Muhammad Yusuf Khan, better known by his screen name of Dilip Kumar, turns 97 today.
The thespian — known for some brilliant performances in films ranging from Mughal-e-Azam to Deedar, from Ram Aur Shyam to Azaad, from Madhumati to Naya Daur — was seen in a nondescript film called Qila in 1998 which was his last film.
However, the family is not keen on having a large celebration on the occasion. “It will be a small celebration but only with close members of the family and very close family friends. There is no big celebration on the cards,” says a close aide of the family, Murshid Khan.
For uninitiated, Kumar actually wanted to quit films after the phenomenal success of Ram Aur Shyam, but only did 21 years ago after Qila. “He actually wanted to quit after Ram aur Shyam. The huge success of the film did not overwhelm him, and he confided in me that he was contemplating taking a bow. I pleaded with him not to take any such decision. The fact is that he had the guts and the confidence to work selectively in only one film at a time, even when he was a young actor on the threshold of stardom. It did not scare him that he may be out of work if that one film did not succeed. He put his entire being into the work he did and he knew that his dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence would not go unrewarded,” his wife and former actress Saira Bano told us recently.