Rajendra Kumar never dreamt of becoming a hero. It all started after his family had to leave their ancestral home and move to Bombay; it happened during the Partition of India. That’s when he first thought of trying his hands in Hindi cinema. But who thought, one fine day he would be called as Bollywood’ Jubilee Kumar? The phase between 1959 and 1966 was golden for Rajendra Kumar. Rajendra was one the most established actors in the 1960s. The back-to-back hits that he gave Hindi cinema, got him the title of Jubilee Kumar. Guru Dutt Birth Anniversary Special: Lesser Known Facts about the Kaagaz Ke Phool Director.
The month of July is special for all fans of Rajendra Kumar. It is the month of his birth anniversary (born on July 20, 1929 in Saikot), and fond memories of his performances in some of the hit films is recollected. He has acted in more than 80 films, his career spanned four decades and many of his films completed more than 25 weeks at the box office. Right from his choice of films, his performance and of course delivering one hit film after the other, got him the crown of Jubilee Kumar.
Rajendra Kumar made his acting debut in Hindi cinema with a small role in the film Jogan. It was this film’s producer Devendra Goel who noticed Kumar’s potential and decided to give him a break in Vachan that released in 1955. It was after his brilliant performance in Mother India, Kumar was flooded with films. His films which released in the 60s - Mere Mehboob, Sangam, Arzoo, amongst others, are considered as not just the finest films but also the biggest hits of Bollywood. Rajendra Kumar benefited as he fitted into the bill of producers of who wanted Dilip Kumar as the lead but not pricey. Dilip Kumar was the first choice for Raj Kumar’s Sangam, but as he couldn’t be a part of it, the makers had to look for a replacement. That’s how the rising star Rajendra Kumar landed this role. With time, he became the next best option for filmmakers and producers.
Rajendra Kumar in a song from Sangam
Rajendra Kumar’s ability to deliver emotionally driven performance or charm beauties with romantic films or make hearts smile with his perfect comic timings, was lauded by Bollywood movie fanatics. Rajendra Kumar aka Jubilee Kumar who was known to have sound investment sense, in no time became one of the richest men in the showbiz industry. After 1966, he saw his career graph going low and that’s how he moved to play supporting roles and that too without any qualms. Rajendra Kumar will always be remembered for the classic films he gave Hindi cinema. He passed away on July 12, 1999, which was eight days before his 70th birthday.