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Actor, Story Writer, Screenwriter Hindi

Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar Biography

Birth Name: Muhammad Yusuf Khan

Born : 11 December 1922, in Peshawar, NWFP, British India (Now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)

Death : 07 July 2021

Height: 5' 10″ (1.8 m)



Dilip Kumar, born Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, now in Pakistan, in 1922, is even today looked upon as the ultimate actor in Hindi cinema. With his nuanced, realistic, understated performances starting from the 1940s, when over-the-top performances were the norm, Dilip Kumar set the bar for Hindi cine stars to follow. At his peak, he was counted among the world's best actors. Called ‘Tragedy King’, as some of his most memorable performances were in tragic roles, Dilip Kumar made his mark by delivering emotionally charged, passionate yet realistic performances. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he received several prestigious awards including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Padma Vibhushan in 1994 and 2015, respectively. He was also awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.

Dilip Kumar moved to Bombay with his family while still in his teens. It was in Bombay that he met celebrated actress and Bombay Talkies boss Devika Rani, who cast him in the lead in Jwar Bhata (1944) for his debut after giving him his screen name Dilip Kumar. Jwar Bhata did not do too well at the box office. But three years later, with Jugnu, he had his first hit and there was no looking back as the legend of Dilip Kumar began to take shape. Jugnu was followed by Shaheed (1948), Shabnam (1949) and Andaz (1949).

The 1950s saw Dilip Kumar in a number of hits playing a variety of roles. Some of his best films of the era were Jogan (1950), Hulchul (1951), Amar (1954), Devdas (1955), Musafir (1957), Naya Daur (1957) and Madhumati (1958). His role in Daag (1952) won him his first Filmfare award for Best Actor, an honour he would go on to receive seven times more. It was during this period that he earned the title of 'Tragedy King', particularly after Devdas.

In 1960 came one of his best roles, as the Mughal prince Salim, in one of India's most popular films, Mughal-e-Azam. He played a prince again in Kohinoor (1960), which was also a success. This was also the year of his only home production Gunga Jumna (1961), in which he also acted. Apart from this, he acted in popular films like Ram Aur Shyam (1967) and Aadmi (1968).

A string of failures after Gopi (1970) led Dilip Kumar to take a five-year break from the film industry in 1976. He returned with a bang in Kranti (1981), which was a blockbuster. Shakti (1982), in which he starred with the reigning superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Vidhaata (1982) with Shammi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, and Mashaal (1984) with Anil Kapoor followed, all doing well at the box office.

Subhash Ghai's Saudagar (1991), in which Dilip Kumar co-starred with Raaj Kumar for the first time in 32 years after Paigham (1959), was his last big success. He was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award in 1993 and appeared in his final film Qila (1998) towards the end of the millennium.

He is married to actress Saira Banu, with whom he appeared in a few films in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Family Tree

Asma Sahiba (1981 - 1983),Saira Banu (1966-10-11)