Dilip Kumar at 90: Much more than just a king of tragedies


Dec,11 2012 18:30 54 IST

Thespian Dilip Kumar turns 90-years-old today. The actor had earlier denied reports of a big birthday bash being planned for this special day, saying that he and his wife Saira Banu still have to recover from the death of their friends Yash Chopra and Bal Thackeray.

The actor, also known as the Tragedy King Of Bollywood, reigned on the silver screen in 1950s and 1960s and is remembered for his performances in sentimental scenes. Despite the fact that he is generally associated with tragedies, Dilip Kumar played varied roles in his long, successful career and also experimented with different genres.

Courtesy: ibn live

The actor delivered some of Bollywood most intense films, be it the brooding hero in Devdas, the charming melancholy prince in Mughal-E-Azam or the star crossed lover in Madhumati.

He also experimented and delivered several good comedy films like Aan, Azaad and Kohinoor.

Dilip Kumar never hesitated to work with the new generation of actors and delivered some unforgettable performances in films like Shakti with Amitabh Bachchan, neither did he shy away from play a part in multi-starrers and has given hits like Kranti. In 1991, the actor gave his last successful film Saudagar with another star of the yesteryear, Raaj Kumar.

Known to be a method actor, Dilip Kumar not only won eight Filmfare Awards but has been awarded the Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his work.

Here is a list of top five Dilip Kumar films from various genres:

An epic period drama, Mughal-e-Azam, is based on a popular Indian tale of Prince Salim, who falls in with a court dancer Anarkali against his father's wishes.  Dilip Kumar played Prince Salim, torn between his responsibility towards his father and his love for Anarkali.

Made by veteran filmmaker Bimal Roy, Madhumati is the story of two star crossed lovers and their reincarnation.


Azaad is a 1955 comedy starring Dilip Kumar as a notorious bandit called Azaad, with whom Meena Kumari's character falls in love.

Andaz directed by Mehboob Khan is a romance. The film starring Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Raj Kapoor is a love triangle.

Made much later in his career, Dilip Kumar plays the role of an idealistic cop who compromises his son's life to stay honest to his duty in Shakti. His son, played by Amitabh Bachchan grows up hating him and indulge in all the activities that he dislikes.