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Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar (born. Dec 1, 1922) is an Indian film actor and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha). He is the recipient of India's highest award for cinematic excellence, the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and also the Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's highest civilian award.

Dilip Kumar was born Yusuf Khan in Peshawar (now Pakistan) in a Pathan family of twelve children. His father relocated to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Yusuf Khan got introduced to the Bombay film industry in the 1940s. Khan adopted the screen name of Dilip Kumar for his first film Jwar Bhatta released in 1944.

In 1949, he co-starred with Raj Kapoor in the film Andaz, which went to become a major success and made him a superstar. In the 50s, his role in Bimal Roy's Devdas as a tragic drunken hero earned him the title of the "Tragedy King". The film Mughal-e-Azam (1960) in which he played crown-prince Jehangir, the son of Akbar, was a record-breaking film in the history of the Indian film industry. He tried his hand as Producer for the film Ganga Jamuna and was rewarded as the film turned out to be successful.

He was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1995. In 1998 he was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award conferred by the Pakistan goverment. He is the first Indian to receive the award. However his award ran into controversy when war-like conditions strained relations between India and Pakistan, and he was asked to return the award.

Dilip Kumar is considered one of the best actors produced by the Hindi film industry. His style of acting is characterised by rich dialogues in Urdu and a poetic manner of delivery. His acting has influenced his successors and many actors look up to him and try to emulate his style.

He is married to actress Saira Banu. He married her when he was 44 and she was half his age, and despite apprehensions from the media, the marriage has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood.

He has been active in efforts to bring the people of India and Pakistan closer. He has been a member of Parliament since 2000.