Golden Era

Rajendra Kumar (1929 – 1999) – Jubliee Kumar

Rajendra Kumar, a.k.a Rajender Kumar, was one of the prominent bollywood actor in 50s & 60s.
Born in Sialkot(currently in Pakistan), Rajendra Kumar made his film debeut with Jogan (1950) in which he starred opposite Dilip Kumar and Nargis. Popularly known for too good, innocent and navie characters, Rajendra Kumar portrayed from a desi boy to rich drunken brat successfully in more than 80 films in his whole film career.

The 1960s saw Rajendra Kumar rise like no other star had risen, and there was a time when every film starring him was a silver jubilee hit. There were times when he had six or seven films running in their silver jubilee weeks at the same time. It was a success that was unbelievable and Rajendra Kumar was soon known as “Jubilee Kumar”. No other actor has had as many silver and golden jubilees, sometimes in a row, which is a record good enough to go into the Guinness Book of Records.

He had many successful box office hits including Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Mere Mehboob (1963), Sangam (1964), Arzoo (1965), Suraj (1966) and Ganwaar (1970). He received Filmfare Nominations as Best Actor for Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Arzoo (1965), and as Best Supporting Actor for Sangam (1964). He was also part of Mehboob Khan’s magnum opus – Mother India. The bible of Indian Cinema. He was considered a golden boy for the movie producers in the sense that he was the actor who could recover the producers’ money in a matter of few weeks. Despite so many boxoffice hits, he never won a single Filmfare award.

After long journey of success in 60s and downfall in 70s, Rajendra Kumar moved behind the screen as producer and director. He launched his son Kumar Gaurav in Love Story (1981), which he produced, directed and also starred in. The movie became blockbuster. He also tried to revive his son’s falling career by producing Naam (1986)starring Sanjay Dutt & Kumar Gaurav. Unfortunately, it was Sanjay Dutt who got more fame than Kumar Gaurav. Incidently, Kumar Gaurav married Sanjay Dutt’s sister and Sanjay Dutt married Kumar Gaurav’s sister.

Though Rajendra Kumar didn’t win any filmfare awards, he was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 1969. He was also conferred with Justice of Peace honour and served as Honorary Magistrate. He was awarded the National Honour by late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru simultaneously for “Kanoon” (Hindi) and “Mehandi Rang Lagyo” (Gujarati).

He had a special relationship with Sunil Dutt, who is quoted as having said that “Even though Rajendra Kumar did not win any award through out his career, he was one of the most genuine human being I have ever encoutered. When I was struggling with the troubles related to the arrest of my son Sanjay Dutt and my house was repeatedly being searched by means of numerous police raids, Rajendra Kumar was the one who came to my rescue by staying at my house and ensuring that raids were conducted using due procedures, false evidences were not planted in the house and valuables were not stolen”.

He died on July 12, 1999 of cancer only 8 days before his 70th birthday. He was known to never have taken medicines in his entire life.


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