It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call Dilip Kumar one of the greatest actors Bollywood has ever seen. Be as Bollywood’s tragedy king or as a singing-dancing sweet-natured buffoon, this thespian has excelled in films of every genre as he forever redefined acting in Bollywood. Be it Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Kumar remains the first inspiration for so many actors, making his body of work an institution in itself.
Today on the occassion of his 92nd birthday, we take a look back at his most iconic roles throughout the ages.
Devdas in Devdas:
Way before Shah Rukh, it was Dilip Kumar who immortalized the character of Devdas on the silver screen. Relatively early on in his career, Dilip Kumar displayed the kind of acting chops in Devdas that convinced critics that the Indian film industry had found a powerhouse performer. His sincere, realistic portrayal of the famous character still overshadows SRK’s performance for many purists who believe his to be the better version.
Prince Salim in Mughal-e-Azam:
Widely regarded as one of the greatest Hindi films ever made, Mughal-e-Azam partly owes its grandeur to Dilip Kumar's pathos-enriched portrayal of Prince Salim who is madly in love with Anarkali. Dilip Kumar masterfully charts the growth of Salim from an amorous young prince to a dedicated lover to a suicidal and self-destructive man bound by helplessness.
Shyam in Ram Aur Shyam:
Ram Aur Shyam is the definitive Bollywood double-role which inspired countless other movies like Seeta Aur Geeta and Chaalbaaz but what we love the most about the movie is Dilip Kumar's hilarious portrayal of the swaggering, over-confident Shyam. Not only does he impress with his two contrasting characters but also displays an acute sense of comic timing.
Shankar in Naya Daur:
Often regarded as one of Dilip Kumar's finest movies, Naya Daur was a powerful film that wonderfully reflected the needs of post independence India. Dilip Kumar was brilliant as a champion of the common man's cause in an India enterting the age of Industrialization.
Sagina in Sagina:
Vibrant, self-assured and full of life, Sagina is a character who will always stay in our hearts thanks to Dilip Kumar's colorful portrayal of this character. His 'Saala Main Toh Sahab' ban gaya number in particular is an unforgettable one.
Did you like our list? Have we missed out on any of your favourite Dilip Kumar performances? Do let us know in the comments section below!