MUMBAI, India: Mohammad Yusuf Khan, popularly known as Dilip Kumar, one of Indian cinema’s most iconic actors, has died in the western city of Mumbai, his family said. He was 98.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, a few minutes ago,” Faisal Farooqui posted on Kumar’s official Twitter on Wednesday.
The veteran actor is survived by his 76-year-old wife Saira Banu, a former Bollywood actress.
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
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) July 7, 2021
Kumar starred in some of Indian cinema’s most successful films, including, Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur (New Era), Ram Aur Shyam and Madhumati.
Nicknamed “The Tragedy King” with his brooding good looks, tousled hair and deep voice, he enjoyed a career spanning more than 50 years and nearly 60 films.
With Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, Kumar was one of the three big names who dominated the golden age of Indian cinema from the 1940s to the 1960s.
The actor was born Mohammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, in Peshawar city, now in Pakistan. His father was a fruit merchant who took his family to India’s entertainment capital in the 1930s.
No artist is bigger than the character he’s playing. pic.twitter.com/FhEQi50VFZ
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) June 21, 2021
Kumar’s screen name was suggested by Devika Rani, who cast him in his first movie, Jwar Bhata (Sea Tide), in 1944.
Although Jwar Bhata flopped and leading film magazines criticised his performance, Kumar was undeterred and eventually broke through with the 1946 film Milan.
Among his most remembered roles was in the lavish historical romance, Mughal-e-Azam, based on the lives of Mughal emperors Akbar and his son Jahangir.
The movie, released in 1960, was eight years in the making and cost a whopping 15 million rupees, but soon became one of Bollywood’s biggest-grossing films of all time.