DILIP KUMAR Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Biography of Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan)Original Name of Dilip Kumar was Yusuf Khan. His nickname is Sri Dilip          Kumar. People commonly call him tragedy king. He was born on December          11, 1922 in Peshawar (Pakistan). His father had relocated to Mumbai. A filmmaker had spotted him and helped him to enter the Hindi film          industry. He owned India’s greatest award for his excellence in cinema. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius. He has also been a Member of Parliament.


He has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for Best Actor. Though he has done all kinds of films - he balanced a wide variety of roles such as the intense Andaz (1949) with the swashbuckling Aan (1952), the dramatic Devdas (1955) with the comical Azaad (1955) and the historical romance Mughal E Azam (1960) with the social Ganga Jamuna (1961).


He was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan, in Qissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar, capital of NWFP, British India now in Pakistan , in a Pashtun family of twelve children. His father was based in Devlali in Maharashtra near Mumbai during 1930s. His father later relocated to Bombay (now Mumbai) after the Partition of India. Yusuf Khan moved to Pune and started off with his canteen business and supplying dry fruits. There he was spotted by a leading actress of those years, Devika Rani, who was also the wife of the founder of Bombay Talkies, Himanshu Rai and helped his entry into the Bollywood film industry. He changed his real name, Muhammad Yusuf Khan, to Dilip Kumar on her suggestion.


After a period of box office flops in the mid 1960s, he bounced back when he played a dual role of twin brothers separated at birth in the film “Ram Aur Shyam"(1967) which was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. The success of “Ram Aur Shyam” spawned a number of remakes and imitators.


In the 1970s Kumar acted in fewer films as newer actors such as Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan had began to take the spotlight. Many of Kumar’s films failed at the box office during this period and after the release of his 1976 film Bairaag in which he played triple roles, he took a five year break from acting.


He made a comeback in 1981 with the multi-starrer box office hit “Kranti” which was the biggest hit of the year.He went onto play character roles as an elderly family patriarch or a police officer in a string of box office hits including “Shakti” (1982), “Vidhaata” (1982) and “Karma” (1986). In his last major successful film, “Saudagar” (1991) he appeared alongside another legendary actor Raaj Kumar after three decades since they last appeared together in “Paigham” (1959).


In 1992 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Hindi film industry for over four decades. After four years hiatus, in 1996 he was back in the limelight after he was attached to make his directorial debut with a film titled “Kalinga” but the film was shelved soon after. He made his last film appearance in the box office flop “Qila"(1998) and has since retired from the film industry although he has continued to receive film offers in recent years but refused them. In 2004 he was attached to star in a film titled “Asar - The Impact” which was eventually shelved due to his indifferent health.


Some of his older films have been shown over and over again on television or cherished on videotape and DVD. A few of them, such as “Devdas” and “Ram Aur Shyam"” have been re-made several times. His 1960 film “Mughal-e-Azam", which was originally released in black-and-white with some color scenes in the latter half of the film, was fully colorized in 2004 and re-released. Even in 2004, it did well at the box office.Another one of his classic films “Naya Daur” was colourized and released on August 2007.


He has been active in efforts to bring the people of India and Pakistan closer together. He has been a member of the upper house of Parliament since 2000 and is known for his extensive charity work..


He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994. In 1998 he was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award conferred by the government of Pakistan. He is the second Indian to receive the award; the first was former Indian prime minister Morarji Desai. At the time of Kargil War Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray urged Dilip Kumar to return Nishan-e-Pakistan . Mr Thackeray said Dilip Kumar must give back the award as a mark of protest for Pakistan’s intrusion into Indian soil in May. “He must return Nishan-e-Pakistan following that country’s blatant aggression on Indian soil.", but Mr. Kumar held his ground. He refused, saying:


“We need to look at this a little rationally. This award is not more important to me than our national interest. If it affects national interest, why would I want to hang on to it? But what does the award’s citation say? Does it say that this has been given to Dilip Kumar for his achievements in films? No, films are just a vocation for me. I do the best I can. This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor, I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?”


In 1980, he was appointed Sheriff of Mumbai, an honorary position.


Dilip Kumar’s younger brother Nasir Khan was also an actor and appeared opposite him in “Ganga Jamuna” (1961) and “Bairaag"(1976) as well as some other films in the late 1940s and 1950s. His career was not as successful however. He died in 1974. Nasir Khan’s son Ayub Khan is also currently an actor in the industry. Nasir Khan’s wife was 1950s actress Begum Para who is making a comeback to films after 50 years in the film “Saawariya” in 2007.


Dilip Kumar’s siblings who are still alive include brothers Ehsan Khan and Aslam Khan who live in Mumbai, a sister Farida who lives in Fresno, California.


Dilip Kumar’s first romantic interest was rumored to be the already married Kamini Kaushal. Then Kumar was said to be romantically linked to the actress Madhubala. It is claimed that Madhubala’s family would not allow the couple to marry; some conjecture that this was because Madhubala was the main source of income for her family.


Kumar and Madhubala were to appear together in “Naya Daur", but Madhubala’s father refused to allow his daughter to act with Kumar. The producer B.R. Chopra took Madhubala to court and Dilip Kumar testified against her. The former sweethearts were now on extremely bad terms. This complicated work on the film “Mughal-E-Azam", which had started filming before the court case. It is said that Kumar and Madhubala, who were supposed to portray persecuted lovers, resisted filming any more love scenes.


Dilip Kumar married actress and “beauty queen” Saira Banu in 1966 when he was aged 44 and she was 22. At the time, gossip columnists predicted doom for the high-profile couple, but the union has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood. The marriage was briefly under threat when Kumar married a woman called Asma in 1980 but the marriage was quickly dissolved.


Dilip Kumar has been nominated for 19 Filmfare Best Actor awards in all and he won eight awards for Best Actor.