Doyen of Indian cinema, thespian, national treasure: film personalities mourn demise of Dilip Kumar

·5-min read

Mumbai, Jul 7 (PTI) An actor par excellence, idol of the idols, and a man who was loved by the audiences in both India and Pakistan is how film personalities, including Lata Mangeshkar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore and Adnan Siddiqui remembered screen icon Dilip Kumar, who died after a prolonged illness on Wednesday.

The 98-year-old actor was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Hinduja Hospital, a non-COVID-19 facility, last Tuesday.

Mangeshkar shared on Twitter: 'Yusuf Bhai was ill for the last many years, could not recognise anyone. At such a time Saira Bhabhi left everything and served him day and night. There was no other life for him. I bow to such a woman and pray that Yusuf Bhai's soul rests in peace.' Dharmendra, who visited Kumar's Pali Hill residence to pay his last respects earlier in the day, said he has lost his 'most affectionate brother in the industry' with the legendary actor's demise.

'Jannat naseeb ho hamare Dilip Sahab ko (May Allah give him the right place in heaven),' he tweeted.

Bachchan, who had famously shared screen space with Kumar in 1982 crime drama 'Shakti', called the actor an 'institution' in himself.

'Never before... never after... I have lost my idol... An institution... The history of Indian Cinema shall ever be written with: 'before Dilip Kumar and after Dilip Kumar'... No words to express grief in his passing,' he wrote on his official blog alongside a picture with the late legend.

The 98-year-old actor, who passed away following prolonged illness, was buried with full state honours around 4:45 PM in the presence of family, including actor wife Saira Banu.

Kumar was given a gun salute, following which the police band paid him a tribute at the Juhu Qabrastan in Santacruz, Mumbai.

Veteran actor Manoj Kumar said Kumar's legacy will live on, just like his contemporaries Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.

'It is the end of an era,' he told PTI.

Jeetendra said Kumar inspired generations of actors who came to the industry after him.

'His love and warmth is unmatched and there will never be another like him,' he said.

Sharmila Tagore remembered Kumar as a man who was loved beyond India.

'The subcontinent loved him. He was beyond any geographical border. He got Pakistan's highest award, and was very well known in Bangladesh. He was loved across,' Tagore told PTI.

Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui, who co-starred with Sridevi in the 2018 film 'Mom', called Kumar a 'thespian' who will live on in his work.

'He was inspiration to actors all over the world,' Saba Qamar, star of hit Pakistani serial 'Maat' and Bollywood hit 'Hindi Medium', said.

'Best actor Indian cinema has ever seen and will ever see... #RIP Dilip Saab,' tweeted Salman Khan.

Madhuri Dixit, who worked with Kumar in 1989's 'Kanoon Apna Apna', said the screen icon single-handedly altered the present and went on to script history in the world of cinema.

Anil Kapoor reminisced about working with Kumar on three movies -- 'Shakti', 'Mashaal' (1984) and 'Karma' (1986).

'He was and will always be the finest & greatest actor of our industry for me,' he said.

His 'Karma' co-star Jackie Shroff also paid tributes to Kumar in a post on Instagram, writing, 'Prayers for his soul and strength to the family.' Anupam Kher, who played the antagonist in 'Karma', said Kumar was known for conjuring magic with his performances.

Sanjay Dutt, who worked with Kumar in 'Vidhaata' and 'Kanoon Apna Apna', said the veteran actor was like a 'father figure' to him.

Kamal Haasan said Kumar was 'a bridge of reconciliation between the people of India and Pakistan'.

Mohanlal hailed Dilip Kumar as the 'doyen of Indian Cinema' who will forever be remembered.

'No one like you! Have a great journey from here on master... Rest in peace,' Manoj Bajpayee wrote. Adnan Sami, whose father was the first cousin of the legendary actor from Peshawar, told PTI, said he used to address him as Yousuf lala as per Pashtun tradition.

'To me, he was a man who was simple at heart and a very humble man,' he added.

South star Chiranjeevi described Kumar as 'one of the greatest actors India has ever produced, an acting institution and a national treasure.' 'Thank you for the memories,' said filmmaker Srijit Mukherji said.

Prosenjit Chatterjee tweeted, 'When it comes to his exceptional acting prowess - I don't think I can even make a comment about it..can only admire forever.' Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Rajkummar Rao, Sonu Sood, Emraan Hashmi, John Abraham, Jr NTR, among others, also paid tributes to Kumar.

Born Yousuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, and often known as the Nehruvian hero, Kumar did his first film “Jwar Bhata” in 1944 and his last “Qila” in 1998, 54 years later.

The five-decade career included 'Mughal-e-Azam', 'Devdas', 'Naya Daur', and 'Ram Aur Shyam', and later, as he graduated to character roles, “Shakti” and ‘”Karma”.

Kumar had been battling ill health for the last few years, including advanced-stage prostate cancer and lung disease, and had been in and out of the hospital.

The first of the Khans, as he was sometimes referred to, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for one term, awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan and also served as sheriff of Mumbai. He was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award. PTI JUR/KKP SUS RB BK RDS RDS

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