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Veteran Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar dies at 98


Veteran Indian actor king Dilip Kumar is dead

Indian cinema legend, Dilip Kumar, known for his melodramatic, tear-jerking roles in Bollywood is dead.

He died on Wednesday aged 98.

Kumar’s death was announced by a family friend, Faisal Farooqui, on the actor’s Twitter handle.

The actor died at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai where he was admitted last week after complaining of breathlessness.

He is to be buried Wednesday evening with state honours, DPA reports.

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Born in 1922 in Peshawar, now Pakistan, as Muhammad Yusuf Khan, the actor changed his name to Dilip Kumar when he began his Bollywood career in 1949.

Kumar has acted in over 60 films in a six-decade-long career, with his biggest hits between 1949 and 1961 – some of them all-time classics of Bollywood.

In Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Kumar played the handsome, besotted Prince Salim trying to stand up for his love against a larger-than-life father in Bollywood’s most lauded period film.

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His other memorable roles include the intense lovelorn heroes of Andaz (1949) and Devdas (1955). There is also the lighter in mood but top-grossing film Azaad (1955) and Ganga Jamuna (1961), woven around social issues and class divides.

Kumar is said to have passed over a lead role in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962) that later went to Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif.

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Kumar won many Indian film awards, served as a member of parliament and the sheriff of Mumbai. In 2015, he received the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award.

Dilip Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu, whom he married in 1966 when he was 44 and she was 22.