Dilip Kumar, the veteran Hindi actor, died on Wednesday morning at a Mumbai hospital after suffering from a prolonged illness, his family friend Faisal Farooqui said. Kumar was 98.
Tweeting from the actor’s Twitter account, through which his wife and actor Saira Banu and friends regularly shared health updates, Farooqui wrote, “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return.”
The veteran actor, who was suffering from breathlessness for long, was being treated at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Mumbai’s PD Hinduja Hospital.
“He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 a.m,” Dr. Jalil Parkar, who was treating Kumar at the hospital, told PTI.
Kumar had been unwell for the past few years. In June he was diagnosed and treated for bilateral pleural effusion — a build-up of excess fluid between the tissues that line the lungs and chest. Following the actor’s hospitalisation, rumours started doing the rounds that Kumar had died. Refuting the rumours, Banu had issued a clarification on Twitter.
He was taken to the hospital on June 30 after he complained of breathing issues. This was his second visit to the hospital in June. However, on Monday the veteran actor showed signs of improvement, his wife Saira Banu said through a tweet on his account. “We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insha’Allah he is healthy and discharged soon,” she wrote.
Recently, two of the veteran actor’s brothers, Aslam Khan and Ahsan Khan, died of Covid-19.
Dilip Kumar, born Yousuf Khan in 1922 and fondly known as Dilip Sahab, in his three-decade-long career, has acted in over 65 films. He is known for his iconic roles in films like Devdas, Naya Daur, Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna, Kranti and Karma. He was last seen in Qila in 1998. Since then, his advanced age and deteriorating health have prevented him from taking on more roles.
He is listed in the Guinness World Records for winning the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor. He was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.
Post his demise, several people paid tributes on social media.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi, veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, actors Ajay Devgn, Tusshar Kapoor, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Chiranjeevi, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, all tweeted their condolences.
Dilip Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu.