Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar is a well known Bollywood star, producer and activist. He has remained a true natural actor as described by Satyajit Ray, the infamous Bengali director. He was born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan in 1922. His father was a well known landlord and the family shifted to Bombay (Now Mumbai) in 1930s. Dilip Kumar was an entrepreneurial youngster and he setup a sandwich shop in 1940s. He managed to save some money and also met a lot of Bollywood legends such as Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar etc. It was Devika Rani who suggested him to change his birth name to Dilip and he was cast in the 1944 film Jwar Bhata. Though relatively unnoticed, this marked his entry into what was a long illustrious career. 

After a few unsuccessful films, he tasted his first success in Jugnu which was released in 1947. Then he delivered a great number of hit movies over the next several decades. Some of his most successful films in 1950s which set his image as the "Tragedy King" were Babul, Deedar, Hulchul, Tarana, Devdas etc. He also played several dramas such as Footpath, Musafir and Paigham. He also attempted some comedy films in light-hearted roles and people recognized him as a versatile actor who could play multiple types of roles in a natural manner. He shared good onscreen chemistry with some of the best known female lead stars of Bollywood such as Nargis, Meena Kumari, Madhubala etc.

In 1960, he played the role of Price Salim in the iconic historical film Mughal-e-Azam. Dilip Kumar played alongside Madhubala and this was colorised after many decades in 1944. This was the highest grossing movie of all times till the next fifteen years. This record could be broken only by Sholay. He also produced his only movie in 1961, Ganga Jamuna. He starred opposite Vyjayanthimala in this movie. He acted in several movies over the next few decades. Some of his notable films include Vidhaata, Shakti, Duniya, Karma and Saudagar. 

Dilip Kumar married the famous actress Saira Banu in 1966. He has the unique distinction of being a Guinness record holder for the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor. He has received lifetime achievement awards from several states in India. He won the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and Padma Vibushan in 2015. He also won the illustrious Dada Sahab Phalke award in the year 2014. He was also conferred Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award by the Government of Pakistan. He was nominated as a Rajya Sabha MP between 2000 an 2006. Dilip Kumar, with his achievements in various facets of life remains an inspiration for generations to come.