Bollywood Legend Dilip Kumar Dies At 98.

Actor Dilip Kumar died on Wednesday morning at the PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai at the age of 98 from age-related health issues.

Dilip Kumar was easily the finest actor of his generation, considered by many to be the greatest method actor of Hindi cinema, and his passing away certainly marks the end of Bollywood’s golden era.

Many actors emulated the charismatic thespian and he influenced everyone from Rajendra Kumar to Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, who was often compared to the legendary actor in his youth.

Born Mohammed Yusuf Khan in 1922 in Peshawar, now Pakistan, Dilip Kumar became a major star in Indian cinema’s golden age between the 1940s and 1960s, being discovered by Devika Rani, and ended up starring in nearly 60 films in a career spanning 50 years, starting with the movie ‘Jwar Bhata’ in 1944.

His well-known turns include the romances such as Andaz (1949), social dramas like Daag (1952), Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955), and the unforgettable Prince Salim in the epic historical Mughal-e-Azam (1960).

Part of the triumvirate comprising Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand in the 50s, his career and that of the trio closely followed the burgeiping aspoiaratoins of a newly independent nation. Dilip Kumar was the serious method actor, no less than Satyajit Ray vouched for him as the nation’s best, while Raj Kapoor was the showman and Dev Anand, the romantic.

The actor won eight Filmfare trophies amongst many other awards in his illustrious career. Guru Dutt initially had him in mind for the lead role in his classic ‘Pyaasa’, but he declined, citing his prior roles had taken a toll on him and to avoid being typecast as the brooding ‘Devdas’ archetype.

Film lore has it that he was even approached by Hollywood for the legendary director David Lean’s movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, but he
rejected the role of Sherif Ali, eventually played by Omar Sharif.

Ranbir Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Dharmendra and Vidya Balam were spotted at Mr. Kumar’s residence to pay their last respects.

Alia Bhatt paid tribute to the legend on her social media, saying “The power of his being lies in his unmatchable body of work. Every time I have watched him portray legendary characters I felt like I was being swept away and yet being educated. Educated by his nuances, his silences, his unparalleled depth and his sheer aura. He will always be the gold standard for actors to imbibe from… the cultural world just lost its shine but the legacy of his light lives on forever. Rest in peace Dilip Saab”

“Dilip Kumar… will be remembered as a cinematic legend,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

“He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world,” the Prime Minister added.

President Ram Nath Kovind said: “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.” He “will live forever in the heart of India”, he added.

Chief Minister Of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, also paid his last respects to the veteran at his residence and announced that his funeral would be conducted with state honours.