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New Delhi: Veteran Hindi film actor Dilip Kumar, who breathed his last on Wednesday morning, had not worked actively in the last two decades. But the 98-year old, credited with having introduced the concept of ‘method acting’ to Hindi cinema, has been acknowledged as an inspiration by stars across generations, ranging from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Though known as the ‘Tragedy King,’ his over 50-year long career saw him dabble in diverse genres including comedy and drama. We take a look at five of his films that make him immortal.

Devdas (1955): Director Bimal Roy’s adaptation of the classic novel saw Kumar play the self-destructive alcoholic lover, a role that had already been immortalized by KL Saigal and was later attempted by Shah Rukh Khan and Abhay Deol. The award-winning performance saw him feature alongside Suchitra Sen in her Bollywood debut and Vyajayanthimala.

Naya Daur (1957): A relevant take on the social changes taking place in newly independent India, the BR Chopra-directed film saw Kumar deliver another award-winning performance. Featuring Vyanjayanthimala again alongside the actor, the film was coloured and re-released in 2007.

Mughal-e-Azam (1960): Director K. Asif’s epic historical drama that took over a decade to complete, is said to have served as an inspiration to countless larger-than-life Bollywood spectacles over the years, including Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas (2002). Kumar plays Prince Salim who falls in love with a court dancer against his father, Emperor Akbar’s wishes. Having held the record for the highest grossing Indian film for 15 years after its release, a colourized version was released in 2004.

Gunga Jumna (1961): Kumar also wrote and produced the film about two siblings on opposite sides of the law, which later inspired hits like Yash Chopra’s Deewar (1975). His command over the Awadhi dialect is said to serve as a lesson in acting classes even today.

Ram Aur Shyam (1967): Kumar’s rare comic performance saw him play twins separated at birth, a trope that has led to several hits like Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), ChaalBaaz (1989), Kishen Kanhaiya (1990) and Gopi Kishan (1994), over the years. The blockbuster also starred Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz.

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