Dilip Kumar

Yusuf Khan used to assist his abba with his fruit business. Being a star was never his idea. But destiny had something else in store for him. One fine day young yusf had to go to Nainital to bag a deal where he stumbled upon Devika Rani and that incident changed his life forever. In Bombay, he was given his first break by Devika Rani, who cast him as the hero of Bombay Talkies Jwar Bhatta (1944). It was Devika Rani who named him Dilip Kumar. Dilip Kumar was scared that his father would be mad at him for acting in films and therefore hid the truth from him for a long time.

Jawar Bhata came and went without abba guessing that his son was acting in films. Dilip Kumar then shot for another film, Pratima and managed to keep even that from his father. Then one day Prithviraj Kapoor's father, Lala Bashesharnath who was his abba's old friend from Peshwar and whom abba had berated many times for allowing his children to act in films, strode into the house waving a newspaper. "See your son is also acting in films. Check out his photograph," Shivering, Yusuf waited to be summoned. He was, in minutes. "Was this his picture?" Abba demanded to know. "No way," Yusuf muttered thankful that the photograph was too hazy to be recognized. He was saved. But soon others started streaming into the house with the same newspaper. Realizing he was caught, Yusuf confessed all. Abba stopped speaking and interacting with him. For days the silence continued and then one day, he was forgiven.

He attained stardom with Jugnu (1947) opposite singing diva Noorjehan. The success of Mela (1948), a Devdas type of film set Dilip Kumar off in a chain of films were he played a doomed lover - Andaaz (1949), which made him a superstar, Babul (1950), Jogan (1950), Deedar (1951), Udan Khatola (1955) and of course Devdas. But at times his heavy mannerisms acquired in his tragedy roles gave his characters a heavy-handedness that could be quite difficult to take - like in Devdas and particularly in the adaptation of Wuthering Heights - Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966). Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Ganga Jamuna (1961) marked the peak of Dilip Kumar's career. But though his performance as Salim in the former has often been rated as among his best ever, he actually looks strangely uncomfortable in the film. Ganga Jamuna however was a flawless performance and perhaps the greatest of his career.

He married actress Saira Bano in 1966 and was absolutely brilliant in the comedy Ram Aur Shyam (1967) essaying a double role and displaying razor sharp comic timing but his career ran out of steam in the 1970s. Taking a break from acting, he made a grand comeback in character roles with Manoj Kumar's Kranti (1981) and Ramesh Sippy's Shakti (1982) where his larger than life author-backed role confirmed his legendary status. Dilip Kumar is probably one of the greatest actor Indian Cinema has seen and is yet to see. In the year 1995 Dilip Kumar was given the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for his valuable contribution to the Indian Cinema.

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