He was the man who could captivate your whole attention by his mere presence. His mannerisms would certainly sweep you off your feet without much less or no try. His acting prowess and personality left everyone wanting for more. His charismatic persona and magnetism ruled millions of hearts. He was somebody who could hypnotize you with his acting, personality, undying magnetism. The actor left for a heavenly abode on 10th December 2001. Even after having left the Indian cinema for many years, even today this is one actor who has rules everyone’s hearts. He was one of the earliest anti-heroes our industry has ever had. Be it a lead role or the role of an antagonist, Ashok Kumar seamlessly fit the character and acted like never before.
Born on October 13, 1911, in Bhagalpur Bihar, the actor had stopped celebrating his birthday after the sad demise of his younger brother and actor Kishore Kumar.
This Sunday we bring you to some of the interesting facts about the legend Ashok Kumar
1) Ashok Kumar was a multifaceted personality. While he ruled the silver screen for several years he also practiced homeopathy. His magical touch cured many diseases. He possessed such qualities that even doctors found it nearly impossible for them to tackle.
2) He was an envious persona who left everyone bewildered with his talent. He was somebody who was born with a streak of acting which ultimately led him to become one of the most revered actors our industry ever had. Before stepping into Bollywood, the actor worked as a lab assistant at the Bombay Talkies. His story tells us that, if you have the will then everything will be served in your platter and ultimately you will get what you want and are destined for.
3) Surprising but true. He accidentally became an actor when he got a lead role in Jeevan Naiya(1936). The films hero Najmul Hassan eloped with Devika Rani, who was wife to studio head Himnashu Rai. It was after this incident that he dismissed Najmul Hassan and Ashok Kumar came on board.
4) He gave the first and foremost hit of his career Achhut Kanya(1936) where he was paired opposite Devika Rani. The film spoke of a Brahmin boy who is head over heels for a girl hailing from an untouchable class which was about the Gandhian ideology of no class or caste division
5) Ashok Kumar, the first anti hero of Indian cinema went onto achieve this title when Gyan Mukherjee’s film “Kismat” showcased him as a pick pocketer who falls in love. The film became a sleeper hit and went onto make 1 crore. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was Ashok Kumar set the ball rolling for the “1 crore club”.
6) After that, the talented actor went on trying his hands in production when he first became a producer at Bombay Talkies. He gave yet another superstar Dev Anand his first break in the film Ziddi(1948).It also had Pran playing a negative character and was considered as a major break. Also, Kishore Kumar lend his voice to the film. This went onto become one of the biggest breaks of Kishore Kumar and it definitely set the ball rolling for his future endeavours.
7) In 1988, he was honored with Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest honour presented to the film industry by the government. He went onto receive the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Indian cinema.
He was indeed one of rarest kind of gems our industry could ever have.