Dilip Kumar Poster


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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 11 December 1922Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, British India
Birth NameYusuf Khan
Nicknames Legendary Khan
Tragedy King
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. Starting his career in 1944, he has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films in the period 1949-1961. . He was the first actor to receive a Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category. Though he has done films of other genres occasionally like - he balanced out with 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 pre-dominantly specialized in doing love stories or tragic roles from 1944-1961. From late 1960s roles dried up for Kumar as films starring Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor were more successful from 1961-1969 and also Dilip's films from 1966 to 1976 were box office flops like Dil Diya Dard Liya, Sunghursh, Aadmi, Dastaan, Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag and after 1976 he left films for a five year break. After Rajesh Khanna became first superstar of Indian Cinema in 1969, most of the author backed lead roles from 1969-1991, went to Rajesh Khanna. In 1981 Dilip returned with a character role at insistence of Manoj Kumar in the blockbuster film Kranti and continued his career playing central character roles in multi-hero films such as Shakti (1982), Karma (1986), Vidhaata, Mazdoor, Mashaal, Duniya, Dharm Adhikari, Kanoon Apna Apna, Izzatdaar, Saudagar (1991), Qila. But his only films to be successful from 1981 at box office were Kranti, Vidhaata, Karma, Dharm Adhikari, Kanoon Apna Apna and Saudagar. He has retired from the Indian Film Industry in 1998.

He was born Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar Pakistan in a Hindko speaking Awan family of twelve children. His father Ghulam Sarwar was a fruit merchant and owned large orchards in Peshawar and Devlali in Maharashtra near Mumbai. The family relocated to Mumbai in 1930s and in the early 1940s 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. She also gave him the screen name of Dilip Kumar.

His first film Jwar Bhata, was released in 1944 which went unnoticed and his next 2 films Pratima (1945),Naukadubi (1947) were box office flops. In 1947 he shot to prominence with the film Jugnu which was his first major hit and followed it up with successful Shaheed (1948) and thereby became a star.His next release Ghar Ki Izzat(1948) was box office flop. He fell in love with Kamini Kaushal and their on-screen paid was a hit with audience. Kamini Kaushal-Dilip Kumar gave hits like Shaheed(1948), Nadiya Ke Paar (1948),Shabnam (1949), Arzoo (1950). Kamini Kaushal was a bigger star than Dilip Kumar even before they did their first film Shaheed(1948) as a pair, since Kamini had 4 hits to her name already and Dilip had a crush on her ever since her first film Neecha Nagar became a hit in 1946. In 1949, he co-starred with the then struggling actor-director Raj Kapoor, who had a flop in Aag as a director and had 11 flops as an actor before this film, in the romantic melodrama film Andaz, which went to become a huge success and made him a star. Throughout the 1950s he was one of the biggest stars of Bollywood along with Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. Dev Anand, who had 3 flops from 1946-47, became a star when Ziddi became a hit in 1948 and Raj Kapoor's fortune as an actor changed when Andaz became a hit in 1949.Thus among the trio, first to become a star was Dilip Kumar and then second was Dev Anand and then Raj Kapoor. Dilip became known for playing tragic love story roles in hit films such as Nadiya Ke Paar (1948), Mela (1948), Andaz (1949), Jogan (1950), Babul (1950), Arzoo (1950), Deedar (1951), Tarana (1951), Deedar (1951), Daag (1952), Shikast (1953) which earned him the title of "Tragedy King". . Some of his most famous films in tragic roles were box office flops like Amar (1954), Devdas (1955), Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966) and Aadmi (1968). Madhumati (1958) gave him Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

With Nargis he had 5 hits like Mela (1948),Andaz (1949),Jogan (1950),Babul (1950),Deedar (1951) and 2 flops like Anokha Pyar (1948),Hulchul (1951). In 1951, Kamini Kaushal-Dilip Kumar affair ended. The pair of Madhubala-Dilip Kumar had a hit in Tarana(1951) and 2 flops in Sangdil (1952) and Amar (1954) but the couple fell in love with each-other while working in Amar(1954).Later Madhubala and Dilip Kumar broke up in 1957, while working in Mughal -E-Azam but being professionals did work together to complete the film,which took years to finish and got released in 1960.

From 1952-1961, he had hits like Daag (1952), Aan (1953) and Uran Khatola (1955) with Nimmi, Shikast (1953) with Nalini Jaywant, Foot Path (1953),Azaad (1955), Yahudi (1958) and Kohinoor (1960) with Meena Kumari, Insaniyat (1955) with Bina Rai,Naya Daur (1957),Madhumati (1958) and Ganga Jamuna (1960) with Vyjanthimala, Musafir (1957) with Suchitra Sen. From 1952-1962, his only flops were Sangdil (1952),Amar (1954),Devdas (1955). So this period of 1949-1961 is considered the peak period of Dilip Kumar's career as a hero.

He was also successful in playing lighthearted roles such as playing a swashbuckling peasant in Aan (1952) and a comic role in Azaad (1955). In 1960 he starred in the historical film Mughal-e-Azam opposite Madhubala, which is as of 2008, the third highest grossing film in Hindi film history inflation adjusted [behind Kismet(1943), Haathi Mere Saathi(1971) and ahead of Sholay(1975), Hum Aapke Hai Kaun(1994)] in which he played the role of the Mughal crown-prince Jehangir the son of Akbar.

In 1961 he produced and starred in the hit Ganga Jamuna in which he and his real Life brother Nasir Khan played the title roles. Despite the film success he did not produce any film after this but gave away the script for its Tamil version Iru Dhruvam starring Sivaji Ganesan. Dilip had a narrow brush with international fame in 1962 when British director David Lean offered him the role of Sherif Ali in his 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia. However Kumar declined the part citing its a small role for a big hero like him. The role eventually went to Omar Sharif the Egyptian actor. His next films like the critically acclaimed Leader (1964) and critically panned Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966) which were huge box office flops but he bounced back when he played a dual role of twins separated at birth in the film Ram Aur Shyam (1967) which was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. But again his next releases Aadmi (1968),Sunghursh (1968) flopped and Dilip Kumar's acting career as a hero ended as most of the roles which he would have got went to the first Superstar of Indian Cinema - Rajesh Khanna from 1969-1991.

In the period 1969-1976 the career of most of the actors like Rajendra Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor as the hero ended with emergence of Rajesh Khanna. Many of Kumar's films like Sunghursh (1968),Aadmi (1968),Dastaan (1972),Gopi (1973),Sagina (1974), Bairaag(1976) 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 retirement as the hero. But Manoj Kumar ensured that Dilip Kumar made a comeback and put an end to a five year break from acting but offering a role in Kranti in 1981. Initially Dilip Kumar was hesitant to do the role, but Maoj Kumar convinced him to make a comeback.People preferred to cast Rajesh Khanna or Sanjeev Kumar in the solo lead hero films instead of casting Dilip Kumar in the period 1966 to 1987.

He made a comeback in 1981 with the multi-starer 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 films like Shakti (1982), Karma (1986), Vidhaata, Mazdoor, Mashaal, Duniya, Dharm Adhikari, Kanoon Apna Apna, Izzatdaar, Saudagar (1991), Qila. But his only films to be successful from 1981 at box office were Kranti, Vidhaata, Karma, Dharm Adhikari, Kanoon Apna Apna and Saudagar. 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.

In 1996 he was supposed to make his directorial debut with a film titled Kalinga, with him and Rajesh Khanna in the lead, but the film was shelved. In 1998 he made his last film appearance to date in the box office flop Qila where in a rare form he played a villainous role. He has since retired from the film industry due to his indifferent health.

Dilip Kumar's younger brother Nasir Khan was also an actor and appeared opposite Dilip in Ganga Jamuna (1961) and Bairaag (1976) as well as acted as hero in 22 films from 1948-1961, but 17 were flops. Thus Nasir's career was not as successful and he died in 1974. Nasir Khan's son Ayub Khan is also an actor in the industry. Nasir Khan's wife was 1950s actress Begum Para who made a comeback to films after 50 years in the film Saawariya in 2007 in supporting role.

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.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Aryaan Ansari

Spouse (2)

Asmaa (1982 - ?) (divorced)
Saira Banu (1966 - present)

Trade Mark (1)

His deep, rich voice

Trivia (59)

Formed a popular on-screen couple and had hit films with Kamini Kaushal, Nimmi, Meena Kumari and Vyjayanthimala. But off-screen he had fallen in one-sided love with Kamini Kaushal from 1948-51 and later fell in love with Madhubala between 1954-57, however Madhubala's father disliked Dilip's behavior and disapproved of the alliance.
Son-in-law of Naseem Banu.
Brother of actor Nasir Khan.
Bollywood Second Biggest Star after Ashok Kumar. Dilip Kumar became a star only with 1947 hit Jugnu and Shaheed in 1948. Motilal, Sohrab Modi, Ashok Kumar and K.L. Saigal were regarded as greater actors than Dilip Kumar, when he made his debut.
He is known as the "tragedy king".
Dilip Kumar was highest paid Hindi actor from 1950-1961 and 3rd highest paid Hindi actor from 1966-68.
Is uncle (by marriage to wife Saira Bano) of actress Shaheen, who is married to actor Sumeet Saigal, they have a 6 year old daughter named Sayesha.
During escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, he had agreed to accept an award from Pakistan, and was threatened by workers of an extreme right-wing political party in Bombay, India. He actually wrote to the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for protection. The threat has now subsided with improved relations between India and Pakistan.
Has been a member of parliament.
At the time of marriage, he was 44 and Saira Banu was 22.
Hindi Megastar.
According to Dilip Kumar, the people who molded him into a star-actor were Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar, Nitin Bose, Sashadar Mukherji, Bimal Roy, S S Vasan, Mehboob Khan.
A major WWE wrestling fan.
Dilip Kumar regarded that chronologically more versatile actors than him are Motilal, Sohrab Modi, Ashok Kumar. He was a fan of K.L.Saigal as well. Dilip Kumar regarded that his seniors M.G.Ramachandran and Pran, his juniors by age Sivaji Ganesan, Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Khanna were more versatile than him.Later in the 1990's he added he liked Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Hasan's contribution as well.
Dilip Kumar- Dev Anand- Raj Kapoor's peak period together in film industry was from 1949-1961. Dilip Kumar had 3 flops from 1944-47, before his film Jugnu(1947)made him a star.Similarly Dev Anand became a star after Ziddi became blockbuster in 1948 though he had 3 flops from 1946-48 since his debut in 1946. Raj Kapoor became a star with Andaz and Barsaat becoming hits in 1949 and before 1949, he had done 10 films as hero from 1943-48 and all 10 films were flops. The period 1962-1975 was not good for both Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor as they had many flops and especially Raj Kapoor had put on weight and Raj looked elder by 20 years to Dev and Dilip in 1970's and much older in 1980's; but Dev Anand moved ahead and as he looked younger and fit, Dev did romantic films as well in the 1970's and films of other genres in 1970's and 80's and Dev had many hits right from 1948-1991 as lead hero.
Dilip Kumar did 62 films which includes 5 guest appearances. So Dilip's total films as lead hero was 57 only. He had 25 flops from 1947-1996 which includes 2 films in guest appearance as flops. He had 30 box office hits from 1947-1974 including 3 guest appearances and 7 hits from 1980-1998 as lead hero in multi hero films. He had total 23 flops as lead hero from 1947-96 and total 34 hits as lead hero from 1947-1996 from the 57 films he did as lead hero. Of the 62 films he appeared in as an actor, he had 25 flops and 37 hits from 1946-1998.
The 1957 film Musafir had one Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar where sings in Dilips own voice....Lagi nahin chhote rama kahe jiya jai. The film was critically acclaimed. But it was not solo hero film of Dilip Kumar.It covers 3 stories containing episodes of a person's life is birth (Kishore Kumar in lead for this part of the story),marriage (Suchitra Sen in the lead for this part of the story)and death (Dilip Kumar and Usha Kiron in the lead).
From 1944-1968, Dilip Kumar did 26 films as lead hero belonging to tragedy genre. Of them 17 were hits and 9 were flops.From 1948-1976, as lead hero, he did films of other other genres like comedy, historical, social drama or suspense in 18 films only and of these 11 were hits and 7 were flops.
Devdas was the first film of the pair Dilip Kumar-Vyjanthimala, which though a box office flop, fetched awards for most of the crew and Vyjanthimala got nominated for Best Actress at Filmfare and Dilip Kumar got Best Actor award at Filmfare.They did total 7 films and of them Naya Daur, Madhumati, Paigham, Ganga Jamuna were box office hits whereas Devdas, Leader and Sangharsh were box office flops.
The pair of Nimmi-Dilip Kumar had hits like Deedar (1951) ,Daag (1952), Aan (1953) and Uran Khatola (1955) with Nimmi and only one flop Amar(1954).
The pair of Dilip Kumar-Meena Kumari gave hits like Foot Path (1953), Azaad (1955), Yahudi (1958) and Kohinoor (1960) with Meena Kumari. Interestingly both are known as tragedy king and tragedy queen respectively but the films they did together belonged to other genres. Azaad was comedy-historical but fictitious, Yahudi was historical real love story, Foot Path was crime genre and Kohinoor was historical film.
With Nargis he had 5 hits like Mela (1948),Andaz (1949),Jogan (1950),Babul (1950),Deedar (1951) and 2 flops like Anokha Pyar (1948),Hulchul (1951).
Sister, Akhtar, married to director K. Asif.
Sister named Fauzia.
Sister named Taj. She was born June 14, 1935. She was married to Syed Asad Mumtaz, who passed away in 1969. Their children's name are Johaina Khan ( Formerly married to Mr. Boseroy), Syed Fahd Asad Mumtaz ( Who is married to actress Kiran Vairale), Zoha Hopps a world famous real state agent based in Florida. Her children are a son named Daunish Irani and a daughter named Sufeeya Irani (Hopps).
Dilip Kumar has a niece named Zooni Asif. She is the daughter of Akhtar Asif and K. Asif ( This was K. Asif's second marriage). Zooni is a school teacher in Edmonton Alberta, Canada.
Nephew named Amjad Mohammed and Javed Mohammed ( Son's of Noor Mohammed).
Actress Shaheen is Saira Banu brother ( Sultan Ahmed ) daughter. Sultan Ahmed is often mistaken as the director Sultan Ahmed.
Elder brother named Noor Mohammed.
Sister Saeeda is married to Iqbal Khan. ( Son of Mehboob Khan).
His eldest sister's name is Sakina.
Younger sister named Farida. She worked as a make up artist with Femima Magazine in the 1950's and 60's .
Nephew is producer Saqib Khan and niece is writer Ilaham ( Sister Saeeda's children).
Niece name is Zoha . She is the daughter of sister Taj.
Sister named Farida who lives in California USA.
Eldest brother's name was Ayub Sarwar. He was a writer in Pakistani films. He wrote the script for the old Pakistani film " Aadmi". He wanted to direct a Pakistani film with Dilip titled " Kala Aadmi". He passed away before he could make it.
Starred in the shelved film " Asar" Co Starring Ajay Devgan and Priyanka Chopra. Directed by Kuku Kohli. The film was launched in 2004. It was shelved due to Dilip Kumar's health issues.
Starred in the shelved film Raasta. Co starring Mithun Chakraborty and Anupam Kher. The film was launched in 1989.
Starred in producer Mushir- Riaz's shelved untitled film co starring Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan. The film was launched in 1982 , right after Shakti.
Starred in B.R.Chopra's shelved film " Chanakya Chandragupta". Co starring Dharmendra , Hema Malini, Praveen Babi, Helen, Vijendra. Hollywood make up technicians had already worked on Dilip Kumar's look in the film. The film was shelved for unknown reasons.
Turned down the lead role in the Hollywood movie " Lawrence of Arabia".
Actor Abid (Sayyed) works as a Dilip Kumar mimicry artiste in most film. Abid debuted as a main lead in "Yeh Raat Phi Na Aayegi" in 1992. But later started only working as a Dilip Kumar duplicate.
Went for a world tour concert with wife Saira Banu, Johnny Walker and Mahendra Kapoor. This was in 1982. They visited cities in Canada, America and England.
Declined the role of Sherif Ali which was ultimately played by Egyptian star Omar Sharif. Sharif was offered the role of Tafas who is ironically shot by Sherif Ali in his introductory desert sequence.
Starred in Sagar Arts shelved film "Sanam"(1981). Starring Dilip Kumar, Rakhee Gulzar, Reena Roy, Mithun Chakraborthy, Ranjeeta. Produced and directed by Ramanand Sagar.
Brother named Aslam.
Brother named Ahsan.
Younger sister named Mumtaz.
Brother Nasir Khan was first married to Suraya (Suriya) Nazir (Begum) the daughter of legendary Pakistani filmmaker Nazir Ahmed Khan. From this marriage he had a daughter Naheed Khan who still survives him. Former father in law Nazir Ahmed Khan was first married to his cousin Sikandara Begum (who was the sister of K. Asif, the legendary director of 1960 film Mughal-e-Azam). He later had a very concise marriage with Sitara Devi, the legendary Kathak Dancer, and and lastly married to film actress Swaran Lata. Today, the son of late Nazir, Akhtar Nazir Khan aka Cooki is intensively engaged in reviving the Pakistani Cinema and works hard to provide the audience, both home and abroad, with the same perfectly mastered and creative films that once were a pride of Nazir in the South Asia.
Brother Nasir Khan made his acting debut in 1945 in Mazdoor. After a few films, he shifted to Lahore after partition and starred in the first ever Pakistani film Teri Yaad in 1948 He acted in another Pakistani film Shahida in 1949. Both films failed to do well and Nasir returned to India in 1951. He resumed his acting career in Bombay, acting in several films throughout the 1950s.
Grandniece is world famous jewelry designer Kichu Dandiya. Kichu is the owner of the jewelry label "Kichu". Kichu Dandiya is the daughter of Lubna Mohammed Nasir Khan. Lubna is the daughter former actor Nasir Khan (Dilip Kumar's brother). Lubna has another child named Ashu Dandiya.
Aadmi, the Pakistani 1958 film won various Nigar Awards. The story was written by Ayub Sarwar,brother of Dilip Kumar. It was said that Dilip himself planning to produce a film on this story but Sarwar gifted it to Luqman during his visit to Bombay. Other coincidence of this film was love affair of MD Muslehdin and singer Naheed Niazi which resulted their marriage.
Brother Nasir Khan developed Alopecia and lost his hair and eye brows. This caused his acting career to end.
Brother Nasir Khan from his second marriage to actress Begum Para he had three children. Nadir Khan ( who has passed away). a daughter named Lubna and actor Ayub Khan.
Sister Akhtar Asif completed her husband's film "Love & God" after he passed away in 1971. Akhtar stepped in as producer.
Sister Fauzia married Dilip Surve. They have a son named Rajan Surve who is the senior General Manager at Mahindra & Mahindra LTD. They also have a daughter .
He revealed in his 2014 memoir "Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow" that his wife Saira Banu became pregnant in 1972 with their son, but that she developed high blood pressure in her eighth month of pregnancy and the doctors couldn't save the baby, which has been strangulated by the umbilical cord. They remained childless, believing that it was God's will.
Nephew Fahd is married to actress Kiran Vairale. They live in New York and have a son named Asaad.
Nephew is producer Saqib Khan and writer Ilaham. ( Iqbal Khan' and sister Saeeda's children).

Personal Quotes (1)

Am overwhelmed by the affection shown by the people over the years. But to be very frank, I have been outdone by actors like my seniors M.G.Ramachandran and Pran and then by Sivaji Ganesan, Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Khanna who were much more versatile than me as actors. Their number of films and the various characters they have done are much more than that of mine.

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