Bidding Adieu to India's First & Finest Method Actor: Dilip Kumar (98)


Dilip Kumar

Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar, addressed as the "Tragedy King" and one of Hindi cinema's greatest actors, has passed away at the age of 98 in Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital. He was taken to hospital on June 30 after complaining of breathlessness – it was the second time he had been admitted in the same month.

"He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 am," confirmed Dr. Jalil Parkar, the pulmonologist who had been treating Dilip Kumar. His funeral would take place later in the day, at the Juhu Qabrastan.

The veteran actor leaves behind a legacy of films that spanned six decades, with over 65 films in Bollywood. He was born Mohammed Yusuf Khan on Dec. 11, 1922, in Peshawar, now in Pakistan, and famous by the screen name of Dilip Kumar once he debuted in Bollywood with "Jwar Bhata" in 1944.

The Nation Mourns the Passing of an Institution

Amitabh Bachchan has grieved the death of Dilip Kumar via a post on his Twitter page. "An institution has gone.. whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written, it shall always be 'before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar'.. My duas for peace of his soul and the strength to the family to bear this loss.. Deeply saddened.." he wrote.

"With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return. - Faisal Farooqui," a tweet posted on the official Twitter handle of Dilip Kumar.

Tributes to the late legend flooded social media; President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: "Dilip Kumar summarised in himself a history of emerging India. The thespian's charm transcended all boundaries, and he was loved across the subcontinent. With his demise, an era ends. Dilip Saab will live forever in the heart of India. Condolences to family and countless fans."

"Dilip Kumar ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world. Condolences to his family, friends and innumerable admirers. RIP," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dilip Kumar is survived by his wife, Saira Banu, an admired leading lady in Bollywood in the 1960s and 1970s. Two days before, Saira Banu shared a message on Dilip Kumar's Twitter, "We are grateful for God's infinite mercy on Dilip Saab that his health is improving. We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insh'Allah he is healthy and discharged soon."

Journey of the First Khan of Indian Cinema

Dilip Kumar embraces the record for winning the maximum number of Filmfare awards. He was the first recipient of the award and won the best actor Filmfare Award eight times. In his legendary film career, he contributed to Hindi cinema in numerous ways, including introducing the method acting technique.

Mughal-e-Azam

He had played a diversity of characters in his career and highly admired for his iconic roles in movies like 'Devdas '(1955), 'Naya Daur' (1957), 'Mughal-e-Azam' (1960), 'Ganga Jamuna' (1961), 'Kranti' (1981), and 'Karma' (1986).

The first significant box-office hits of him were "Jugnu," in 1947, in which he featured alongside Noor Jehan, and the 1948 film "Shaheed." He was enacted as a romantic hero in "Andaz," a swashbuckler in "Aan," a dramatic drunkard in "Devdas," a comic role in "Azaad," a Muslim prince in the historical epic "Mughal-e-Azam" and a robber in the social movie "Ganga Jamuna."

Aan

Mehboob Khan's blockbuster "Aan" in 1952 was the first film in Technicolor and was among a series of light-hearted roles he took at the suggestion of his psychiatrist to shed his "Tragedy King" image.

His leading female co-stars included Madhubala, Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari, Kamini Kaushal, and Vyjanthimala.

Dilip Kumar married Saira Banu in 1966, who was 22 years younger than him, and the couple acted in "Gopi," "Sagina Mahato," and "Bairaag."

Ganga-Jamuna

In 1961, he produced and cast in "Ganga Jamuna," in which he and his brother Nasir Khan played the title roles. It was the only film he produced. As per a report, he had refused the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" in 1962. The part went to Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.

Kranti

In the late '70s, he had a break and returned with a character role in the successful "Kranti," in 1981. He persisted in playing key roles in films such as "Shakti," "Karma" and "Saudagar." And his last film was "Qila" in 1998.

In 1994, he was honored by the "Dadasaheb Phalke" award, the highest honor for contributions to Indian cinema. He also assisted in the upper house of the Indian Parliament after being nominated for a six-year term.