Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar was the last of triumvirate of actors who dominated the Indian film industry in the 1950s and 60s. He passed away at the age of 98 on Wednesday at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. The legendary actor has given many super hits to the film industry like Nadiya Ke Paar (1948), Andaz (1949), Mela (1948), Arzoo (1950), etc. He was known as the ‘Tragedy king’ of Bollywood. From a Fruit seller to Acting legend.

Here are some lesser-known facts about the thespian actor

Dilip Kumar’s real name

The veteran actor is widely known as the ‘Tragedy king’, but very few people know that Dilip Kumar is his screen name. He was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan in an Awan family.

From Pakistan to India to Bollywood

Dilip Kumar hails from the Peshawar city of Pakistan. He became the first actor in Bollywood who was from Pakistan.

Fruit seller to Actor

Before Dilip Kumar stepped into the film industry and became a legendary actor, he used to sell fruits in Pune, Maharashtra.

Also played cricket

In another interesting fact about Dilip Kumar, the legend just did not love cricket but was a good player too.

Triple Role in film

Dilip Kumar once played a triple role in his movie ‘Bairaag’. He was the only actor of his time to do so.

First Best Actor award

Adding another feather to his cap, he became the first actor to receive the Filmfare award for Best Actor. He was also the only one to get the award three consecutive years – 1955, 1956, and 1957.


Dilip Kumar could speak in multiple languages including Pashto, Hindko, Urdu, Hindi, and English.

Declined the Thakur’s role in Sholay

He could have shared the screen with Amitabh Bachhan as Thakur in cult classic Sholay, but had declined the role as he felt it was ‘one-dimensional’, lacking variety. The role of Thakur was eventually played by Sanjeev Kumar, and rest is history.


Marrying Saira Banu

Actor Saira Banu was just 12 years old when she fell ahead over heels in love with the 34-year old Dilip Kumar, who had already made it big in the Indian film industry. Despite the 22-year age gap, Saira Banu’s mother played Cupid to bring the two together. Later Dilip Kumar proposed to Saira Banu and the two got married in 1966.

Faced hurdles under Nehru government

Dilip Kumar’s film ‘Ganga Jamuna’ had been banned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I & B). Reason given was violence and vulgarity. The Censor Board had recommended 250 cuts in the movie for it to be released.

Election campaigning for Congress candidate

Nehru had pressurised Dilip Kumar to campaign for V R Krishna Menon in 1957 Lok Sabha election.

Pakistan visit

Pakistan’s former Foreign minister Kasuri had once told that Dilip Kumar had visited Pakistan twice on secret missions for the Indian government.

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