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Dilip Kumar: The Sandwich Seller Who Became Indian Cinema’s Best Actor

The hero who inspired stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Kumar was arguably the best actor Indian cinema has ever produced. We pay a tribute to the icon whom India will miss deeply.

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Mohammed Yusuf Khan, better known as Dilip Kumar to the world, breathed his last earlier this morning. He was 98 years old.

Dilip Kumar holds the distinction of finding a mention in the Guinness World Records for the maximum number of awards won by an Indian actor.

Dilip Saab

Honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015, Kumar has often been referred to as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood. He began his acting career in 1944 with Jwar Bhata, but Raj Kapoor’s Andaz (1949) is the film that catapulted him to fame.

As the news of his passing broke, tributes have been pouring in from all quarters. President Ram Nath Kovind condoled the death of the legendary actor and took to twitter to express his grief. “Dilip Kumar summarised in himself a history of emerging India. The thespian’s charm transcended all boundaries, and he was loved across the subcontinent. With his demise, an era ends. Dilip Saab will live forever in the heart of India. Condolences to family and countless fans.”

Noteworthy figures in Indian cinema were also fans of the famed actor, including Amitabh Bachchan, who, a few years ago, had shared a blog post in which he wrote about why it took him 46 years to muster up the courage to get Dilip Kumar’s autograph. Bachchan recalled meeting Kumar for the first time in 1960 in Mumbai. As he approached Kumar with an autograph book, it seemed as though Kumar did not notice his presence. Unfortunately, the brief encounter ended there, with Bachchan getting no autograph.

Later in 1982, Bachchan got the opportunity to work with Kumar in Shakti and a few other films thereon. However, 46 years later, after Kumar attended the premier of Black in 2005, he sent Bachchan a note applauding his work. And that’s how Amitabh Bachchan finally got Dilip Kumar’s autograph. You can read the entire blog post here.

Watch a video commemorating the legendary star’s life right here.

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(Edited by Divya Sethu)

 

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