Dilip Kumar, one of India’s earliest and most famous film actors, has died in Mumbai at the age of 98.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago,” Faisal Farooqui posted on Kumar’s official Twitter on Wednesday.
He was admitted to hospital on 30 June after he complained of breathlessness. He had been frequently ill for months.
Kumar is survived by his wife, Saira Banu, a Bollywood actress herself. The couple have no children.
The actor was born Mohammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, in Peshawar city, now in Pakistan. His father was a fruit merchant who took his family to India’s entertainment capital in the 1930s.
Kumar’s screen name was suggested by Devika Rani, who cast him in his first movie, Jwar Bhata in 1944.
Although Jwar Bhata flopped and leading film magazines criticised his performance, Kumar was undeterred and eventually broke through with the 1946 film Milan.
Kumar acted in more than 65 films over nearly five decades, playing roles that ranged from the iconic to the endearing. Some of his most successful films include Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur, Ram Aur Shyam and Madhumati.
Kumar was honoured with prestigious film awards and two of India’s highest civilian awards. He also received the highest civilian honour in Pakistan.