Thursday, November 17, 2011


Ashok Kumar was a very much loved and respected figure of Hindi Cinema who joined the Industry at an early stage in 1936 and his acting career extended for a long period of six decades.He was born as Kumudlal Ganguly, at Bhagalpur on 13 Oct 1911  and educated from Presidency College, under University of Calcutta.He joined as a Laboratory assistant at prestigious Bombay Talkies Cinema Production House.Unexpectedly in 1936 he was asked to act in 'Jeevan Naiya' opposite Devika Rani by one of the Partners  of Bombay Talkies.It is said that Ashok Kumar had no plans to take up acting as the career and did not even dream of it and so in the beginning
his scenes were retaken several times because of his lack of experience and confidence.But soon he grabbed confidence and to the surprise of the producers and directors he gained perfection and  presented fantastic acting talents.He is one of the actor who broke the theatrical style of acting and improvised with the natural way of presentation and received the appreciation from critics and audience alike.
                                                              His brothers Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar were also actors of Hindi cinema.The three brothers acted together in comedy films,Chalti Ka naam Gaadi,Badhti ka naam Dadhi,and Chalti ka Naam Zindagi.Apart from acting Kishore Kumar earned fame as one of the very best play back singer  of India.
In 1936 itself Ashok Kumar appeared with Devika Rani in another film 'Achchut Kanya' which dealt with the theme a Brahmin Youth loving a lower caste girl.At that time the film could give a good message to the society to get rid off the evils prevailing and consider all humans as equal.That film was a big hit.With Devika Rani he had other hits like Savitri,Nirmala,Izzat etc and with Leela Chitnis Kan Gan,Jhoola,Bandhan etc were super hits.In 1943 he appeared in an anti-hero role in 'Kismat' which turned out to be a big grosser.He acted several films with Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari like Parineeta,Bahu Begum,Pakeezah,Ek Hi Raastha,Bandish,Aarti etc.During 80's and 90's he acted in films occasionally only and appeared on T.V. for anchoring etc like for the famous 'Hum Log'.His last film was 'Ankhon mein Tum Ho' in 1997.In 1987 Kishore Kumar died on the birthday of Ashok Kumar and from then on he did not celebrate his birthdays.
Ashok Kumar was a medical practitioner of Homeopathy.
In 1969 he received National Best Actor award for film 'Ashirwad'.
In 1995 he was given Filmfare Life time achievement award.
In 1988 he was presented Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
In 1998 Ashok Kumar was given "Padma Bhushan' by Government Of India.
On 10 Dec 2001 He died at the age of 90 in Mumbai.
Selected Filmography
Achchut Kanya
Chalti ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti ka naam Zindagi
Khatta Meetha
Choti si Baat

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