Raaj Kumar (Kulbhushan Pandit)

Raaj Kumar

Raaj Kumar was born in Loralai, Balochistan, Pakistan in a Kashmiri Pandit family. In the late 1940s he moved to Mumbai, India where he became Sub-inspector of the Mumbai Police. He married Jennifer, an Anglo-Indian, whom he met on a flight where she was the airhostess. She later changed her name to Gayatri per Hindu customs. They had three children, sons Puru Raajkumar (a Bollywood actor), Panini Raajkumar and daughter 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 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 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 played 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 (1971), 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, he played memorable characters in 60-odd films. He died of throat cancer at the age of 69 on 3 July 1996. According to Purru 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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Born

  • October, 08, 1926
  • Loralai, Pakistan

Died

  • July, 03, 1996
  • Mumbai, India

Cause of Death

  • throat cancer

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