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Sanjeev Kumar: The best mainstream hero Bollywood ever had


First published: November 6, 2012, 1:25 PM IST | Updated: November 6, 2012
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Sanjeev Kumar: The best mainstream hero Bollywood ever had
Sanjeev Kumar died at the age of 47 on November 6, 1985 after suffering a massive heart attack.

New Delhi: From playing Amitabh Bachchan's father in 'Trishul' to playing the husband of his former beloved Rekha in 'Silsila', Sanjeev Kumar is still remembered for playing a variety of roles on big screen. He is probably the best mainstream actor Bollywood has seen so far. The actor played romantic as well as intense roles with an ease. It's so ironical that the man who played so many characters with grey hair died at the age of 47 on November 6, 1985 after suffering a massive heart attack. Even after 27 years of his demise, his memories are still afresh in the mind of cinema lovers.

Haribhai Jariwala better known as Sanjeev Kumar had a sound theater background. Filmmaker Gulzar, with whom he shared a long association, spotted him playing a 60-year-old man in a play. He was just 22 at that time.

Can you imagine Shah Rukh Khan or Hrithik Roshan arriving at the shoot in a kurta-pyjama, but Sanjeev Kumar didn't mind that too. He was a simple man who cared less about the perception of other people. Many claim that he was famous as 'late latif Hari Bhai', because of his habit of coming late on the sets. However, his one take performance used to compensate for all. Sanjeev had a very distinct style of working. He never gave a retake, until he wanted to.

The actor is famous for his films like 'Khilona', 'Seeta Aur Geeta', 'Koshish', 'Aandhi', 'Mausam', 'Angoor' and many others. He started his career with 'Hum Hindustani' in 1960. His journey from small budget films to the mainstream cinema is an inspiration for the young actors. His performance as a deaf and mute person in 'Koshish' or the way he played Thakur in 'Sholay', Sanjeev Kumar has left behind a legacy of quality cinema. Ten of his films were already complete when he died in 1985 and were released after his death. He was last seen on screen in 1993 in 'Professor Ki Padosan'.

Sanjeev Kumar was said to be in love with Bollywood actress Hema Malini, who turned down his proposal and got married to Dharmendra. As various reports claim, he was also in a relationship with actress Sulakshana Pandit.

At a time when actors were branded as a romantic hero, action hero or jumping jack, Sanjeev Kumar was one actor who was difficult to typecast. Even from latest lot of Bollywood actors, nobody can match Sanjeev Kumar's charm and acting finesse. We really miss you Hari Bhai.

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