An Era Ends With Dilip Kumar's Death At 98

Dilip Kumar was taken to hospital on last Wednesday after complaining of breathlessness

A file photograph of Dilip Kumar.

New Delhi:

Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar has died in Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital. He was 98. Dilip Kumar was taken to hospital last Wednesday after complaining of breathlessness – it was the second time he had been hospitalised in the same month. Dilip Kumar was buried with state honours at the Juhu Cemetery in Mumbai's Santacruz on Wednesday evening. “He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 am,” Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating Dilip Kumar, told news agency PTI. A tweet posted from the actor's official handle by family friend Faisal Farooqui read: “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip saab a few minutes ago. We are from God and to him we return.” 

Tributes to the late icon flooded social media; President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: “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. Condolences to family and countless fans.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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. Condolences to his family, friends and innumerable admirers. RIP.”

Two days ago, Saira Banu shared this message on Dilip Kumar's Twitter: “We are grateful for God's infinite mercy on Dilip Saab that his health is improving. We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insh'Allah he is healthy and discharged soon.”

Dilip Kumar was first taken to hospital on June 6 and was put on oxygen support and was stable. Politician Sharad Pawar was photographed visiting him. A tweet from the actor's official handle shared this update: "Don't believe in WhatsApp forwards. Saab is stable. Thank you for your heart-felt duas and prayers. As per doctors, he should be home in 2-3 days." Dilip Kumar was discharged on June 11.

Dilip Kumar had been in and out of hospital over the last few years with illnesses ranging from a kidney ailment to pneumonia. A few years ago, the actor spent his 94th birthday in hospital where he was being treated for fever and a swollen leg. Dilip Kumar, who would have been 99 in December, is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Saira Banu.

Before the imposition of the nationwide-lockdown in March last year, actor Dilip Kumar revealed that he and Saira Banu, were under "complete isolation and quarantine" as a precautionary measure.

Dilip Kumar, real name Yusuf Khan, appeared in some of Indian cinema's most iconic and landmark films including Naya Daur, Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Ram Aur Shyam, Andaz, Madhumati and Ganga Jamuna. Film lore has it that he rejected the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia, eventually played by Omar Sharif. Dilip Kumar's career spanned several decades, starting in the '40s. He transitioned from playing the romantic-tragic lead to character roles from the '80s on, in films such as Kranti, Shakti, Karma and Saudagar. 1998's Qila was his last film.

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Dilip Kumar featured in dual roles in Ram Aur Shyam

In 1966, Dilip Kumar married actress Saira Banu, his co-star in films like Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag.

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Dilip Kumar co-starred with Saira Banu in Madhumati

Dilip Kumar received the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Dada Saheb Phalke award. He also received Pakistan's highest civilian honour, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz.

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Dilip Kumar in a still from Andaz

Dilip Kumar won several cinematic awards and was the first ever winner of the Filmfare Best Actor prize. He won eight Filmfare Best Actor awards, a record he shares with Shah Rukh Khan.