Rajendra Kumar, one of Hindi cinemas most successful leading men, did about 80 movies in his career. His movies did so well at the box-office that most of his movies were either Silver Jubilee hits or Golden Jubilee hits, and he earned the nickname “Jubilee Kumar”.
Born in pre-Partition Punjab, Kumar’s family moved to Mumbai during the Partition. Kumar decided he would work in the movie business, although he never wanted to be an actor. He worked as an assistant on HS Rawail’s movies for almost five years. He made his film debut in 1950 with ‘Jogan’, opposite Dilip Kumar and Nargis.
The 1960s saw Kumar rise to stardom. Sometimes, half a dozen of his movies were earning Jubilee status in theatres at the same time.
His career took a downturn after 1972 when he faced stiff competition from Rajesh Khanna. In 1981, Rajendra Kumar introduced his son, Kumar Gaurav, in the film ‘Love Story’, which he produced and also starred in. His last acting role was in the TV series ‘Andaz’, in 1995.
Refusing to take medication, he succumbed to cancer in 1999. July 20th marks his 87th birth anniversary. Here’s remembering a superstar who neither looked, nor acted, the part.