Born as Haribhai Jethalal Jariwala, Sanjeev Kumar had a humble beginning to his film career, and starred in many B-Grade action flicks early on. He was born in Gujarati family in Surat, the family, later on, settled in Mumbai. (All photos/mid-day archives)
Sanjeev Kumar's stint at a film school led him to Hindi film industry. He started his career as a stage actor with IPTA in Mumbai and later joining the Indian National Theatre.
In fact, he even failed a screen test conducted for a Rajshri film. Although he made his debut in the 1960 film Hum Hindustani, Sanjeev Kumar's first film as a lead was Nishan in 1965.
In 1968, Sanjeev Kumar starred alongside then superstar Dilip Kumar in the film Sangharsh. In Pic: with Jaya Bachchan in Anamika
The 1970 movie Khilona in which Sanjeev Kumar played a mentally challenged person gave him recognition for the first time, and ever since he never looked back.
Sanjeev Kumar went on to win two National Film Awards for Best Actor for his performances in Dastak and Koshish. In the latter, his character of a deaf and mute person was exemplary.
Sanjeev Kumar reserved his best for filmmaker-cum-lyricist Gulzar with whom he collaborated for nine movies.
Sanjeev Kumar has also starred in Gujarati films early in his career, with Kalapi (1966) and another film Mare Javun Pele Par (1968) with Aruna Irani. In 1980, he starred in a Punjabi movie Fauji Chacha. In pic: A still from Trishul
Sanjeev Kumar shared his birthday with his good friend and colleague Shatrughan Sinha's wedding anniversary. In fact, they often celebrated the occasion together. In pic: Sanjeev Kumar at the wedding of Sharmila Tagore and Tiger Pataudi.
Sanjeev Kumar had this belief that his family was cursed since no male member in his family lived to the age of 50. Cruelly, Kumar himself passed away on November 6, 1985 (at the age of 47) due to a massive heart attack. In pic: With Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Amjad Khan on the sets of Sholay.
It is well-known that Kumar was in love with Hema Malini. Later, he was even in a relationship with Sulakshana Pandit, but remained unmarried till death. In pic: On the extreme left with the cast of Sholay.
More than ten movies starring Sanjeev Kumar were released after his death - Professor Ki Padosan (1993) being the last. Since Kumar couldn't shoot for the entire film, the storyline of the second half was altered and Kumar's character was made invisible. In pic: With Nimmi in Love and God one of the films which released after his death.
Sanjeev Kumar will always be missed
It goes without saying that Sanjeev Kumar was one of the greatest actors of Hindi cinema. On his death anniversary, we remember the screen legend, with some interesting facts that you might not know
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