Dilip Kumar: The Legendary Hero Of The Classical Era Passes Away!

Another golden chapter of Hindi cinema has drawn to a close. Dilip Kumar, the legendary hero of the classical era traversing over six glorious decades of providing top-class entertainment to millions of fans the world over, has passed away at a Mumbai hospital today morning. He was admitted in the ICU on 30th June due to a prolonged illness, and in fact, for the last more than a month he had been in and out of hospital with constant prayers from his loving wife Saira Banu, one of the most popular heroines of the classical era, family, friends and millions of fans for his recovery. However, finally the doyen of Hindi cinema bowed down to destiny and the will of God, calling it a day at the ripe age of 98, two years short of what could have been the most memorable occasions of Indian film industry. 

Dilip Kumar has always been a tremendous fighter, both in his films and in his great variety of roles as well as in personal life fighting serious health issues for several years. In 2013 he was admitted in a Mumbai hospital after a mild heart attack and was kept under observation for the next three days due to the ensuing Ganesha Festival with the final immersion coming up on 18th September. He was reportedly put under ventilation on the evening of 17th September as rumors of his passing away became almost viral. Finally, the heartthrob of millions won their hearts coming back home victorious. Dilip Kumar celebrated his 90th birthday in December 2012, but his health has been indifferent from around the second week of September, 2011.

With Vyjayanthimala
We have been acquainted with the screen image of Dilip Kumar (1922-2021) since our birth and have always loved him like the simple man next door, and got awed by his sad and melancholic looks. He was down to earth in most of his roles and seemed to have lived all the roles he played. This is hardly to overlook his image as the romantic hero of the Hindi cinema's classical era and we found him paired with almost all the leading ladies, particularly Vyjayanthimala with whom he danced around the bushes too and was paired the maximum number of times. Apart from being entertained by him in many later movies like Ram Aur Shyam or Gopi we always held him in great esteem and respect. His movie songs mostly rendered by Mohammed
Rafi are evergreen numbers even for the new generation.

With Amitabh Bachchan
It is for his true-to-life performances that the Indian legendary film director Satyajit Ray described him as the perfect ‘method’ actor of Indian Cinema. Superstar of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan has described him as the greatest actor ever.

Dilip Kumar debuted in 1944 with a movie Jwar Bhata and tasted box office success in his very next film. He earned a breakthrough role in Andaz (1949) where he starred alongside Raj Kapoor and Nargis in a love triangle. While his movies in the early fifties earned him the title of ‘Tragedy King’ many other movies also established his romantic or historic or even comic image. His Mughal-e-Azam (1960) was a landmark historical film and held the record of being the biggest Bollywood grosser till 2008. 

In the seventies his career suffered a temporary setback with several films not doing that well and he took a five-year break from movies in 1976. However, he returned with renewed vigor in Kranti (1981) where he played a character role and that marked the beginning of his equally successful stint as a character actor. Though cast as a character actor his roles in most films were often pivotal dominating the full plot and for our generation movies like Shakti (1982--with Amitabh Bachchan) and Mashaal (1984--with Anil Kapoor) still remain as the most remembered. He continued acting till his last screen appearance in 1998. However with his heroine-wife Saira Banu he was always seen in celebrity events and interviews.

With Saira Banu
For his tremendous and lasting contribution to Indian Cinema the Government of India honored him with Padmabhushan in 1991 and the supreme cine-honor Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994. He was the first ever recipient of the Filmfare Best Actor award in 1954 for his film Daag and he shared his record of the maximum number of Filmfare awards only with Shahrukh Khan of modern Bollywood. He was also immensely popular in Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan honored him with the highest civil award Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1997. 

We salute the legend and pray for the eternal bliss of his noble soul. Dilip Kumar will remain our hearts forever.


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