Raaj Kumar, born Kulbushan Pandit (8 October 1926 – 3 July 1996), was a Hindi film actor. Raaj Kumar started out as sub-inspector of Mumbai Police in the late 1940s before he turned to acting with the 1952 film Rangeeli. He appeared in the Oscar-nominated 1957 film Mother India and went onto star in over 70 Hindi films in a career that spanned over four decades.
Raaj Kumar was born in Balochistan, Pakistan. In the late 1940s he moved to Mumbai, India where he became Sub-inspector of the Mumbai Police. He married Gayatri in the 1960s with whom he had three children, two sons named Puru Raajkumar (a Bollywood actor), Panini Raajkumar and a daughter named Vastavikta Raajkumar, who made her screen debut in 2006 film Eight: The Power of Shani.
Raaj Kumar made his acting debut in Rangili and appeared in films like Aabshar, Ghamand and Lakhon Mein Ek, but it was as Prince Naushazad in Sohrab Modi’s Naushervan-e-Adil that he became famous. In 1957, he achieved prominence with his brief role as the husband of Nargis in Mother India. He followed this with the unglamorous role of a mill worker in Paigham alongside Dilip Kumar. He was cast with Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor and Balraj Sahni in Yash Chopra’s family drama Waqt. In Sridhar’s Dil Ek Mandir, Raaj Kumar essayed the role of a cancer patient for which he won the Filmfare Award in the Best supporting actor category for movies Dil Ek Mandir and Waqt. He became known for his distinct style of dialogue delivery.
His other notable films included Hamraaz (1967), Heer Raanjha (1970), Lal Patthar (1971) and Pakeezah (1972). He acted in fewer films by the mid 1970s and became a character actor in the 1980s with films like Kudrat (1981), Ek Nai Paheli (1984), Marte Dam Tak (1987), Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). In 1991, he reunited with Dilip Kumar after 32 years in Subhash Ghai's Saudagar.
From his screen debut in Rangeeli to his last film God & Gun in 1995, his played memorable characters in 60-odd films.
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He died at the age of 69 on July 3, 1996 of throat cancer. He died a few months before his son Puru Raajkumar made his debut in Bal Brahmachari, which was released later that year. It was dedicated to his memory.
- Hindus Contribution Towards Making Of Pakistan 22 May 2010 Retrieved 28 January 2011
- "BLAST FROM THE PAST Dil Ek Mandir (1963". 2010-01-29.
- "Raj Kumar of dialogue delivery".