Legendary actor Mohammed Yusuf Khan, known professionally as Dilip Kumar, passed away on July 7 due to prolonged illness. He was 98 years old.
The news of Kumar’s demise was confirmed by Dr. Jalil Parkar, the pulmonologist treating the actor at Mumbai’s PD Hinduja Hospital. Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu, who is also a renowned actor.
“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,” his family friend Faisal Farooqui posted on Kumar’s Twitter account.
The veteran actor was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a non-COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai’s suburban Khar on June 29 following complaints of breathlessness as a “precautionary measure”. This had come 10 days after he was discharged.
He was earlier admitted to the same hospital on June 6 due to episodes of breathlessness. He was then diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion — a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs and underwent a successful pleural aspiration procedure, news reports had suggested earlier.
He was born in the Qissa Khwani Bazaar area of Peshawar (now in Pakistan) and made his film debut with Jwar Bhata (1944). However, his first box office hit came in the form of Jugnu in 1947.
Kumar’s career spanned over five decades with several hits including Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur and Ram Aur Shyam. His last big screen appearance was the 1998 film Qila.
He was one of the last surviving stars of the Hindi film industry’s 1940s–1960s ‘Golden Age’.
He is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, as well as the Nishan-e-Imtiaz — one of the highest civil decorations conferred by Pakistan.
Fluent in his first language Hindko, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi and English, among others, Kumar won the ‘Best Actor’ Filmfare Award at least seven times and was honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994.
Members of the Indian film industry and other prominent personalities posted their tributes on social media.
“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. Dilip Saab will live forever in the heart of India,” President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.
“Dilip Kumar Ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
“An institution has gone .. whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written , it shall always be ‘before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar’ .. My duas for peace of his soul and the strength to the family to bear this loss .. Deeply saddened,” actor Amitabh Bachchan said in a tweet.