Dili Kumar Filmography
Dilip Kumar: Actor | Director | Writer, Producer
Full Name: Muhammed Yusuf Khan
Born: December 11, 1922, in Peshawar, NWFP, Pakistan
Height: 5′ 10″
Dilip Kumar was born as Muhammad Yusuf in December 1922, at Mohallah Khudadad, on the back of Qissa Kirwan’ Bazaar in Pakhtunkhwa formerly northwest Frontier Province, British India. He was born to a family of Afghan origin. His father, Lala Ghulam Sarwar, was a fruit merchant who owned big orchards in Deolali in Maharashtra near Nashik.
The family relocated to Mumbai in the 1930s and in the early 1940s, Yusuf moved to Pune and started a canteen business and supplied dried fruits. He was spotted by the famous actress of those years, Devika Rani, who was also the wife of the famous director and founder of Bombay Talkies, Himanshu Rai. The producer of the film Amiya Chakraborty gave him the screen name Dilip Kumar.
In 1947 he shot to prominence working with the singer and actress Noor Jahan, who agreed to act opposite him in the film Jugnu. In 1949, he co-starred with Raj in the romantic melodrama Andaz, which made him the best star and in 1955 he co-starred with Dev Anand in Insaniyat. Throughout the 1950s he was one of the big stars of Bollywood along with Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. He became known for playing tragic roles in popular films such as Deedar, Amar, Devdas, and Madhumati, which earned him the title of ‘Tragedy King’. He also played lighthearted roles such as in Aan and a comic role in Azaad.
In 1960 he starred in the historical film Mughal-e-Azam which is one of the highest-grossing films in Hindi film history. In 1961 he produced and starred in the hit film Ganga Jamuna in which he and his real-life brother Nasir Khan played the title roles.
He made a comeback in 1981 with the multi-starer Kranti, the biggest hit of the year. He went onto play character roles as an elderly family patriarch or a police officer in a string of box office hits including Shakti in which he starred alongside the reigning superstar of the time Amitabh Bachchan, Vidhaata, Mashaal, and Karma.
Dilip Kumar married actress Saira Banu in 1966 when he was aged 44 and she was 22. The couple has no issue. Dilip Kumar has received many awards throughout his career, including 8 Filmfare Best Actor Awards and 19 nominations.
He was honored with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. The Government of India honored him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 199the highest award for cinematic excellence in India. In 1991, he was awarded Padma Bhushan from the Government of India country. In 1997, Dilip Kumar was awarded, Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan’s highest civilian award. He received in 1997 the NTR National Award. He was also awarded the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year-Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Dilip Kumar’s younger brother Nasir Khan was also an actor and appeared opposite him in Ganga Jamuna and Baraga.
His career was not as successful. Nasir Khan’s wife was 1950s actress Begum Para who made a comeback to films 50 years in the film Saawariya in 2007. Nasir’s son Ayub Khan, who is the nephew of Dilip Kumar is also an actor and works in films and television serials. He remains one of the last surviving actors from the golden era of Bollywood in the 1940s and 1950s along with Dev Anand. Dilip has often been regarded by younger actors as an institution.
Actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, who drew inspiration from Dilip Kumar and modeled their careers on his lines, ended up becoming superstars of their respective eras. Actors like Rajendra Kumar and Manoj Kumar who also borrowed his style went on to b, become major stars as well. Well, maybe that’s why Dilip Kumar is such a great legend, after all.
LIFE AND FILMS OF DILIP KUMAR
Yusuf Khan, who was later to become the legendary DILIP KUMAR, was an exceptionally good-looking as a child he was very fair, had rosy cheeks and dark hair. His grandmother was very apprehensive about people casting an evil eye on her young, beautiful grandson. So she would mark Yusuf’s face with black kohl and shave off his hair. With his hair shorn and face blackened with kohl, Yusuf looked strange and quite different from his younger brother Nasir who had golden locks.
The periodic shaving of his head to ward off the evil eye was perhaps responsible for his thick, dark, lustrous hair which he later wore in an attractive cut. That experience of a shaven head and a kohl-marked face may also have contributed to Yusuf’s introvert, exceedingly intense personality. Yusuf was born on 11 December 1922 in Peshawar, now in Pakistan and bordering Afghanistan.
The Indian film industry, which Yusuf would later influence for over five decades, was then already twenty-seven years old. Several notable events occurred in the industry the year Yusuf was born. The year also saw the release of the first film of South India, Bhishma Pratigya. That same year the late V. Shantaram, the renowned filmmaker and owner of Rajkamal Studio who made classics like Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, Do Ankhen Bara Haath, etc. played the role of a young Pathan in Damaji.
The language spoken at home was Hindko, a mixture of Punjabi and Persian. He was a very big man and young Yusuf would climb on to his grandfather’s back and balance himself precariously by clutching his long, flowing beard. His grandfather would go down on his knees and give him joy rides. His mother, his Phuphee and his Chachi would scold him and order him to get off his grandfather’s back. But the grandfather and the grandson enjoyed the joy rides equally.
His grandfather was also very loving and indulgent though his grandmother is very strict and ruled the large household with great discipline. At night they would spread mats in the courtyard. On the mats would be carpets and everyone would sit on the carpets and wrapped in quilts listen to stories read aloud by the girls of the family. While reading tragic tales the girls would sob and if the stories were humorous they would giggle and laugh.
His parents, elder brothers, and sisters could read and write Pushtu. Yusuf could understand Pushtu but could not read or write the language. His grandfather was very fond of Persian poetry Yusuf said that his grandfather was particularly fond of the Persian poet Hafiz. One such afternoon while Yusuf was enjoying his ber he saw two boys playing a strange and gruesome game. One boy would hit the other with a stick, drawing blood.
Young Yusuf stood watching, revolted yet mesmerized, and quite unable to move away. Yusuf was petrified that if he moved, the boys, so far oblivious of his presence, would discover him. The dreaded thing happened, the boys noticed him, stopped hitting each other and stood glaring at Yusuf. In his imagination, Yusuf thought the boys would now hit him instead of each other.
Another frightening incident which he related in precise details concerned the death of two young Shia boys in his neighborhood. Yusuf was very young, perhaps five years of age when this took place. His mother had gone to condole their death and young Yusuf had followed her unnoticed. In the confusion of loud wailing and crying, the arrival of police and his own sheer fright, Yusuf slipped under the bed. To his utter horror, he found himself alone with the corpses when the police sealed the room and left. Yusuf said that he cannot express the horror of the experience of this night, along with the two dead bodies. It was a night he would never forget.
Yusuf s elder brother Ayub influenced him tremendously. Ayub was a poet and scholar, with an immense thirst for knowledge. He passed this on to Yusuf who also developed an inner craving and passion for erudition. Ayub had an extensive collection of English classics and Yusuf read them all Dickens, Shaw, Shakespeare, Guy de Maupassant, and many others. While riding a horse there Ayub met with an unfortunate accident in which he injured his spine and lost a kidney.
The accident also left him in a cast for several years. The doctors had to insert a steel tube to draw out the discharge. The damp Bombay climate was not conducive to Ayub’s health. So Mohammed Sarwar Khan shifted to Deolali both for its dry climate and its proximity to Bombay where Sarwar Khan had his business. It was a large and spacious house with four bedrooms, a drawing room, dining room, kitchen, etc. The family had an Australian cow named Quest, some poultry, and a few geese as well. The children had a lot of fun and there was laughter and happiness all around.
Yusuf studied at Barnes and at the Muslim Boarding School in Deolali. The latter was an English-medium school run by seven highly educated Muslim brothers. Nadira who acted with Dilip Kumar in her very first film Aan recounted, “Dilip Kumar has a very good command over the English language and his vocabulary is vast.” She recalled that during the shooting of Aan she would often have to look up the dictionary at home to understand the meaning of the numerous unknown words Dilip used and this in turn greatly improved her own vocabulary!
Due to his frail health, Ayub studied at home with the help of private tutors. It was Ayub who introduced Yusuf to English literature. He began with elementary English and slowly introduced him to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Bernard Shaw, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Karl Marx, and Maupassant. The fictional character Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights so fascinated Yusuf that he later played roles based on Heathcliffe in three of his films Hulchal, Arzoo and Di! Diya Dard Liya. He related to the melancholy of Maupassant, as much as to the anguish of the shaven head and disfigured face of his childhood.
At sixteen Ayub was invited to give a talk on the life of Prophet Mohammed at Nasik. Ayub spoke for forty-five minutes and was given a standing ovation both for his oratory and his knowledge of the subject. It was a truly commendable feat for a lad of sixteen. Yusuf was inspired by his brother and developed a keen interest in the Quran and could soon recite and quote from it quite beautifully.
The family was happy in Deolali and spent many pleasant years there. Mohammed Sarwar Khan would commute between Deolali and Bombay where his business was and tried to be with his wife and children as often as he could. Then came the Second World War. Deolali was declared an army station and all its houses were requisitioned for soldiers. The Khans had to vacate their bungalow and move back to Bombay.
They rented a house on Pali Mala Road in Bandra from one Mrs. Connives, not very far from the house at Pali Hill Road which Dilip later bought for himself.
In Bombay, Yusuf and his younger brother Nasir joined Anjuman Islamia, a private school run by Muslims and Yusuf passed high school in the first division. Mukri, the comedian who later acted with Dilip Kumar in many films, was Nasir’s classmate in the same school.
Janab Giauddin Sahib
Your maths teacher and football coach Janab Giauddin Sahib remembers him as a bright, good-looking boy with keen eyes and dark hair. He spoke of Yusuf with warmth and affection and said that Dilip had remained in touch with him. Ziauddin Sahib said that Yusuf showed absolutely no interest in acting or dramatics, films or shows while in school nor did he take part in the school play or any other cultural activity. He was, however, a very good football player. He was very enthusiastic about the game and played with a passion and determination to excel.
Indeed, Dilip Kumar himself recalled later in an interview, “Soccer has been my first love, my passion. It inspires a spirit of healthy combat, to lead, to work your way through odds. There is grace in losing and modesty in victory. I played football until I was fifty-seven. Playing the game has also helped one tremendously as an actor, it has given me a strong, flexible body. Considering my age, it has served me pretty well.”‘
Ziauddin Sahib was associated with football in various capacities. He was the secretary of the Indian Football Association for twenty-nine years and its president for eight. He has presented a gold medal for serving Indian and Asian football for thirty years, the only Indian to have received this honor. Ziauddin Sahib recalled that Yusuf excelled both on the soccer field as well as in the classroom. He was a serious and conscientious student who never broke any rules and was rarely punished.
The Sikh taxi drivers of the locality would come and cheer the Khalsa College team and nick-named Yusuf Shahji. Some private betting took place and Shahji was the hot favorite. Yusuf also played football for Bombay Muslims, a local club.
Yusuf grew up in a Pathan joint family, surrounded by his grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and cousins. The word Pathan is derived from the Arabic word Fathehan, the victor, which with usage has become Pathan. His father, Mohammed Sanvar Khan was a wholesale fruit merchant. According to Dilip Kumar, his father was an ambitious man. In Bombay, Sarwar Khan bought a shop in Crawford Market and the family lived in two flats on the fourth floor of a building on Nag Devi Street, Bombay.
Yusuf’s father was a simple, God-fearing man and highly respected by his fellow-businessmen of Bombay’s Crawford Market. One day he saw a Parsi couple on the street with a child who resembled Yusuf. Unable to contain himself, he picked up the child from its pram and hugged it to his bosom. The Parsi couple raised an alarm and snatched their child back. Mohammed Sarwar Khan’s eyes filled up with tears as he told them not to be afraid, and how their child reminded of his own son, Yusuf, back home in Peshawar.
This incident prompted Khan to move his family to Bombay. According to Dilip Kumar, his father had a progressive mind and he gave all his children sound education, encouraging them to speak in English which was the language of the British rulers of that time. Although he encouraged his children to develop their individual personalities, Mohammed Sarwar Khan’s word was law and the children were in awe of him.
Yusuf’s mother, Ayesha Begum, suffered from asthma. She lived in Deolali with her younger daughters. Nur Mohammed, Yusuf’s eldest brother, also moved to Deolali to take care of his mother and his younger brothers and sisters. The other children studied in Bombay where they lived with their father and under the charge of their eldest sister Sakina who was affectionately called Apaji by everyone.
But fate willed otherwise. She became very ill with an allergy of the skin and suffered from this disease for twenty-seven years. The marriage was called off and Dr. Rahim later married a German lady and thereafter lived in Karachi. So while the younger children lived with their mother and elder brother in Deolali, the school-going children lived in Bombay with their father under the supervision of their capable and respected elder sister who was virtually a mother to them.
P. Jairaj, an actor-turned-director who directed Dilip Kumar in his second film Pratima was a welcome guest in the Khan household and soon became a regular visitor. He recalled that it was a very warm and cultured family. The father, very much the head of the clan, was highly respected and revered by the children. Papaji was also held in high esteem by the entire family; everyone who visited them paid their respects to her.
After the birth of her youngest child, Fauzia, Ayesha Begum became ill and eventually died of acute asthma in a sanitarium in Deolali. Yusuf s fourth sister, Sayeeda, recalled that she was very frightened to see her brothers, Nasir and Yusuf grow very quiet after a message arrived on 27 August 1948. Just the look on their faces said that something was wrong. She remembered too the scene at the Bombay railway station while they stood waiting to board the train to Deolali. Yusuf stood quietly, with tears in his eyes. This happened while his film Shaheed was in the making.
Yusuf s father did not live much longer after the death of his wife and passed away on 5 March 1950. He had expressed a desire to be buried next to his wife in Deolali, and his children fulfilled this wish. In 1950, the Khan family shifted to their new, now-famous house on Pali Hill Road in Bandra. By then Dilip Kumar was a very successful film star and commanded a high price. He bought the bungalow for the then princely sum of one lakh and twenty thousand rupees. It is a very large and gracious house, well-constructed, with four spacious bedrooms, verandahs, balconies, a large, airy sitting room, dining room and kitchen. In addition, the bungalow has servant rooms, an office, and a fairly large and interesting garden.
The Khan family spent many happy years in this lovely bungalow. Some years later a small cottage was built to the left of the house for Dilip’s use. Except for a few minor changes no renovations have been made in this house.
Dilip’s was a very warm and happy home, thanks to their loving sister Apaji. The Khans were a close-knit family and after the death of their parents, the younger brothers and sisters Ahsan, Aslam, Akhtar, Sayeeda, Farida, and Fauzia were given a sound education. During holidays the family went off to places like Kashmir, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, and Ratnagiri. Kashmir was Apaji’s favorite destination and was a must during the summer months. Papaji had perhaps inherited the traveling bug from her nomadic Turkish ancestors.
Akhtar, Dilip Kumar’s third sister, said that Apaji was forever planning small trips for her younger brothers and sisters. If not holiday trips then there were pilgrimages to Ajmer, Bihar Sharif, Ahmednagar, Agra, and Delhi. Later in life Apaji took to religion and charity; she would feed orphans, hold discourses with purse and fakirs and had a great knowledge of Sufism. Raj Kapoor was a very welcome visitor to Apaji’s mehfils and would spend a lot of time with her and was like another son of the house.
If he were very busy shooting and had not seen his sisters for some time, he would wake them up early in the morning and take them for long drives. The wayside teashop owner would be asked to move over, and Dilip himself would cook the eggs. According to Akhtar, his omelets were delicious. A lover of nature, whenever he could he would take the girls out into the woods for a stroll and talk to them about plants and trees. Sunset was another thing he could not resist. He would often stop the car to watch the setting sun.
Long after the sun had set, the sky, with its changing hues, would keep him fascinated. His relationship with his elder brother Nur and sister Apaji was that of great respect. But it was his brother Ayub that he was emotionally attached to the most. Dilip was strongly influenced by Ayub and there was nothing he could deny him. Ayub was his friend, philosopher, and guide. He was a thinker, a poet, and a very well-read man.
In the early 1950s, Ayub wrote the story and script for a film titled Kala Admi which Dilip Kumar was planning to make but Ayub passed away from kidney failure on 10 March 1954 and the film was shelved. It was a severe blow to Dilip Kumar his closest friend had left him, and he has never since been quite that close to anyone else.
Yusuf was never very close to his eldest brother, Nur Mohammed Khan. Nasir fell in love with and married Suraiya, a cousin of the film-maker K. Mil They had one child, a daughter named Naheed. Dev Anand, remembers that an attractive young girl walked into his office sometime in 1990 looking for a role in films. The girl was Naheed and while Dev was pleased to meet the girl who brought back memories of his friendship with her late father, things did not work out for Naheed in films.
Nasir was doing fairly well in his film career when he was suddenly stricken with a skin disease which did not then have a cure. He lost his hair, eyebrows, and even his eyelashes. That spelled an end to his film career and he grew depressed and spent hours brooding.
Dilip was naturally very upset and as his relationship with Pam was not cordial, he did not even know how to convey to her the news of her husband’s death. He requested his good friend Nargis to break the news to Pam. Dilip made all the arrangements for his brother’s burial and the transportation of his body to Bombay from Amritsar.
Pam said Yusuf even volunteered to look after the children but instead she chose to take them with her to Pakistan where she lived with her sister for over three years. Her son Ayub too had joined films his first film Mashooq did not do too well but he was noticed in his second film Salami which also did very well at the box office.
Ahsan and Aslam, the youngest of Dilip Kumar’s brothers, did their postgraduate studies in the US. Aslam married an American, had two children and stayed on in America. Later, Yusuf’s fifth sister Farida who worked with Filmfare for a number of years began living with Aslam and looking after his children after his separation from his American wife. Ahsan, Yusuf’s fifth brother, took a degree in Industrial Management from Stanford University in the US after which he returned to Bombay and started helping Yusuf with his business and his film company, Citizen Films.
Flirting With Politics
Notwithstanding all their glamour, money and fame, film stars did not have great social acceptability in the early years of India’s independence. As the film industry matured, Pandit Nehru began giving importance to film artists by inviting them to his home and by attending charity film shows and film festivals. It was then a natural step for politicians to seek to harness the tremendous popularity of film stars for political ends.
Thus, fairly early on Dilip Kumar actively campaigned for the Congress Party on behalf of Shah Nawaz Khan in Meerut. Dilip recalled that many of his political friends, like Maulana And, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, and Shah Nawaz were nationalists and truly secular people. Then in the late 1950s, several film personalities came out full swing in support of Krishna Menon.
In August 1997, Dilip Kumar went to Lucknow to address the All-India Muslim OBCs Conference and exhorted Muslims to fight for their rights. This was the first time he openly supported the cause of the minority Muslim community. Earlier, during the Bombay riots, he had only talked of their plight and the help they needed. This was like the start of a more visible and definite role in national politics as he came out openly as a spokesman of the minority group.
In Delhi, Dilip supported the campaign of Dr. Manmohan Singh and was a great success with the people who came to see and hear him. Astutely, Dr. Manmohan Singh let Dilip Kumar hog the limelight, saying, “This is our good fortune that my campaign here is getting initiated by a man like Dilip Kumar. What he has done for the country and its unity and integrity would be written in golden letters.”The crowds roared their approval.
Apart from Delhi, Dilip campaigned in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and, extensively, in Uttar Pradesh which has a large Muslim population. In Ahmedabad where he campaigned for former election commissioner T. N. Seshan, the star-struck crowds were everywhere on the ground, perched on rooftops, and even on top of the cars and the building that housed the Gujarat BJP headquarters. Dilip talked to the gathering about religion and its misuse in politics, and of his hopes for a better future for India.
|Nadiya Ke Paar||Chhote Kunwar Saheb|
|Ghar Ki Izzat||Chander|
|Shikast||Dr. Ram Singh|
|1955||Azaad||Azaad / Abdul Rahim Khan / Kumar|
|Madhumati||Anand / Deven|
|1960||Kohinoor||Yuvraj Rana Devendra Pratap Bahadur / Kohinoor|
|1961||Gunga Jumna||Gungaram ‘Gunga’|
|1966||Dil Diya Dard Liya||Shankar / Raja Saheb|
|1967||Ram Aur Shyam||Ram / Shyam (Dual Role)|
|1968||Sunghursh||Kundan S. Prasad / Bajrangi|
|Aadmi||Rajesh / Raja Saheb|
|1972||Dastaan||Anil / Sunil / Judge Vishnu Sahay (Dual Role)|
|Phir Kab Milogi||Teja Singh|
|1976||Bairaag||Kailash / Bholenath ‘Bhola’ / Sanjay (Triple Role)|
|1981||Kranti||Sanga / Kranti|
|1982||Vidhaata||Shamsher Singh / Shobhraj|
|Shakti||D.C.P. Ashwini Kumar|
|1986||Dharm Adhikari||Dharam Raj|
|Karma||Jailor Vishwanath Pratap Singh / Rana / Dada Thakur|
|1989||Kanoon Apna Apna||Collector Jagat Pratap Singh|
|1991||Saudagar||Thakur Veer Singh|
|1998||Qila||Jagannath Singh / Judge Amarnath Singh (Dual Role)|