On 7 July, the Thespian of Indian cinema, Dilip Kumar, 98, took his last breath at the PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. He passed away after prolonged age related health issues. The news has come after Dilip Sahab was hospitalised recently following episodes of breathlessness. Dr Jalil Parkar, who was treating him confirmed the news.
Dilip Kumar’s Twitter handle, which was being managed by a family friend Faisal Farooqui, also confirmed the actor’s demise. “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return,” Farooqui tweeted.
An ANI tweet read, “Veteran actor Dilip Kumar passes away at the age of 98, says Dr Jalil Parkar, the pulmonologist treating the actor at Mumbai’s PD Hinduja Hospital.”
The family had last shared an update on Dilip Kumar’s health on 5 July and had tweeted that he was improving. “We are grateful for God’s infinite mercy on Dilip Sahib that his health is improving. We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insha’Allah he is healthy and discharged soon. Saira Banu Khan,” the tweet read.
He had been admitted to PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai’s Khar area for the second time in June after he complained of breathlessness. A team of healthcare workers led by Dr. Nitin Gokhale were treating him.
Dilip Kumar made his acting debut with Jwar Bhata in 1944, however rose to fame three years later with Jugnu. He followed it up with hit films like Shaheed and Mela, and established himself as the romantic star with Mehboob Khan’s Andaz, in which he featured alongside Raj Kapoor and Nargis. In an illustrious career spanning over 5 decades, the Thespian of Indian cinema has worked in over 65 films. He is also known as the Tragedy King due to the portrayal of a broken lover in several films through the 1950s, including the Bimal Roy classic, Devdas in 1955.
Among the other iconic roles, the most memorable one for Dilip Kumar is the historic portrayal of Prince Salim in Mughal-E-Azam, which proved to be the greatest tale of romance upon its release. In the making for over seven years, K Asif’s epic love story also emerged the highest grossing film of Indian cinema back in the 1960’s and held the record for almost 15 years, until the release of Sholay. With his acting talent, Dilip Kumar has inspired a generation of actors, including the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Dilip Kumar’s last on-screen appearance was in 1998 in the Umesh Mehra directed Qila, which featured him in a double role. Before Qila was Subhash Ghai’s Saudagar (1990), which emerged a smash hit at the box-office. There have been several attempts to bring Dilip Kumar back on the screen after Qila, which includes Subhash Ghai’s effort to make Mother Land co-starring Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan and JP Dutta’s Aakhri Mughal. He was also to make his directorial debut with Kalinga in the 90s, however, after shooting nearly 70% of the film, it was put in the cans.
Considered as one of the greatest actors in the history of Hindi cinema, he holds the Guinness World Record for winning maximum awards by an Indian actor. He has received many awards through his career, including eight Filmfare Award for Best Actor and one Lifetime Achievement Award for Filmfare.
Our prayers with the family and may his soul rest in peace.