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Dilip Kumar celebrating his 91st birthday

Muhammad Yusuf Khan the Tragedy King is known as Dilip S Kumar was born on 11th December 1922.

He was born into a Hindko-speaking Pashtun family of 12 children in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar, now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

He did his schooling from prestigious Barnes School, Deolali, near Nasik, and in the late 1930s his family relocated to Mumbai.

He started his career with lead role in their film Jwar Bhata (1944), which marked Dilip Kumar’s entry into the Bollywood film industry.

Hindi author Bhagwati Charan Varma gave him the screen nameDilip Kumar.

It is believed that Dilip Kumar can speak a number of languages, including English, Hindi, Urdu, Hindko, and Pashto.

His major contribution was being an activist in bringing the people of India and Pakistan closer together.

In 1976, Dilip Kumar took a five-year break from film performances and came back with actress Vyjayanthimala, where they both had acted seven films together including the former’s home production Gunga Jamuna resulting in great on-screen chemistry and an alleged affair between them.

The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan award in 1991 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for his contributions towards Indian cinema and nominated him to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament for a term.

He is the first recipient of Filmfare Best Actor Award (1954) and shares the record for the most number of Filmfare awards won for that category with Shahrukh Khan with eight wins.

In 1998 he was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award conferred by the government of Pakistan.

He is the second Indian to receive the award. At the time of the Kargil War, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray demanded Dilip Kumar return his Nishan-e-Imtiaz, but he refused by saying,

“This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor; I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?”

He was also honored with CNN-IBN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

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