Veteran actor Dilip Kumar breathed his last at the age of 98 on Wednesday. He was admitted to the hospital on 30 June. Confirming the veteran actor’s demise, his family friend tweeted, “With a heavy heart and deep sorrow, I announce his passing. Our dear Dilip sahib, a few minutes ago. We are from God and towards Him. Come back. – Faisal Farooqui.” Born Mohammad Yusuf Khan, the actor changed his name to Dilip Kumar at the insistence of Devika Rani when he entered the film industry in 1944. In an earlier interview, he had admitted that it was the ‘fear of the father’ that led to the change in the film. Named after his father, unhappy with the film industry’s four-figure salary, referred to his profession as a nautanki. Dilip Sahab made his Bollywood debut with ‘Jwar Bhata’ coached by Ashok Kumar to be ‘natural’ during acting. However, the actor had his first box office hit in 1947 with the film ‘Jugnu’ starring Noor Jahan. This was followed by more blockbuster films like ‘Shaheed’ and ‘Mela’. In a career spanning over five decades, Khan, earlier as he was referred to, acted in 65 films. Such was his dedication to the craft that after tragic roles in films like ‘Nadiya Ke Paar’, ‘Mela’, ‘Andaz’, ‘Jogan’, ‘Babul’, ‘Arzoo’, ‘Deedar’, ‘Tarana’, ‘Daag’, ‘Shakast’, ‘Amar’ ‘Devdas’, ‘Dil Diya Dard Liya’, ‘Aadmi’, ‘Madhumati’, he admitted to suffering from depression. On the recommendation of a psychiatrist, he then began playing light roles, but not before he was dubbed The Tragedy King. Dilip Sahab holds the Guinness World Record for the most number of awards won by an Indian actor. He is the only actor to have received eight Filmfare Awards for Best Actor and a Lifetime Achievement for Filmfare. ‘Ganga Jamuna’, which he wrote, produced and starred in, received the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film in Hindi, the Paul Revere Silver Bowl at the Boston International Film Festival, a Special Honors Diploma from the Czechoslovak Academy of Arts. in Prague, and the Special Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Apart from being recognized for his work, Dilip Sahab was also honored with several civilian awards on both sides of the border. He was appointed Sheriff of Bollywood Mumbai in 1980. The Government of India honored the actor-philanthropist with the Padma Bhushan in 1991, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015. Dilip Sahab was also nominated as a member. Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, from Maharashtra by the Indian National Congress for the term 2000–2006. In 1997, the Government of Andhra Pradesh honored him with the NTR National Award. The Government of Pakistan honored Kumar with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian award, in 1998. An era has come to an end with the death of one. One of the last legendary actors of the golden age of Indian cinema. Dilip sahib may be no more, but his legacy will live on forever.
- The Last of the legends, goodbye Dilip saab
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