A walk through the extraordinary life of the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood, remembering Dilip Kumar

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Published by Swathy S on 09 Jul 2021

Actor Dilip Kumar passed away at the age of 98 at the PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday morning, July 7. Mohammad Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar was the King of the silver screen and his demise is the end of an era. He was referred as the ‘Tragedy King’ and ‘The First Khan’ in the film industry.

Dilip Kumar was one of the finest actor the Indian cinema has ever seen. Satyajit Ray has spoke about him as the greatest method actor. The actor was offered a role by David Lean in the Lawrence of Arabia. In Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, he wanted the actor to perform the lead role. In the super hit film, Mughal-e-Azam, his role of Prince Salim portrayed him as a real blue-blooded royal.

Several actors emulated Dilip Kumar including Rajendra Kumar, Dharmendra, Manoj Kumar, Sanjay Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. Amitabh Bachchan has also acknowledged Dilip Kumar as the unrivalled actor India has had.

Dilip Kumar has complimented Shah Rukh Khan after seeing Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Devdas, where the veteran artiste had won many awards for his performance in the film with same title in 1955 directed by Bimal Roy. Dilip Kumar has also once told that if he had a son, he would have been like Shah Rukh Khan.

Dilip Kumar was one among the three triumvirate including Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor and they became synonymous with life after India got its Independence. Dev Anand was the flamboyant romantic, Dilip Kumar, the actor and Raj Kapoor, the showman. Dilip Kumar had movies with each of them comprising Andaz by Mehboob Khan with Raj Kapoor and Insaniyat by S S Vasan with Dev Anand while the other two have never worked together.

The actor was a food lover and he has never missed an opportunity to have burra kabab and korma at Karim’s near Jama Masjid.

Dilip Kumar was a perfectionist in his ways as the actor instructed Mohammed Rafi to work hard to get rid of his Punjabi accent to get the right pronunciation of the Urdu words for the first song of his for the actor.

The legendary actor has won a total of 8 Filmfare awards amongst others. The actor had politely refused Pyaasa when Guru Dutt offered him the role as he needed time to recover from the depression after doing Devdas as he was deeply rooted into the character.

His demise can actually be considered as the end of an era to the film industry.


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