Dilip Kumar: Bollywood star and 'tragedy king' dies aged 98 Wed, 07 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100-NEW DELHI — Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar, hailed as the "Tragedy King" and one of Hindi cinema's greatest actors, died Wednesday in a Mumbai hospital after …
NEW DELHI — Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar, hailed as the “Tragedy King” and one of Hindi cinema’s greatest actors, died Wednesday in a Mumbai hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 98.
The “Tragedy King” title came from Kumar’s numerous serious roles. In several, his character died as a frustrated lover and a drunkard. He also was known as Bollywood’s only Method actor for his expressive performances identifying a character’s emotions.
Kumar was hospitalized twice last month after he complained of breathlessness, and his family tweeted “with a heavy heart and profound grief” the announcement of his passing.
“Dilip Kumar will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.
“An institution has gone,” Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted. “Whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written, it shall always be ‘before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar’ ..”
Kumar’s body, draped in the Indian flag, was accorded a state funeral led by a police band. He was buried in a Muslim graveyard in Mumbai city.
Major Bollywood stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, visited Kumar’s residence to pay their respects.
“It’s the end of an era,” filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said.
Kumar was born Muhammad Yusuf Khan, a Muslim, on Dec. 11, 1922. His Pathan family hailed from Peshawar, in what became Pakistan after the Partition, and he visited his ancestral home in the late 1980s.
Kumar was hugely popular among cinema lovers in Pakistan as well. In 1998, he was awarded the “Nishan-e-Imtiaz,” Pakistan’s highest civilian honor, becoming the only Indian citizen to receive it.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was saddened to learn of Kumar’s death. “For my generation, Dilip Kumar was the greatest and most versatile actor,” he tweeted.
Khan also recalled Kumar’s generosity in helping to raise funds in Pakistan and London for a trust to set up cancer hospitals in his mother’s memory.
He changed his name as he debuted in Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry centered in Mumbai, with “Jwar Bhata,” or “Sea Tides,” in 1944.
Kumar’s career spanned over six decades with over 60 films. His first major box-office hits were “Jugnu,” or “Firefly,” in 1947 in which he starred alongside Noor Jehan, and the 1948 film “Shaheed,” or “Martyr.”
He played a variety of characters — a romantic hero in “Andaz,” a swashbuckler in “Aan,” a dramatic drunkard in “Devdas,” a comic role in “Azaad.” But his portrayal of a Muslim prince in the historical epic “Mughal-e-Azam” cemented his popularity among the masses and catapulted Indian cinema to the world stage.
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.
He starred in many social drama films like “Footpath”, “Naya Daur” (“New Era”), “Musafir” (“Traveller”) and “Paigham” (“Message”) in 1950s.
His top female co-stars included Madhubala, Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari, Kamini Kaushal and Vyjanthimala.
In 1966, Dilip Kumar married Saira Banu, who was 22 years younger than him, and the couple acted in “Gopi,” “Sagina Mahato” and “Bairaag.” They had no children.
In 1961, he produced and starred in “Ganga Jamuna” in which he and his brother Nasir Khan played the title roles. It was the only film he produced. Indian media reports say he declined the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962. The role went to Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.
He took a break in the late ’70s but returned with a character role in the successful “Kranti,” or “Revolution” in 1981. He continued playing key roles in films such as “Shakti,” “Karma” and “Saudagar.” His last film was “Qila” (“Fort”) in 1998.
In 1994, he was given the “Dadasaheb Phalke” award, the highest honor for contributions to Indian cinema. He also served in the upper house of Indian Parliament after being nominated for a six-year term.
Kumar is survived by his wife, actor Saira Banu.
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Bollywood Icon Dilip Kumar Has Died | WFUV Wed, 07 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0100-Kumar is said to have turned down the role of Sherif Ali in the classic Lawrence of Arabia, which was then played by Omar Sharif.
One of Hindi cinema's greatest actors, Dilip Kumar, has died at the age of 98.
The actor was in intensive care at the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai for treatment of a long-term illness after spending the last few years dealing with a kidney problem and pneumonia.
On Monday, his wife Saira Banu said his health was improving and asked his fans to pray for his early discharge.
But on Wednesday morning, relative Faisal Farooqui posted on the actor's Twitter account: “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago.”
The actor, whose career spanned more than five decades, was a national treasure in India.
Kumar is said to have turned down the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean's iconic film Lawrence Of Arabia, which was then played by Omar Sharif.
But he certainly kept busy. Known as the “tragedy king” and hailed as the first superstar of Bollywood, he has made over 65 films – some which are enduring classics.
The film Devdas, where he played the leading role of a doomed lover, catapulted him into super-stardom.
And Mughal-e-Azam – one of his best-known films – sealed his position as one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema.
Condolences and tributes for the legendary actor have poured in from across India and Pakistan – where Kumar was born.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Dilip Kumar Ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend.
“He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world.”
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan described Kumar as the “greatest and most versatile actor” of his generation.
While, actor Amitabh Bachchan, who starred with Kumar in a number of films, tweeted: “An institution has gone… whenever history of Indian cinema will be written, it shall always be 'before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar'.”
Born Mohammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, he debuted as Dilip Kumar in the film Jwar Bhata in 1944 in colonial India.
Though his first film went unnoticed, three years later his film Jugnu became a box office hit. After that there was no looking back.
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Some of his classics were: Andaz (1949), Aan (1952), Daag (1952), the dramatic Devdas in 1955, Azaad (1955), Mughal-e-Azam in 1960, Ganga Jamuna (1961), Ram aur Shyam (1967), Kranti (1981) Shakti (1982) and Saudagar (1991).
Qila in 1998 was the last film he did.
The 1970s weren't particularly good for Kumar as new actors had entered Bollywood.
He experimented with different roles but none of his films were successful and he took a hiatus from acting from 1976 to 1980.
The film Kranti, released in 1981, was a blockbuster and Kumar came roaring back into the public's adulation.
However, he never took up international projects, saying: “I didn't want to leave our cinema to venture abroad.”
He received the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Dada Phalke and Filmfare awards among others, and was conferred with Pakistan's highest civilian honour – the Nishan-e-Imtiaz – in 1998, the only Indian to do so.
Last year he lost two brothers to COVID-19, but he was not informed about their deaths as he has been too unwell.
He is survived by his wife Saira Banu – a well-known actress of the 1960s and 1970s.
His funeral will take place on Wednesday evening at Juhu Qabrastan, Mumbai.
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– July 7, 2021
Dilip Kumar Bollywood Icon Has Died WFUV