Bollywood’s tragedy king, Dilip Kumar, was laid to rest with full state honours on Wednesday.
The celebrated star was buried at Juhu Qabrastan in Mumbai. Kumar breathed his last at Hinduja Hospi-tal at 7:30 am (July 7).
His wife Saira Banu was by his side at his last mo-ments. The legendary actor’s mortal remains were brought to his Mumbai home, where several Bolly-wood actors paid their last respects to him. Last month, Kumar was hospitalised twice due to breath-ing issues.
The actor’s dead body was wrapped in the Tricolor as Mumbai Police officials accompanied the funeral procession from the Devdas star’s residence to Juhu Qabrastan. Saira Banu was also spotted.
After being diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion and getting the proper treatment done, he was dis-charged on June 11.
However, he started facing similar breathing issues again later last month and was again hospitalised. Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu.
Nicknamed “The Tragedy King” because of his brooding good looks, tousled hair and deep voice, he played the lead in some of the Indian film indus-try’s most commercially successful films of the period.
Kumar was born Mohammed Yusuf Khan on De-cember 11, 1922, in Peshawar, Pakistan, then part of British-ruled India.
His father was a fruit merchant who took his family to India’s entertainment capital in the 1930s.
But the son turned his back on the chance to take over the business when actress Devika Rani spotted him on his father’s fruit stall in the then Bombay, leading to a part in his first film, “Jwar Bhata”, in 1944.
Rani persuaded him to change his name, so he chose Dilip Kumar, allowing him to hide what he was doing from his disapproving father.
Although “Jwar Bhata” flopped and leading film magazines criticised his performance, Kumar was undeterred and eventually broke through with the 1946 film “Milan”.
One of his most remembered roles was in the lavish historical romance “Mughal-e-Azam”, based on the life of one of India’s great Mughal princes.
The movie, released in 1960, was eight years in the making and cost a mind-boggling 15 million rupees, but soon became one of Bollywood’s biggest-grossing films of all time.
Kumar, who cited Hollywood greats Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper and Spencer Tracy as influ-ences, later won acclaim in 1964 for the nationalis-tic “Leader”, screened against a backdrop of recent wars against China and Pakistan.
The 1970s saw fewer roles, as younger actors like Amitabh Bachchan took centre stage.
He even took a five-year break after a string of flops, returning in 1981 with the hit “Kranti” (Revolution) and a part alongside Bachchan in “Shakti” (Strength) the following year, plus a string of character roles.
After a series of badly-received films, Kumar took up a more active role in politics in 1998 and worked to end the feuding between India and Pakistan.