Dilip Kumar: Early life, career, films and interesting facts


GUWAHATI: Bollywood veteran Dilip Kumar passed away on Wednesday at the age of 98 years. He was undergoing treatment at Hinduja Hospital.

The actor was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) on June 30 due to age-related health issues. It was the second time he was admitted to the hospital in July. Earlier, he was rushed to hospital on June 6 when he complained of breathlessness.

Early life

Kumar was born on 11 December 1922 at his family home in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar, British India, one of the twelve children of Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan and his wife Ayesha Begum. He was named Mohammad Yusuf Khan, His father was a fruit merchant who owned orchards in Peshawar at thast time, and later in Deolali near Nashik.

Mohammad Yusuf Khan was schooled at Barnes School, Deolali, Nashik. He grew up in the same religiously mixed neighborhood as Raj Kapoor, his childhood friend, and later his colleague in the film industry.



Kumar’s first film was Jwar Bhata in 1944, which went unnoticed. After a few more unsuccessful films, it was Jugnu (1947), in which he starred alongside Noor Jehan, that became his first major hit at the box office.[14] His next major hits were the 1948 films Shaheed and Mela. He got his breakthrough role in 1949 with Mehboob Khan’s Andaz, in which he starred alongside Raj Kapoor and Nargis. Shabnam also released that year was another box office hit.


Kumar went on to have success in the 1950s playing leading roles in several box office hits such as Jogan (1950), Babul (1950), Hulchul (1951), Deedar (1951), Tarana (1951), Daag (1952), Sangdil (1952), Shikast (1953), Amar (1954), Uran Khatola (1955), Insaniyat (1955) in which he co-starred with Dev Anand, Devdas (1955), Naya Daur (1957), Yahudi (1958), Madhumati (1958) and Paigham (1959). Some of these films established his screen image as the “Tragedy King”. Kumar briefly suffered from depression due to portraying many tragic roles and on the advice of his psychiatrist, he also took on light-hearted roles. Mehboob Khan’s big-budget 1952 swashbuckling musical Aan featured him in one of his first lighter roles and marked his first film to be shot in technicolor and to have a wide release across Europe with a lavish premiere in London. He had further success with lighter roles as a thief in the comedy Azaad (1955), and as a royal prince in the romantic musical Kohinoor (1960

He was the first actor to win the Filmfare Best Actor Award (for Daag) and went on to win it a further seven times. He formed popular on-screen pairings with many of the top actresses at the time including Vyjayanthimala, Madhubala, Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari and Kamini Kaushal. 9 of his films in the 1950s were ranked in the Top 30 highest-grossing films of the decade.

In the 1950s, Kumar became the first actor to charge ₹1 lakh (equivalent to ₹85 lakh or US$120,000 in 2019) per film.


In 1960, he portrayed Prince Salim in K. Asif’s big-budget epic historical film Mughal-e-Azam, which was the highest-grossing film in Indian film history for 11 years until it was surpassed by 1971 film Haathi Mere Saathi and later by the 1975 film Sholay. If adjusted for inflation, Mughal-e-Azam was the highest-grossing Indian film through to the early 2010s, equivalent to over ₹1000 crore in 2011.

The film told the story of Prince Salim, who revolts against his father Akbar (played by Prithviraj Kapoor), and falls in love with a courtesan (played by Madhubala). The film was mostly shot in black and white, with only some scenes in the latter half of the film shot in colour. 44 years after its original release, it was fully colourised and re-released in 2004.

In 1961, Kumar produced and starred in Ganga Jamuna opposite his frequent leading lady Vyjayanthimala and his brother Nasir Khan, this was the only film he produced. Kumar chose the shade of saree that Vyjayanthimala would wear in every scene. In 1962, British director David Lean offered him the role of “Sherif Ali” in his film Lawrence of Arabia (1962), but Kumar declined to perform in the movie. The role eventually went to Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor. Kumar comments in his much later released autobiography, “he thought Omar Sharif had played the role far better than he himself could have”. Kumar was also being considered for a leading role opposite Elizabeth Taylor in a film that Lean was working on called Taj Mahal, before the project was cancelled.

His next film Leader (1964) was a below average grosser at the box office. He was the co-director alongside Abdul Rashid Kardar of his next release Dil Diya Dard Liya in 1966, but was uncredited as director. In 1967, Kumar played a dual role of twins separated at birth in the hit film Ram Aur Shyam. In 1968, he starred alongside Manoj Kumar and Waheeda Rehman in Aadmi. That same year, he starred in Sunghursh with Vyjayanthimala which was their last film together which created a total of seven hit films together.


Kumar’s career slumped in the 1970s with films like Dastaan (1972) failing at the box office. He starred alongside his real-life wife Saira Banu in Gopi (1970). They were paired again in his first and only Bengali language film Sagina Mahato (1970). A Hindi remake Sagina was made in 1974 with the same cast. He played triple roles as a father and his twin sons in Bairaag (1976) which failed to do well at the box office. He personally regarded M. G. Ramachandran’s performance in Enga Veetu Pillai better than his role in Ram Aur Shyam. He regards his performance in Bairaag much higher than that of Ram Aur Shyam. Although his performance in Bairaag and Gopi were critically acclaimed, he lost many film offers to act in leading roles to actors Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar, from 1968 to 1987. He took a five-year hiatus from films from 1976 to 1981.


In 1981, he returned to films as a character actor playing central roles in ensemble films. His comeback film was the star-studded Kranti which was the biggest hit of the year. Appearing alongside an ensemble cast including Manoj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini and Shatrughan Sinha, he played the title role as a revolutionary fighting for India’s independence from British rule. He then successfully collaborated with director Subhash Ghai starting with Vidhaata (1982), in which he starred alongside Sanjay Dutt, Sanjeev Kumar and Shammi Kapoor. Later that year he starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti which was a hit grosser at the box office and won him critical acclaim and his eighth and final Filmfare Award for Best Actor.In 1984, he starred in Yash Chopra’s social crime drama Mashaal opposite Anil Kapoor which failed at the box office but his performance was critically acclaimed. He also appeared alongside Rishi Kapoor in Duniya (1984) and Jeetendra in Dharm Adhikari (1986).

His second collaboration with Subhash Ghai came with the 1986 ensemble action film KarmaKarma marked the first film which paired him opposite fellow veteran actress Nutan. Three decades earlier however, they were paired together in an incomplete and unreleased film titled Shikwa.[35][38][39] He acted opposite Nutan again in the 1989 film Kanoon Apna Apna.


In 1991, Kumar starred alongside fellow veteran actor Raaj Kumar in Saudagar, his third and last film with director Subhash Ghai. This was his second film with Raaj Kumar after 1959’s PaighamSaudagar was Kumar’s last box office success. In 1993, he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry for five decades.

In 1992, producer Sudhakar Bokade announced a film titled Kalinga which would officially mark Kumar’s directorial debut after he had allegedly previously ghost directed Ganga Jamuna (1961) and Dil Diya Dard Liya (1967). Kumar was also set to star in the title role with the cast including Raj Babbar, Raj Kiran, Amitoj Mann and Meenakshi Seshadri. After being delayed for several years, Kalinga was eventually left incomplete and shelved.

In 1998, Kumar made his last film appearance in the box office flop Qila, where he played dual roles as an evil landowner who is murdered and as his twin brother who tries to solve the mystery of his death.


In 2001, Kumar was set to appear in a film titled Asar – The Impact alongside Ajay Devgan and Priyanka Chopra, which was shelved. His classic films Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur were fully colourised and re-released in cinemas in 2004 and 2008 respectively.[45] An unreleased film he had shot and completed in 1990 titled Aag Ka Dariya was set for a theatrical release in 2013 but has not been released to date. He was also set to appear in Subhash Ghai’s war film, Mother Land, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, but this film was shelved after Khan decided to leave the project.

Personal life

Kumar had fallen in love with Madhubala during the shooting of Tarana. They remained in a relationship for seven years until the Naya Daur court case, during which Kumar betrayed her by testifying against Madhubala and her father, ending their relationship. They never worked together again after Mughal-e-Azam (1960). In the late 1950s, Vyjayanthimala was linked by gossip magazines with Kumar, who has acted with her the most compared to any other actress, which resulted in great on-screen chemistry between them. While working for his home production Gunga Jumna (1961), it is said that Kumar handpicked the shade of sari that Vyjayanthimala would wear in every scene. In addition to that, film historians Bunny Reuben and Sanjit Narwekar have “confirmed” Kumar and Vyjayanthimala’s affair, stating that Vyjayanthimala was Kumar’s third love after Kamini Kaushal and Madhubala.

In 1966, Kumar married actress Saira Banu, who was 22 years younger than him. He later married Hyderabad socialite Asma Sahiba, taking her as a second wife in 1981. That marriage ended in January 1983. Banu and he lived in Bandra. They did not have any children. In his autobiography, Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow, he revealed that Banu had conceived in 1972, but developed complications in the pregnancy, leading to the child’s death. Following this, they did not try to have children again, believing that it to be God’s will.

Kumar was fluent in Urdu, Hindi, Hindko (his first language), Punjabi, Marathi, English, Bengali, Gujarati, Pashto, Persian and the Awadhi and Bhojpuri dialects. He was also a great music enthusiast and also learnt how to play the sitar for a film. He loved cricket and played it often.

His younger brother Nasir Khan (1924–1974) was also a noted film actor. Two of his younger brothers died during the COVID-19 pandemic after testing positive for COVID-19: Aslam Khan died at the age of 88 in August 2020, and Ehsan Khan died at 90 in September 2020.

Dilip Kumar was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament of India, by the Indian National Congress for the period 2000–2006 from Maharashtra.


Kumar is widely considered one of the greatest actors in the history of Hindi cinema. He holds the Guinness World Record for winning the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor. He received many awards throughout his career, including eight Filmfare Awards for Best Actor and One Lifetime Achievement for Filmfare Also for Special Recognition FilmFare Award for recognising him as one first recipients to receive a Filmfare Award along with the nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar and one of the greatest Hindi Music Directors Naushad Ali at the 50th Filmfare Award Ceremony and along with 19 nominations at Filmfare for best actor. He was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. Ganga Jamna (1961), which he wrote, produced, and starred in, also received the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film in Hindi, the Paul Revere Silver Bowl at the Boston International Film Festival, the Special Honour Diploma from the Czechoslovak Academy of Arts in Prague, and the Special Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Many great actors including Shahrukh Khan consider Kumar as their inspiration. Kumar was also known as “Tragedy King” because of the depressing but award winning roles he took up for the movies depicting tragedy.[citation needed]
Kumar greets Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan at Meenambakkam Airport, Chennai (c. 1960). Kumar is the only Indian recipient of Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz.

Kumar was appointed Sheriff of Mumbai (an honorary position) in 1980, the Government of India honoured Kumar with the Padma Bhushan in 1991, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015. The Government of Andhra Pradesh honoured Kumar with NTR National Award in 1997. The Government of Pakistan conferred Kumar with Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan, in 1998.[65][66][67][68] The ruling political party of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra had objected to this award and questioned Kumar’s patriotism. However, in 1999 in consultation with the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Kumar retained the award. He was honoured with CNN-IBN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

The Government of India honoured Kumar with:

  • 2015 – India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, for his contributions towards Indian cinema
  • 2000–2006 – Elected to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament.
  • 1994 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award
  • 1991 – India’s third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, for his contributions towards Indian cinema
  • 1979–1982 – Appointed as the Sheriff of Bombay by the Governor of Maharashtra, India for the period
  • 1998 – Government of Pakistan honoured him with its highest civilian honour, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence).
  • Till 2000s Kumar was the only actors to have won 8 Filmfare Best Actor Awards until his record was shared by Shahrukh Khan by mid 2000s.
  • From the Independence of India to late 2010s Kumar held the record of giving the highest number of box office grossing films(9 films) until his record was broken by Salman Khan by delivering 10 films. But when adjusted for inflation, the record remains with Kumar. His historical movie Mughal-E-Azam is the highest-grossing film (equivalent to 2000 crores in 2015) in India when adjusted for inflation.

Dilip Kumar filmography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dilip Kumar was an Indian actor, film producer and philanthropist known for his work in Hindi films. Kumar made his acting debut in 1944 with Jwar Bhata. However, the movie did not do too well at the box office. Three years later, the 1947 drama Jugnu opposite Noor Jehan, was the first major hit for Kumar. The highest-grossing Indian film of 1947, established Kumar as one of the Indian film industry’s legends. In 1948, Kumar had five releases including family drama Ghar Ki Izzat, war drama Shaheed, romantic tragedy Mela and romance Anokha Pyar. Kumar’s last release of 1948 Nadiya Ke Paar which emerged as year’s highest grossing Indian film. In 1949, he featured alongside Raj Kapoor in Mehboob Khan’s Andaz opposite Nargis. This love triangle at the time of its release was the highest-grossing Indian film ever.

The 1950s saw Kumar in a number of hits playing a variety of roles in films Jogan (1950), Babul (1950), Tarana (1951), Deedar (1951), Aan (1952), Footpath (1953) and Amar (1954). Kumar won the first-ever Filmfare Award in the Best Actor category for his performance in 1954 release Daag. Two years later, Kumar appeared as a wealthy man named Azaad in drama Azaad, which earned him the Filmfare Best Actor Award. Later he starred as a depressed lover in Devdas, which again earned him the Filmfare Best Actor Award for the consecutive year. Some of these films established his screen image as the “Tragedy King” because of his ill-fated characters in films. In the same year, Kumar’s 9 films were ranked in the Top 30 highest-grossing films of the decade.

In 1960, Kumar appeared in K. Asif’s big-budget epic historical film Mughal-e-Azam. He played Mughal Prince Salim, who falls in love with Anarkali (a court dancer, played by Madhubala), and later revolts against his father Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor). The film was successful at the box office earning a net revenue of ₹55  million (US$11,530,000).The film became the highest-grossing film of all time. Kumar produced and starred in Ganga Jamuna opposite his most frequent leading actress Vyjayanthimala. He then played dual roles in drama Ram Aur Shyam (1967), a film remembered for Dilip Kumar and Pran’s acting. It earned him his six Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Kumar’s career slumped with films like Dastaan (1972), which flopped badly at the box office.

In 1981, Dilip Kumar appeared in historical drama Kranti, he played the title role as a revolutionary fighting for India’s independence from British rule. Dilip Kumar successfully collaborated with director Subhash Ghai in films Vidhaata (1982), action film Karma, and Saudagar. Kumar made his last film appearance in Qila. His two films Aag Ka Dariya and Kalinga, are completed but remain unreleased for unknown reasons.


Year Film Role(s) Director(s) Notes Ref.
1944 Jwar Bhata Jagdish Amiya Chakravarty
1945 Pratima Paidi Jairaj
1946 Milan Ramesh Nitin Bose
1947 Jugnu Suraj Shaukat Hussain Rizvi
1948 Ghar Ki Izzat Chander Ram Daryani
Shaheed Ram Ramesh Saigal
Mela Mohan S. U. Sunny
Anokha Pyar Ashok M. I. Dharamsey
Nadiya Ke Par Chhote Kumar Kishore Sahu
1949 Shabnam Manoj B. Mitra
Andaz Dilip Mehboob Khan
1950 Jogan Vijay Kidar Nath Sharma
Arzoo Badal Shaheed Latif
Babul Ashok Naushad
1951 Hulchul Kishore S. K. Ojha
Deedar Shyamu Nitin Bose
Tarana Dr. Motilal Ram Daryani
1952 Daag Shankar Amiya Chakravarty Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Sangdil Shankar R. C. Talwar
Aan Jai Tilak Mehboob Khan
1953 Shikast Dr. Ram Singh Ramesh Saigal
Footpath Noshu Zia Sarhadi
1954 Amar Amarnath Mehboob Khan
1955 Devdas Devdas Bimal Roy Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Azaad Kumar / Azaad / Abdul Rahim Khan S. M. Sriramulu Naidu Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Uran Khatola Kashi S. U. Sunny
Insaniyat Mangal S. S. Vasan
1957 Musafir Raja Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Naya Daur Shankar B. R. Chopra Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1958 Yahudi Prince Marcus Bimal Roy
Madhumati Anand / Deven Bimal Roy Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1959 Paigham Ratan Lal S. S. Vasan Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1960 Kohinoor Yuvraj Rana Devendra Pratap Bahadur / Kohinoor S. U. Sunny Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Mughal-E-Azam Prince Salim K. Asif
1961 Gunga Jumna Gungaram ‘Gunga’ Nitin Bose Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1964 Leader Vijay Khanna Ram Mukherjee Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1966 Paari Warden (cameo) Jagannath Chatterjee Bengali film
Dil Diya Dard Liya Shankar / Raja Sahib Abdul Rashid Kardar / self Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1967 Ram Aur Shyam Ram / Shyam (Double Role) Tapi Chanakya Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1968 Aadmi Rajesh / Raja Sahib A. Bhimsingh Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Sunghursh Kundan Prasad / Bajrangi Harnam Singh Rawail Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Sadhu Aur Shaitaan Himself A. Bhimsingh Uncredited
1970 Sagina Mahato Sagina Mahato Tapan Sinha Bengali film
Gopi Gopiram “Gopi” A. Bhimsingh Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1972 Dastaan Diwan Anil Kumar / Sunil Kumar / Judge Vishnu Sahay B. R. Chopra
Anokha Milan Warden Jagannath Chatterjee Cameo
Koshish Cameo Gulzar
1974 Sagina Sagina Maheto Tapan Sinha Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Phir Kab Milogi Teja Singh Hrishikesh Mukherjee Special appearance
1976 Bairaag Kailash / Bholenath “Bhola” / Sanjay Asit Sen Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1981 Kranti Sanga Manoj Kumar
1982 Shakti D.C.P. Ashwini Kumar Ramesh Sippy Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Vidhaata Shamsher Singh / Shobhraj Subhash Ghai
1983 Mazdoor Dinanath Saxena Ravi Chopra
1984 Mashaal Vinod Kumar Yash Chopra Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Duniya Mohan Kumar Ramesh Talwar
1986 Dharm Adhikari Dharamraj K. Raghavendra Rao
Karma Jailor Vishwanath Pratap Singh / Rana / Dada Thakur Subhash Ghai
1989 Kanoon Apna Apna Collector Jagat Pratap Singh B. Gopal
1990 Izzatdaar Brahma Dutt K. Bapaiah
1991 Saudagar Thakur Veer Singh Subhash Ghai Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1998 Qila Judge Amarnath Singh / Jagannath Singh Umesh Mehra