Sanjeev Kumar is considered as one of best actors which Hindi film industry has got till date. He was famous for his natural, effortless and versatile performances. Despite having a bit orthodox looks, Sanjeev Kumar has thriven in the Indian film industry in his era. He is known to defy many of the Bollywood norms and some unwritten rules for heroes. He dared to do those roles which other actors in his time did not dare to choose. He many times played the role of an aged man despite being younger in the age. But not just elderly roles, he proved himself a successful romantic hero in many films earlier.
The multitalented actor Sanjeev Kumar was born on 9th July 1938 as Haribhai Jariwala in Surat. He hailed from a Gujarati Jain family. He along with his family spent his childhood years in Surat. But eventually, his family shifted to Mumbai. Sanjeev Kumar's father died when Sanjeev was very young. He along with his three siblings, 2 younger brothers and a sister lived with his mother. He had been a movie buff since his childhood so managed to get the money anyhow to watch latest films. His craving for acting took him to the stage where he played a role of a 75 year old elderly man. He pursued an ambition to become an actor in Hindi films so he joined the Filmalaya Acting School.
He got his first brake as an actor in the film 'Hum Hindustani'. He played a small role in that film. It was released in 1960. He played the protagonist for the first time in 'Nishan' in 1965. His role in 'Alibaba & 40 Thieves' was noticed by many filmmakers who later offered him roles in their films. He was seen opposite the legendary actor Dilip Kumar in 'Sunghursh' . His movie 'Khilona' brought him true recognition where he played a very challenging role. Later the versatile actor starred in the blockbuster hits like 'Manchali' in 1973, 'Seeta Aur Geeta' in 1972 and in 'Aap Ki Kasam' with Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz.
Later he and lyricist Gulzar who was a well known director in the 70s era gave some masterpieces. The duo worked together in total nine films. Some of their best films are 'Aandhi', 'Koshish', 'Mausam' ,'Namkeen' and 'Angoor' etc. The hardworking actor who was recognized for the genuine portrayal of his characters won the prestigious BFJA Awards for the Best Actor for the film 'Koshish' where he excellently portrayed a deaf and mute guy. The female protagonist was Jaya Bhaduri in 'Koshish' who also played a deaf and mute wife in the film. The talented actor showed the special taste for offbeat roles. He portrayed a differently troubled husband in 'Anubhav' and 'Dastak' which won him kudos. For 'Dastak', he won his first national award for the best actor. Sanjeev Kumar later gave an absolutely amazing performance in Satyajit Ray's piece of art 'Shatranj Ke Khilari'. His best remembered roles are Thakur from the blockbuster 'Sholay' in 1975 and in 'Trishul'. Sanjeev Kumar gave a stellar performance in 'Sholay' which is remembered even today.
The skilled actor possessed an extraordinary comic timing which he showcased in the cult comic capers like 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' ,' Angoor' , ' Hero' and 'Seeta Aur Geeta'. His willingness to choose the unconventional roles made him the most versatile actor of his time. He has showcased his exemplified acting talent in the films like 'Sholay', 'Trishul' and 'Naya Din Nayi Raat'. In 'Naya Din Nayi Raat' , Sanjeev Kumar essayed total nine roles all by himself. This film earned him a recognition as the versatile , talented and an outstanding performer in the Hindi film industry. He stood tall with his mesmerizing performance in the multistarer films like 'Vidhaata' and 'Trishul'.
In the 80s era, the legendary actor started doing supporting roles. He was featured in a Punjabi film 'Fauji Chacha' in 1980. His another movie 'Raja Aur Rank' in 1968 was a major box office success. The actor who called Jaya Bhaduri as his sister , did not star opposite her after calling herself as a sister. The duo was seen in the films like 'Koshish' and 'Anamika'.
Sanjeev Kumar fell deeply in love with his fellow actress dream girl Hema Malini. But she did not accept his marriage proposal and chose Dharmendra over him. Sanjeev Kumar was left heartbroken and he never married in his life. He stayed single throughout his lifetime till his death. Famous singer Sulakshana Pandit was involved with him but he never married her.
The actor who always chose non glamorous roles and proved his talents in the industry died of a massive heart attack on 6th November 1985 in Mumbai. Converse to his elderly portrayal in many of his films, Sanjeev Kumar paid the debt to nature at the young age of 47 years.
More than 10 films were released after the untimely demise of the great actor. His last film was 'Professor Ki Padosan' which was released in 1993. At the time of Sanjeev Kumar's death, only three-fourths of this movie was complete, and to explain the absence of Sanjeev Kumar's character, it was decided to alter the story line in the second half of the film.
Sanjeev Kumar has been nominated for the Filmfare's award for the best actor for 9 times. He has been nominated for the Filmfare's award for the best supporting actor for two times. The great actor received the Filmfare's award for the best actor for his films 'Aandhi' and 'Arjun Pandit'. He has also won the award for the best supporting actor for the film 'Shikar'.
Sanjeev Kumar was a gentleman of Bollywood. With the demise of such a brilliant performer, the industry has suffered a huge loss as such actors come down from heaven on earth only once in a while.