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Ashok Kumar Birth Anniversary: Here're His 5 Finest Performances in Films

Having played leading, antagonist and character roles with equal panache, here is a look at some of the finest performances delivered by the actor.

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Updated:October 13, 2019, 9:58 AM IST
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Ashok Kumar Birth Anniversary: Here're His 5 Finest Performances in Films
image of Ashok Kumar, courtesy of Instagram

Fondly known as Dadamoni, Ashok Kumar is an iconic actor in Indian history. He is considered to be one of India's finest actors ever, having played leading, antagonist and character roles with equal panache.

Ashok Kumar featured as the first anti-hero in Indian cinema in Kismet in 1943. The film smashed all existing box office records, becoming the first Hindi movie to gross 1 crore at the box office. The success of Kismet made Ashok Kumar the first superstar of Indian cinema and he became the most bankable star of the era.

Such was his popularity at the time that, in the words of Manto, "Ashok's popularity grew each passing day. He seldom ventured out, but wherever he was spotted, he was mobbed. Traffic would come to a stop and often the police would have to use lathis to disperse his fans."

So on his birth anniversary let’s take a look at some of the finest roles delivered by the actor.

Prem Kumar in Howrah Bridge

Son of a businessman who is stuck in the illegal world of loot and trade, Ashok Kumar delivers the struggles of Prem with utmost sincerity.

Shekhar in Samadhi

In this 1950 spy film, Ashok Kumar as Shekhar is torn between his lady love Lilly D'Souza and loyalty to his mother land India. A box office success, the film was the highest earning film of the year.

Shekhar in Parineeta

Long before Saif Ali Khan, it was Ashok Kumar who had played the role of Shekhar, son of a successful businessman. The older rendition of the story was well received by the audience and Ashok Kumar was lauded for his acting.

Brijmohan Sharma in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

In this comedy film, Ashok Kumar, along with his brothers Anoop and Kisho Kumar, are brilliant in their roles, and gave the audience a hearty laugh. The film was a box office success, becoming the second highest-grossing film of the year

Shahabuddin in Pakeezah

The movie revolves around plight of a tawaif (courtesan and dancer) and their longing to be loved, accepted and respected by society. Ashok Kumar’s character Shahbuddin falls in love with a courtesan but cannot marry her due to his father’s disapproval.

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