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Dilip Kumar, Bollywood's great tragedy king, dies at 98

Kumar played many serious roles, including the title "Tragedy King". His character was a frustrated lover and drunkard in many of his roles. His expressive performance of identifying emotions was what made him Bollywood's only Method actor.

Kumar was admitted to hospital twice last month for breathing problems. His family posted the news of his death with deep grief and a heavy heart.

"Dilip Kumar will always be remembered as a cinematic icon. His brilliance was unmatched, and audiences from all generations were amazed by his talent. In a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that Kumar's passing was a tragedy for the cultural world.

Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood's superstar tweeted "An institution is gone." "When the history of Indian Cinema is written, it will always be 'before Dilipkumar, and after Dilipkumar'."

Madhur Bhandarkar, filmmaker, said that "it's the end an era."

On December 11, 1922, he was born Muhammad Yusuf Khan (a Muslim). His Pathan family was originally from Peshawar in Pakistan, which became Pakistan after Partition. He visited his ancestral home in late 1980s.

In Pakistan, Kumar was also a hugely loved film lover.

Imran Khan, Pakistan's Prime Minister, said that he was shocked to hear about Kumar's passing. He tweeted, "Dilip Kumar was the greatest actor and most versatile of my generation."

Khan also remembered Kumar's generosity in raising funds in Pakistan, London and for a trust to establish cancer hospitals in the memory of his mother.

As he made his Bollywood debut, the Hindi-language film industry that was centered in Mumbai in 1944, he changed his name to "Jwar Bhata" or "Sea Tides."

His film career spans over six decades and includes more than 60 films. His first big box-office hits were "Jugnu," also known as "Firefly", in 1947, in which he starred with Noor Jehan. "Shaheed," also called "Martyr," was his 1948 film.

He was a variety of characters: a romantic hero in Andaz, a swashbuckler and drunkard in Aan, a comedy role in Zaad, a Muslim prince in the historical epic Mughal-e-Azam, and a robber/robber in Ganga Jamuna.

Mehboob Khan's 1952 blockbuster "Aan", was his first Technicolor film. It was also among a series of light-hearted roles that he performed at the suggestion his psychiatrist in order to get rid of his "Tragedy King” image.

In 1950s, he starred in many social drama films such as "Footpath", Naya Daur ("New Era") and "Musafir ("Traveller"), among others.

Madhubala and Nargis were his top female stars.

Dilip Kumar, 22 years older than him, married Saira Banu in 1966. They acted together in "Gopi," Sagina Mahato, and "Bairaag." No children were born to them.

He produced and starred as the lead in Ganga Jamuna, which he and his brother Nasir Khan acted in. This was his only film. Indian media reports claim that he declined Sherif Ali's role in David Lean’s 1962 film "Lawrence of Arabia". Omar Sharif, an Egyptian actor, was offered the role.

In the late 1970s, he took a break but returned to the film with a role in "Kranti," which was a successful 1981 remake. He played key roles in films like "Shakti," Karma, and "Saudagar" but returned to acting in 1981 with a character role in "Kranti," or "Revolution." His final film was "Qila," which was released in 1998.

He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1994, which is the highest honor for his contributions to Indian cinema. After being nominated, he served six years in the Indian Parliament's upper house.

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