Raaj Kumar | Srivideo
Born Name: Kulbhushan Pandit
Date of Birth: 8 October 1926
Place of Birth: Loralai, Baluchistan Agency, British India
(now in Balochistan, Pakistan)
Died: 3 July 1996 (aged 69), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Spouse: Gayatri Raajkumar (m. ?–1996)
Children: 3, including Puru Raaj Kumar
Raaj Kumar (8 October 1926 – 3 July 1996), born as Kulbhushan Pandit, was an Indian film actor. He worked as sub-inspector of Mumbai Police in the late 1940s before he turned to acting with the 1952 Hindi film Rangeeli. He appeared in the Oscar-nominated 1957 film Mother India and went on to star in over 70 Hindi films in a career that spanned over four decades.
Raaj Kumar was born in Loralai, Balochistan, British India in a Kashmiri Pandit family. He married Jennifer, an Anglo-Indian, whom he met on a flight where she was an air hostess. She later changed her name to Gayatri as per Hindu customs. They had three children, sons Puru Raaj Kumar (a Bollywood actor), Panini Raajkumar and daughter Vastavikta Pandit, who made her screen debut in 2006 film Eight: The Power of Shani.
Raaj Kumar made his acting debut in the 1952 film Rangili and appeared in films like Aabshar, Ghamand and Lakhon Mein Ek, but it was as Prince Naushazad in Sohrab Modi’s Nausherwan-E-Adil (1957) that he became famous. In 1957, he achieved prominence with his brief role as the husband of Nargis in Mother India. He also worked alongside Shammi kapoor in Ujala (1959). He followed this with the unglamorous role of a mill worker in Paigham (1959) alongside Dilip Kumar. In Sridhar’s Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Raaj Kumar played the role of a cancer patient for which he won the Filmfare Award in the Best supporting actor category. He was cast with Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor and Balraj Sahni in Yash Chopra’s family drama Waqt in 1965. He became known for his distinct style of dialogue delivery.
His other notable films included Hamraaz (1967), Heer Raanjha (1971), Maryada (1971), Lal Patthar (1971) and Pakeezah (1972). After a period of flops in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he had notable successes as a supporting actor in Kudrat (1981), Ek Nai Paheli (1984), Marte Dam Tak (1987), Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). In 1991, he reunited with fellow veteran actor Dilip Kumar after 32 years in Subhash Ghai's Saudagar. His last hit film was the 1992 film Tirangaa and his final film was 1995's God & Gun.
From his screen debut in Rangili in 1952 to his last film God & Gun in 1995, he played memorable characters in 60-odd films.
Raaj Kumar died at the age of 69 due to throat cancer According to Puru Raaj Kumar in his interview to Farhana Farook, his father suffered from Hodgkins for which he had chemotherapy. The last two years were bad with the nodes recurring in the lungs and ribs.
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