Dilip Kumar was taken to hospital last Wednesday after complaining of breathlessness – it was the second time he had been hospitalised in the same month. Dilip Kumar will be honoured with a state funeral at 5 pm today.
“He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 am,” Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating Dilip Kumar, told news agency PTI.
A tweet posted from the actor’s official handle by family friend Faisal Farooqui read: “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip saab a few minutes ago. We are from God and to him we return.”
Tributes to the late icon flooded social media, President of India Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: “Dilip Kumar summarised in himself a history of emerging India. The thespian’s charm transcended all boundaries, and he was loved across the subcontinent. With his demise, an era ends. Dilip Saab will live forever in the heart of India. Condolences to family and countless fans.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Dilip Kumar ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled. His passing away is a loss to our cultural world. Condolences to his family, friends and innumerable admirers. RIP.”
Two days ago, Saira Banu shared this message on Dilip Kumar’s Twitter: “We are grateful for God’s infinite mercy on Dilip Saab that his health is improving. We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insh’Allah he is healthy and discharged soon.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in his tweet said, “Saddened to learn of Dilip Kumar’s passing. I can never forget his generosity in giving his time to help raise funds for SKMTH when project launched. This is the most difficult time – to raise first 10% of the funds & his appearance in Pak & London helped raise huge amounts.”
Imran Khan further said in his tweet, “Apart from this, for my generation Dilip Kumar was the greatest and most versatile actor.”
Dilip Kumar was first taken to hospital on June 6 and was put on oxygen support and was stable, Indian media said.
Dilip Kumar had been in and out of hospital over the last few years with illnesses ranging from a kidney ailment to pneumonia.
Before the imposition of the nationwide-lockdown in March last year, actor Dilip Kumar revealed that he and Saira Banu, were under “complete isolation and quarantine” as a precautionary measure.
Dilip Kumar, real name Yusuf Khan, appeared in some of Indian cinema’s most iconic and landmark films including Naya Daur, Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Ram Aur Shyam, Andaz, Madhumati and Ganga Jamuna. Film lore has it that he rejected the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia, eventually played by Omar Sharif.
Dilip Kumar’s career spanned several decades, starting in the ’40s. He transitioned from playing the romantic-tragic lead to character roles from the ’80s on, in films such as Kranti, Shakti, Karma and Saudagar. 1998’s Qila was his last film.