social movie Ganga Jamuna.
Mehboob Khan’s blockbuster Aan in 1952 was his first film in Technicolor and was among a string of light-hearted roles he took at the suggestion of his psychiatrist to shed his “Tragedy King” image.
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