Dilip Kumar was born as Muhammad Yousuf Khan in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar, Pakistan, to a Pashtun family of 12 children. The legend is better known as the ‘Tragedy King’ for his excellence in emotional and tragic  roles.

Dilip Kumar, who turns 93 today (December 11), will have a quiet birthday celebration with family only  as a mark of solidarity towards the victims of the Chennai deluge.


Lets have a look at a few lesser known facts about the legend on the occasion of his 93rd birthday:

1. His father, Lala Ghulam Sarwar, was a fruit merchant, who owned orchards in Peshawar and Deolali.

2. In 1940, Dilip Kumar left home in search of his destiny, he relocated to Pune where he worked as a canteen owner and a dry fruit supplier. In 1943, Dilip Kumar was discovered in Aundh military canteen Pune by actress Devika Rani and her husband Himanshu Rai.

3. Dilip Kumar was romantically involved with actress Madhubala. It is believed they shared a nine-year-long relationship and had even gotten engaged. However, it was further rumoured that the two broke up due to Dilip’s ego issues. Madhubala’s father, Ataullah Khan was against the couple marrying. Hence the two parted ways.

4. When the  actor was first introduced to Saira Banu, he considered her to be “too young” to be  paired opposite him. Saira had confessed that she was in love with Dilip’s on-screen image since the age of 12. Saira Banu finally got the man of her dreams, at the time of their wedding, Dilip Kumar was 44 and Saira Banu was 22.


5. Dilip Kumar was also in a relationship with a Pakistani lady, Asma. Dilip Kumar apparently had divorced Saira Banu to get married to Asma. But their marriage didn’t last long and they ended up divorcing after two years. Apparently, Asma was caught cheating on Dilip saab, which he could not tolerate. He later remarried Saira Banu. It was only after his divorce with Asma, that the actor apparently realised his mistake of moving out of his first marriage.

6. Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu do not have children.


7. It was films like Jogan (1950), Deedar (1951), Daag (1952), Devdas (1955), Yahudi (1958) and Madhumati (1958) that earned him the title of – ‘The Tragedy King’.


8. Dilip Kumar has been described as the ‘ultimate method actor.


9. The Government of Pakistan gave Dilip Kumar the highest civilian award, Nishan-i-Imtiaz in 1997.


10. Dilip Kumar was one of the finest actors of his time and he seemed to be very choosy about his onscreen appearances.