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Dilip Kumar 99th birth anniversary: The connection he shared with Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Naseeruddin Shah, Dharmendra and others

Dilip Kumar shared a close bond with the likes of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Naseeruddin Shah, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Vyjayanthimala among others.

Written by Kriti Sonali | Bengaluru |
December 10, 2021 9:03:05 pm
Dilip Kumar 99th birth anniversary connection with Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Naseeruddin Shah, DharmendraDilip Kumar was often addressed as a kind man by many of his co-stars. (Photo: Neetu Kapoor/Instagram, Express Archive)

Actor Dilip Kumar would have celebrated his 99th birthday on December 11. “Tragedy King” and “The First Khan of Bollywood” were just a few of the titles given to the legendary actor, who is credited with having brought method acting to India. On Dilip Kumar‘s birth anniversary, let’s have a look at his relationships with some of the biggest actors in Indian cinema.

Raj Kapoor

netu kapoor, raj kapoor, dilip kumar photo Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor shared a very special bond. (Photo: Neetu Kapoor/Instagram)

Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar both were born and brought up in Peshawar, now in Pakistan. Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were friends as well as school mates. Their families lived in neighbouring havelis that are now being turned into museums.

Dev Anand

Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Dilip Kumar Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Dilip Kumar. (Photo: Karisma Kapoor/Instagram)

Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Dilip Kumar were called the “Legendary Trio”. They ruled Hindi cinema for decades and also helped shape the film industry.


Vyjayanthimala, dilip kumar Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. (Photo: Express Archive)

Post Dilip Kumar’s demise, veteran actress Vyjayanthimala shared her experience working with the actor. Vyjayanthimala and Dilip Kumar starred together in Madhumati, Gunga Jumna and Naya Daur among others. “Dilip Kumar was a great actor, and his memories will live in our hearts. He was so comfortable to work with, and he encouraged me a lot. I have learnt many lessons by seeing his acting, and all our eight movies were successful. Dilip Saab has earned great respect with his kind nature, and he will live in our memories forever,” Vyjayanthimala said in an interview with ETimes.

She added, “He was so gentle and friendly with everyone on the sets, and he speaks Urdu so beautifully. I used to visit his house whenever we visited Mumbai, and I have been in regular touch with his wife Saira Banu (who calls Vyjayanthimala as her elder sister) over the phone.”

Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah and Dilip Kumar Naseeruddin Shah and Dilip Kumar had worked together in Subhash Ghai’s Karma. (Photo: Express Archive)

Naseeruddin Shah was admitted to the same hospital where Dilip Kumar breathed his last. Naseeruddin was discharged on June 7, the same day that the Mughal-E-Azam actor died. Remembering the day when Saira Banu visited him to check on his health, Naseeruddin had shared, “(Saira) put her hand on my head and blessed me and said — Sahab was asking about you. I was deeply moved. I wanted to meet him before I left. But unfortunately, the day I left, he also left.”

Naseeruddin Shah recalled the time he spent at Dilip Kumar’s residence during his early days in the film industry. The actor said that he had spent around a week at Dilip Kumar’s house and the legendary actor had told him, “I think you should go back and study. People from good families should not try to become actors.” Naseeruddin Shah was related to Dilip Kumar through his father’s eldest sister Sakina.

Naseeruddin Shah and Dilip Kumar had worked together in Subhash Ghai’s Karma. Recalling their days on the sets, Naseeruddin said, “That’s the only time I think I have been nervous while acting in my life. Most of the time, I was too terrified to even approach him, apart from greeting him in the mornings.”


Feroz Khan, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor at the National Stadium in New Delhi. Feroz Khan, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor at the National Stadium in New Delhi. (Photo: Express Archive)

Dharmendra co-starred with Dilip Kumar in the Bengali film Paari and its Hindi remake Anokha Milan. Recalling his first meeting with the legendary actor, Dharmendra shared in an interview with NDTV, “When I went first met him, it was when I heard his sister Farida was working at Times of India. I quickly asked, ‘I want to meet Dilip sahib’. She said okay. She got me a meeting for 8:30 the next day and I could not wait for 8:30. It felt like a 8 and 1/2 lifetime when I went and sat at his Pali hill home from 8:30 in the evening till 1:30.”

Dharmendra shared that his most prized possession was a sweater that Dilip Kumar had given him sometime in the 60s. “Imagine our talks and with so much love he gave me a sweater to wear. It used to get nippy those days in 60s so I told him ‘I will not return it, can I take it?’ He happily gave it to me with a lot of love. While shooting one day, he told me to wear his suit and I told Saira, ‘I have got my own. I will wear my own cause his suits are a little loose and I couldn’t say no to him.’ I then reminded him, ‘Dilip sahib I took your sweater as nobody forgets if they have bought something nice’. He said, ‘Yes I got 2 from Paris. One Nasir took and the other you took,” he said.

Amitabh Bachchan

Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar. (Photo: Express Archive)

Amitabh Bachchan once shared on his blog that Dilip Kumar shouted at the crew for not letting him rehearse in silence. This was for their film Shakti. When Bachchan was rehearsing for a scene, there was a lot of noise in the background. According to Big B, it was astonishing that the legendary actor would be so considerate about his co-star.

Johnny Lever

After Dilip Kumar’s demise, comedian Johnny Lever shared throwback pictures with him on Instagram and wrote, “RIP Dilip Sahab I’m fortunate enough to have shared some precious moments with the great Dilip Sahab. I remember he did a small mimicry act for me while we were on tour, he served me Biryani once with his own hands at his home, and many more such beautiful memories…”

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