Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar, one of India's finest thespians, has died at the age of 98 after long illness.
He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital, a non-Covid-19 facility, last week (30 June) after he complained of breathlessness, for the second time in a month.
Dilip Kumar's funeral will take place later in the day, it was announced via his official Twitter account. "Burial today at 5:00 PM. Juhu Qabrastan at Santacruz Mumbai," the tweet read.
Dr Jalil Parkar, the pulmonologist treating the actor at Mumbai's PD Hinduja Hospital, has confirmed the news over a tweet from the actor's official account.
"With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, a few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return."
On Monday night, a health update about the 98-year-old actor was shared on his official Twitter account, which is handled by his family friend Faisal Farooqui and sometimes his wife Saira Banu.
"We are grateful for God's infinite mercy on Dilip Sahib that his health is improving,"
Before signing off the tweet, Saira Banu added that she requested prayers and well wishes for Dilip Kumar, hoping he is back home soon: "We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insha'Allah he is healthy and discharged soon."
Dilip Kumar had been in and out of hospital over the last few years with illnesses ranging from kidney ailment to pneumonia. A few years ago, the actor spent his 94th birthday in a hospital where he was being treated for fever and a swollen leg.
Last month, Dilip Kumar was hospitalised on June 6 after he had breathing issues. He was diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion - a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs - and he underwent a successful pleural aspiration procedure, reported PTI. He was discharged on June 11.
Dilip Kumar, who would have been 99 in December, is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Saira Banu.
The veteran Indian actor, real name Yusuf Khan, was born in Peshawar, Pakistan on 10 December 1922.
Known as the 'Tragedy King' of Bollywood, the veteran actor's career spanned over six decades. He appeared in some of Indian cinema's most iconic and landmark films including Naya Daur, Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Ram Aur Shyam, Andaz, Madhumati and Ganga Jamuna. Film lore has it that he rejected the role of Sherif Ali in David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia, eventually played by Omar Sharif. Dilip Kumar's career spanned several decades, starting in the '40s. He transitioned from playing the romantic-tragic lead to character roles from the '80s on, in films such as Kranti, Shakti, Karma and Saudagar. 1998's Qila was his last film.
In 1966, Dilip Kumar married actress Saira Banu, his co-star in films like Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag.
Dilip Kumar received the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Dada Saheb Phalke award. He also received Pakistan's highest civilian honour, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz.
Dilip Kumar won several cinematic awards and was the first-ever winner of the Filmfare Best Actor prize. He won eight Filmfare Best Actor awards, a record he shares with Shah Rukh Khan.
Union ministers and leaders cutting across political lines paid tribute to veteran actor
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was the first to condole Dilip Kumar's death, saying his performance will be remembered for generations to come.
"My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends & fans of Dilip Kumar ji. His extraordinary contribution to Indian cinema will be remembered for generations to come," Gandhi tweeted.
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh called Kumar a true thespian and said he is deeply anguished by the actor's demise.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of legendary actor of the subcontinent Dilip Kumar.
In a condolence message, the Prime Minister prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.