Dilip Kumar is a living legend, veteran and a versatile film actor, producer, director and politician (a former Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha). He is an actor who spanned his career in almost six decades in Bollywood by adapting himself to the changing times, new techniques, development and innovations while maintaining his mark of individuality. He is also called as the “Tragedy King”, “Dilip Sahib” and “Legendary Khan” by his fellow actors and the famous director Satyajit Ray accounted him as “the ultimate method actor”. He was also the first actor who won the Filmfare Best Actor Award. Besides several awards from Filmfare as Best Actor, he holds a record number of nominations and won several of them.
EARLY & PERSONAL LIFE:
Dilip Kumar was born to Lala Ghulam Sarwar and Ayesha Begum (Pashtun people) and Hindko speaking Peshawari family as one among the twelve children on 11 December 1922 in Peshawar (now in Pakistan). His father Ghulam Sarwar was a fruit merchant with orchards in Peshawar and Deolali near Nashik in Maharashtra. In 1966, when he is 44, he married veteran actress and the queen of beauty Saira Banu and she was 22 by then. His younger brother Nasir Khan is also an actor who acted in the title role of the film Ganga Jamuna. Before taking acting as a profession, Dilip Kumar worked in one of Pune’s Aundh military canteens and supplying dry fruits.
ACTING CAREER & HIGHLIGHTS:
Dilip Kumar while working in one of the military canteens he was spotted by actress Devika Rani and helped him to enter Bollywood. Later, the Hindi Author Bhagwati Charan Varma gave him the screen name as Dilip Kumar. In 1944, he made his debut in Jwar Bhata (a black & white film) directed by Amiya Chakravarty as a wandering musician which went unnoticed. Later, he also appeared in Pratima (1945) and Milan (1947). But his first major hit was for the film Jugnu (1947). In 1948, he starred in a film Shahid with actress Kamini Kaushal and Mela with Nargis. In 1949, he co-starred with another legendary actor Raj Kapoor in a romantic melodrama Andaz which was a big hit and he became a star. In the early 1950’s the movies like Arzoo (1950), Deedar and Aan (1952) and Footpath (1953) were released. But the films like Devdas (1955), Naya Daur (1957) and Madhumati (1958) established his image and gave him a title “Tragedy King”.
In 1960, he starred as Mughal crown Prince Salim (later became Emperor Jahangir) in the historical film Mughal-E- Azam which was one of the highest grossing films in Bollywood history till date. In 1961, he co-starred with his brother Nasir Khan playing title roles in the blockbuster film Ganga Jamuna. In the mid 1960’s Dilip Kumar has seen the flops and had a bad spell at the box office. But later in 1967, he bounced back with the film Ram Aur Shyam where he played the title roles and appeared in his first dual role.
Again in the 1970’s the flops welcomed him with the films like Dastaan (1970) and Bairaag (1976) where he played a triple role in this later film. He then took a break from acting for five years. Later his comeback in 1981, with a multi-starrer movie Kranti he was back to the form by scoring the biggest hit of the year. He went on playing some character roles in the movies Shakti (1982) along with Amitaibh Bachchan, Vidhaata (1982), Mashaal (1984) and Karma (1986).
Later in the 1990s, Dilip Kumar saw his last big successful film with Saudagar in 1991 alongside another legend Raaj Kumar. In 1993, he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1996, he planned to make his directional debut with a film “Kalinga” but the movie was put aside. His last appearance was a villain role in a film Qila (1998) where he played a dual role which was again a disaster at the box office.
Jugnu, Mela, Andaz, Deedar, Daag, Devdas, Naya Daur, Madhumati, Aan, Azaad, Mughal-E-Azam, Ganga Jamuna, Ram Aur Shyam, Dastaan, Bairaag, Kranti, Shakti, Vidhaata, Mashaal, Karma ,Saudagar, Qila.
NOTABLE AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
• Holds Guinness World Record for winning maximum number of awards by an Indian Actor
• 1993 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
• 1994 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India
• 1991 – “Padma Bhushan” by the Government of India
• 1997 – “Nishan-e-Imtiaz” by Government of Pakistan
• 1997 – NTR National Award
• 2009 – CNN-IBN Indian of the Year & Lifetime Achievement Award