Bet you can’t help but marvel at the acting prowess of the legendary actor Dilip Kumar. The thespian, known as the ‘tragedy king of Bollywood’ has been credited for being the pioneer of method acting, even predating Hollywood actors like Marlon Brando. Make no mistakes, the incredible actor has been equally good at comedy, too.
Discovered by Devika Rani, the owner of Bombay Talkies, Dilip Kumar went on to work for the banner for Rs. 1250 per month. His debut film was ‘Jwar Bhata’ (1944) but his first big hit was Jugnu (1947). In fact, did you know Dilip Kumar’s real name is Yusuf Khan? The successful name was given to him by Devika herself.
Dilip Kumar is regarded as the one of the greatest actors in Hindi cinema. He holds the records for maximum number of ‘Best Actor Filmfare Awards’. Just like Marlon Brando has an influence on the acting style of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, Dilip Kumar has inspired the acting style of many actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Kamal Hassan, Naseeruddin Shah and Shah Rukh Khan.
Top 5 Best Films of Dilip Kumar
At number 5, we have Gunga Jamuna – This 1961 movie tells the story of two brothers, Ganja and Jamuna, driven towards opposites of the law. Dilip Kumar plays the wronged Ganga in a brilliant manner. The movie is a trend-setter for many Bollywood movies like Deewar, Trishul which dealt with a similar story line.
At number 4, we have Naya Daur – This 1957 movie is based on post-independence industrialization era, where tonga wallah (horsecarts) are threatened by the advent of buses. The landlord’s son asks Dilip Kumar’s character to a racing game involving a bus and Dilip’s tonga. The underdog wins and how!
At number 3 Devdas – This is the tragedy of a lover who drinks to death, since he cannot be with his lady love. Dilip Kumar gave a finely nuanced performance as a man who loves and loses.
At Number 2 Kohinoor – It is said that Dilip Kumar went into depression after playing tragic roles in films such as Devdas and his psychiatrist recommended to do light roles. And boy isn’t he an absolute riot in this is one!
At Number 1 , we have Mughal-E-Azam – Dilip Kumar gave a beautifully calibrated performance of Prince Salim who is in love with the court dancer Anarkali.
You can check out more on how Dilip Kumar worked on these films, the interesting back-drops and turn of events that were associated with each of these great films in Dilip Kumar’s autobiography