Dilip Kumar, big influence on Indian cinema, inspires actors of all ages

Dilip Kumar is known as the Tragedy King & the Ultimate Method Actor (as per Satyajit Ray). He’s definitely one of the finest actors that the country has produced, and Bollywood loves him, including stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Sharukh Khan.

Dilip Kumar not just had a big influence on Indian cinema, he inspired more than a few generation of actors.

  • Manoj Kumar took his screen name ‘Manoj’ after a character that Dilip Kumar portrayed in one of his films, Shabnam (1949).
  • Dharmendra was huge fan of Dilip Kumar when he came to Bombay to try his hand at acting.
  • Amitabh Bachchan (worked with Dilip Kumar in Shakti (1982)), and then Shah Rukh Khan are the two actors who have impressed Dilip Kumar immensely.
  • Subhash Ghai had announced Motherland with Dilip sahab and Shah Rukh Khan, but the film never got made.
  • Kamal Haasan had the opportunity to work along side Dilip Kumar in Yash Chopra’s Mashaal (1984), but he and later Amitabh Bachchan rejected the role, which then went to Anil Kapoor.

  • Birth Date: December 11, 1922
    Star Sign: Sagittarius

    India’s Method Actor

    The current, younger generation of movie-watchers may not have had the opportunity to watch his films, but you can judge his stature by what others in the film industry has to say about the thespian. Film Critics consider him to be one of the greatest actors in the history of Hindi cinema. Amitabh Bachchan considers him to be greatest actor ever. Satyajit Ray considered him to be the best ‘Method Actor’ in India.

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    • Date of Birth, December 11, 1922
    • Debut film: Jwar Bhata (1944)

    Dilip Kumar was the first recipient of Filmfare Best Actor Award (in 1954) and is the only actor to have received the most number of Filmfare awards (with eight wins), ahead of Big B and SRK.

    He’s also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan award in 1991 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for his contributions towards Indian cinema.

    “Dilip sahab is more deserving than anybody else. Even words like ‘icon’ are very less for him. He is the forefather, the pillar of the film industry… Amongst the last few pillars left. I think what he has received is huge. No matter how many awards he gets, it will be less for him because of his art, beauty, Saira ji’s support. He is one of the greatest human beings apart from being the actor. I know them personally so I can say that. It’s a moment of big celebration,” said Shah Rukh had when when Dilip Kumar got the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

    How did he get into films?

    That’s an interesting one…I’m sure many strugglers would wish they encounter something similar.

    Before coming into films, Dilip Kumar was a canteen owner and a dry fruit supplier. Actress Devika Rani, who owned Bombay Talkies, spotted Dilip Kumar in the Aundh military canteen (Pune) and decided to cast him for the lead role in the film Jwar Bhata. Hindi author Bhagwati Charan Varma felt that the actor needed a new name, something that was more filmy and yet simple; he gave him the screen name Dilip Kumar.


    ‘Uden Jab Jab Zulphen Teri’ from the movie ‘Naya Daur’, a very popular song sung by Rafi Sahab and Asha Bhonsle, music by O.P.Nayyar.

    Also Read: Salman Khan shares cricket match video featuring legends Dilip Kumar & Raj Kapoor

    Dilip Kumar’s Love Life

    Definitely not the Casanova type, Dilip Kumar’s love life did have its ups and downs.

    1. Dilip Kumar first love was actress Kamini Kaushal (started on the sets of ‘Shaheed’) but because Kamini was already married to her late sister’s husband to look after her child; the relationship could not go further.
    2. Dilip Kumar’s relationship with famous actress Madhubala, also ended on a sad note.
    3. When Dilip Kumar first met Saira Banu, he considered her “too young” to be paired opposite him in their movie. But soon love blossomed between them and they got married (Dilip Kumar was 44 and Saira Banu 22 year old then).
    4. Few years later, Dilip kumar got bored with their marriage and got in a relationship with a Pakistani lady called Asma. Dilip saab even divorced Saira Banu and got married to Asma. However, their marriage didn’t last long (Asma was caught cheating on Dilip saab).

      The divorce with Asma made Dilip Kumar realize his mistake of moving out of his first marriage with Saira Banu. Dilip saab eventually went back to Saira Bano and re married her. Dilip Kumar performed ‘Umrah’ the holy pilgrimage to Makkah along with his wife Saira Bano.


    Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s bungalow.

    Also Read: Dilip Kumar moves court over property dispute with brothers

    Dilip Kumar’s Health Issues

    Some health related issues are always bound to be there, when one is over 90 years of age. And in his case, he has gone through serious health issues earlier.

    • More than a decade back, he had undergone heart surgery
    • In 2013, Dilip Kumar suffered a silent Heart attack and recovered from it
    • The court case with his brothers over Pali Hill bungalow adds to his health woes.
    • Few years back also (2011), when Dilip Kumar’s health was worsening, a similar hoax surfaced, where tweets about his death were doing the rounds on the internet.

    When Twitter & Whatsapp Killed Dilip Kumar
    From time to time, celebrities get killed on Twitter; in the past even Dilip Kumar has been proclaimed dead on online social media.

    Today, when people are constantly glued to their smartphones chatting on Whatsapp or tweeting or sharing stuff, any thing that’s sensational and entertaining an spread like wild fire.

    This one is also another case of celebrity death hoax.

    Later, Dilip Saab was even spotted at the wedding of Arpita Khan (sister of Salman Khan).

    Shah Rukh Khan visits Dilip Kumar, Father-Son Moment

    Shah Rukh Khan recently went to Dilip Kumar’s residence to pay him a visit after his return from Lilavati Hospital, a few days ago. Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu posted these pictures on Twitter and said Dilipsaab’s “mooh bola beta visited him today evening”.


    SRK meets Dilip Kumar


    The couple (Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu) have no children of their own but consider SRK as very close to them. Saira Banu had once jokingly told King Khan, “Shah Rukh, I must do a DNA test on you. How come my husband and you have so many similarities?”. Both Shah Rukh Khan and Dilip Kumar have their roots in Peshawar, Pakistan.

    Also Read: When Anna Hazare identified Dilip Kumar but not Shah Rukh Khan.