Dilip Kumar, one of the biggest stars in the golden age of Indian cinema from the 1940s to the 1960s, died Wednesday aged 98, a family friend said.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago,” Faisal Farooqui tweeted from Kumar’s official account. He had been battling illness for some time.
Starting out as a fruit seller, Kumar fought early failure and family disapproval to become one of Bollywood’s most accomplished and respected film stars.
Nicknamed “The Tragedy King” with his brooding good looks, tousled hair and deep voice, he enjoyed a career spanning more than 50 years and nearly 60 films.
But he missed out on international fame after turning down the chance to play Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 classic “Lawrence of Arabia”. The part went to an Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif.
Among Kumar’s most remembered roles was his performance in the lavish historical romance “Mughal-e-Azam”, based on the life of one of India’s great Mughal princes.