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On his 98th birthday, looking back at films that established Dilip Kumar as 'The Tragedy King'

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 December 2020, 14:05 IST

Legendary actor, philanthropist and former politician Dilip Kumar ringed into his 98th birthday on Friday.

Fans of the yesteryear actor who is credited for bringing the technique of method acting to the Indian cinema have been flooding Twitter with several tweets celebrating his birthday since midnight.

While the superstar has worked in over 65 movies in his five decades-long glorious career, here is a look back on the few films that gave him the tag of 'The Tragedy King.'

1. 'Devdas'

'Devdas,' - the painful saga of love and romance, which was based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel of the same name was till date regarded as one of the finest works of the superstar. The Bimal Roy directorial saw Kumar acing the role of a die-hard lover on the road of destruction at hands of love and alcoholism.

2. 'Babul'

The musical drama that emerged out as the second highest-grossing film of the year 1950 saw a tragic love-triangle between his character the late dazzling diva Nargis and late actor Munawar Sultana. The heartwarming film that saw Dilip Kumar in the role of a postmaster hailing from a rich family was directed by director SU Sunny.

3. 'Daag'

The social drama 'Daag,' produced and directed by Amiya Chakravarty brought Dilip Kumar the first ever Filmfare Award in the main category of best actor. The film sees the rise of a poverty-stricken and alcoholic Shankar (Dilip Kumar's character) to a wealthy man who again moves towards the path of self-destruction as the family of the love of his life decided to marry her elsewhere. The film, however, ends on a good note with Shankar marrying his love interest and quitting alcohol thereafter.

4. 'Mughal-e-Azam'

The ultimate love story of Mughal prince Salim and a court dancer Anarkali was one of the most tragic films by the legendary superstar. His epic portrayal of the spoiled, self-indulgent and mad-in-love prince won the film several accolades including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1961.

5. 'Deedar'

One of the noted tragedies made in early Indian cinema 'Deedar' revolves around the unfulfilled love of Dilip Kumar's character who was separated from him due to class inequalities. The film emerged out as one of the most popular films of the golden era and established Kumar as the 'King of tragedies.' The film starred Nargis and Nimmi alongside Kumar.

Though the 98-year-old actor tried to work in a different genre of movies to do away with the tag of 'The Tragedy King', his epic portrayal in these films have been etched in the hearts of his fans and he is hence, to date remembered with the tag.

Some other tragedy movies by the superstar including 'Sairat,' 'Tarana,' 'Yahudi,' and 'Kumati.'

He was last seen on the big screen in 'Qila' in 1998 and was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.


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First published: 11 December 2020, 14:02 IST