Veteran actor Rajendra Kumar was born in a Punjabi Hindu family in Sialkot, Punjab. The actor started his Bollywood journey in 1950 and appeared in more than 80 films in his career spanning over four decades. He made his acting debut with Kidar Sharma’s Jogan alongside Dilip Kumar and Nargis.
In fact, soon after his debut, Kumar also earned the title of Jubilee Kumar owing to his string of Bollywood blockbusters. The actor was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 1969.
On the occasion of his 88th birth anniversary, we bring you 5 of his most memorable performances.
Directed by Raj Rishi, Vachan marked the first significant film of Kumar's career. The film, co-starring Geeta Bali and Balraj, was a family drama, which was appreciated by the critics and audience alike.
Goonj Uthi Shehnai
Kumar was paired opposite Ameeta, Anita Guha and IS Johar in the Vijay Bhatt directorial. The film, narrating the story of a Shehnai player, ended up being the fifth highest grosser in the year 1959. Apart from numerous hits like Jiyan Mein Piya Tera Saath Rahe and Tere Sur Aur Mere Geet, the film also featured Shehnai recitals by maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan throughout the film.
Dil Ek Mandir
Directed by CV Sridhar, the film was an official remake of his own Tamil film Nenjil Or Aalayam. The film starred Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar and Mehmood alongside Kumar. Revolving around a complex love triangle, the film sees Kumar playing a doctor.
Dhool Ka Phool
The film marked Yash Chopra’s directorial debut and featured Mala Singh, Leela Chitnis, Ashok Kumar, Jeevan and Nanda alongside Kumar. The story revolves around the bringing up of an illegitimate Hindu child by a Muslim family. The track ‘Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalman Banega, Insaan Ki Aulaad Hai, Insaan Banega’ went on to become one of the most-loved tracks.
The 1964 Bollywood film features Vyjanthimala opposite Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar in lead roles. Directed by Raj Kapoor, the film is considered to be one of his best works till date. In fact, the trend of shooting at foreign exotic locales in a way is attributed to this film.