Dilip Kumar: The First Khan

Dilip Kumar turned 87 today/ Thanks randy for reminder

If the word “Khan” is associated with superstardom today, let it not be forgotten that the first and true-blue superstar with that name was Dilip Kumar, real name Mohammed Yusuf Khan. And he has remained a textbook in acting for generations, a fount so rich that even those who self-admittedly copied him became huge successes themselves

Not yet the star

He was born in pre-Partition India in Peshawar on December 11, 1922 to a prosperous fruit merchant of Afghan origin who owned orchards in Peshawar as well as Deolali, a satellite township of Nashik in Maharashtra. The family reached Mumbai much before Partition but Yusuf ran away to Pune after a quarrel with his father. He worked his way up in a military canteen, doing the humblest of jobs. India’s first female superstar Devika Rani was impressed when she happened to sight him there and offered him a role in Bombay Talkies’ Jwar Bhata directed by Amiya Chakravorty. Amiya suggested that he adopt the screen name of Dilip Kumar, a common practice in those days where not just non-Hindus but even the majority community opted for simple, attractive working names.

Jwar Bhata was the first of a hat-trick of flops – Prabhat (1945) and Milan (1946) being the others. But Milan was directed by Nitin Bose, and it was Bose who would later direct the Dilip Kumar home production Gunga Jumna in 1961, a blockbuster that also popularised the Bhojpuri idiom in Hindi cinema and led to a spurt in films in that language.But though Kumar’s first three films took a tumble, it was only the lull before the hurricane.

 Read rest HERE

~ by Yakuza on December 11, 2009.

4 Responses to “Dilip Kumar: The First Khan”

  1. No problem, Dilip Kumar is definitely the furst true superstar of Bollywood and is an inspiration for many actors especially Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.

    He is the only actor in history to have a 80%+% in success ratio

  2. Sorry for writing OFF TOPIC but which wordpress template are you using? Looks cool!!

  3. brilliant write up. absolutely fantastic. Would i wrong to call Dilip Kumar the finest actor Bollywood has seen? Amitabh was a fine actor but dnt think even he measured up to Dilip. However i see something of Dilip kumar in Shah Rukh and Aamir. Dilip is very fond of ShahRukh. Aamir has his mannerisms imo….both v.intelligent actors.

  4. Dalip kumar is great actor but he is still in 2nd position I mean after Amitabh.watch the film Shakti,y can easily find that amitabh is superb but main problem was media.can anyone do acting like PAA in age of 68.amazing actor amitabh.I love dalip also.

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