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Dilip Kumar, the original superstar!

Friday, December 07, 2012
By Suneel V. Gaur & Rajesh V. Gaur

Tragedy king Dilip Kumar is generally regarded as the first superstar of Bollywood. He will turn 90 on December 11. It was Devika Rani, the owner of Bombay Talkies, who gave Yusuf Khan the screen name – Dilip Kumar. Dilip has said elsewhere “I was given a choice of three names – Dilip Kumar, Jairaj and Vasudev. I was impressed by the name Dilip Kumar. Devika Rani had made the choice of this name”.

Dilip Kumar was born as Yusuf Khan in Peshawar. His father moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) and it was here that Yusuf Khan came into contact with the film industry. His first film Jwar Bhata,was released in 1944.

Dilip achieved stardom with Andaz in which he co-starred with Raj Kapoor. But the biggest landmark came with Bimal Roy’s Devdas, which earned him the title of the “tragedy king”.

Dilip Kumar started getting typecast as the ‘Tragedy King’. Many of his movies in which he played tragic roles like Daag, Devdaas, Babul, Deedar and many others became big hits. As a result of playing tragic roles, Dilip Kumar started getting depressed in real life, as he got deeply involved in the roles he was enacting.

In the 1950s he even went to consult psychiatrists in Britain who advised him to act in some comedy movies for his problem. Dilip Kumar started acting in movies like Kohinoor, Azaad and Mughal-e-Azam, a big success in Indian cinema history.

For his contribution to cinema, Kumar was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke award, the Padma Bhushan and eight Filmfare Awards.

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