Mumbai: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar turns 94 on Sunday but he will have a low key birthday celebration in hospital where he is admitted following illness.
Kumar, who was admitted to Lilavati hospital in suburban Bandra on Tuesday after swelling on his right leg, is recovering well.
“He is resting now. He is in the ICU, but he is doing well, there is nothing to worry. Close family and friends have been visiting him since morning. We will cut the cake once he is awake. It will be a quiet birthday this time,” his wife and veteran actress Saira Banu said today.
“We are thankful to all the fans and media for their love and well wishes. He will be in hospital today, he is not getting discharged,” she said.
Last year, Kumar had a quiet birthday celebration as a mark of solidarity to the victims of deluge in Chennai. Born in Peshawar as Yousuf Khan, the actor adopted the screen name Dilip Kumar.
He made his debut in acting with “Jwar Bhata” in 1944 and went on to give memorable performances in films like “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Ganga Jaumna”, “Devdas”, “Andaz, Babul”, “Aan”, “Amar”, “Shaheed”, “Naya Daur”, “Madhumati”, “Ram Aur Shyam”, “Shakti”and “Mashaal” among others.
Kumar portrayed tragic roles through the 1940s, 50s and 60s in films like “Mela”, “Devdas”, “Dil Diya Dard Liya” and others, which gave him the moniker of ‘Tragedy King of Bollywood’.
Later, he shifted to doing lighter roles in films like “Ram Aur Shyam”, “Tarana” and “Kohinoor” and showed that he is equally good at comedy. He was last seen on-screen in the 1998 film “Qila”.
The thespian has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contribution to the Indian cinema. The Pakistan government also honoured him with its highest civilian honour – Nishan-e-Imtiaz – in 1997. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Rishi Kapoor among other Bollywood celebrities took to Twitter to wish “the greatest actor” on his birthday.
“To the greatest.. Dilip Kumar.. on his birthday Dec 11, wishes prayers and duas for good health and happiness,” Bachchan wrote.
Calling him the “Aakhri Mughal of the Hindi film industry”, Azmi tweeted, “Salgirah mubarak @TheDilipKumar. You have been such an inspiration to millions. Respect.