Actor / Producer / Director Hindi

Pradeep Kumar

Pradeep Kumar Biography

Birth Name: Sital Batabyal

Born : 04 January 1925

Death : 27 October 2001

Actor Pradeep Kumar is perhaps best remembered for his recurring screen role as royalty in various films during his career, particularly during the 1950s and 70s. He worked in Hindi and Bengali language films from the 1940s till 1980s. During this time, he worked in a number of important film projects that includes films like Anarkali (1953), Adalat (1958), Aarti (1962), Taj Mahal (1973) and Raat Aur Din (1967). Born in West Bengal in a Brahmin family, Kumar was greatly drawn towards acting as a profession. Despite sharp disapproval from his family, seventeen year old Kumar decided to pursue his dream and began working in theatre. Renowned Bengali filmmaker, Debaki Bose spotted Kumar at one such performance and cast him in his next directorial venture, Alaknanda (1947). Soon Kumar moved to Bombay and began working in Filmistaan Studio. Kumar, fluent in Bengali, decided to train in Hindi and Urdu for his first Hindi film, Anand Math (1952). In the following years, Kumar went on to work with renowned filmmakers of the era, including V Shantaram’s Subah Ka Tara (1954), and Raj Kapoor’s Jagte Raho (1956).

With the success of Anand Math (1952), Kumar gave two back to back hits in the Bina Rai starrer Anarkali (1953) and the Vyjayanthimala starrer Nagin (1954). The former established the template of regal charm and royal demeanour exhibited by Pradeep Kumar in a number of films throughout his career. He also worked with Bina Rai in a number of films including Ghunghat (1960) and Taj Mahal (1963).

Kumar’s work on Rajshri’s social film Aarti (1962), starring beside Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari, was a big success and consolidated his position in the industry. It also ensured that he was cast alongside Meena Kumari in a number of films such as Chitralekha (1964), Bahu Begum (1967), Noor Jehan (1967) and Saat Phere (1970); but the films didn’t fare very well.

Kumar directed and also featured in Do Dilon Ki Dastaan (1966). He starred in notable films such as the Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha starrer Do Anjaane (1976), Basu Chatterjee’s Safed Jhoot (1977), Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman starrer Dharam-Veer (1977), amongst others. He also made a guest appearance in Basu Chatterjee’s comedy Khatta Meetha (1978). His next few releases like Parmatma (1978), Amar Shakti (1978), and Aakhri Insaaf (1980) did not do too well at the box office but Manoj Kumar’s Kranti (1981) was a huge blockbuster.

Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi (1982) and the hit film Teesri Aankh (1982), starring Dharmendra, were two other films that gave him notable success. He had also starred in Kamal Amrohi’s Razia Sultan (1983), which won critical acclaim. The film starred Dharmendra and Hema Malini. He then played small roles in films like Duniya (1984), Purana Mandir (1984), Oonche Log (1985), Waaris (1988), Aakhri Baazi (1989) and Jaan-E-Wafa (1990).

After a prolific career in film, Kumar finally passed away on October 27, 2001 in Calcutta, at the age of 76.