Rajendra Kumar biography

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Also known as the matinee idol of 60s, actor Rajendra Kumar is always remembered for his roles as a romantic hero in huge numbers of popular musicals films of his time. He was born on 20 July 1929 in Sialkot (now in Pakistan) and his original name was R.K. Tuli, after the partition of India and Pakistan he migrated to Bombay (India). 

He had to struggle hard after moving to Bombay, he had done several kinds of jobs and at last, he started assisting film director H.S. Rawail in the movie “Patanga” in which he had a small role also. 

His major break came in the year 1956, in the movie “Toofan Aur Diya” and then followed by a moderately small yet very important role in the classic movie “Mother India”; his remarkable performance as a “good son” was a contrast between his role and that of his rebellious brother, played by Sunil Dutt.

One of his initial hits as the main character is the musical extravaganza “Goonj Uthi Shehnai”. He strengthened his place as a romantic hero with lots of successful movies such as “Dil Ek Mandir”, “Mere Mehboob”, “Aayi Milan Ki Bela”, “Arzoo” and “Sangam”.

During that time most of Rajendra Kumar’s movies were silver jubilees, running a minimum of 25 weeks and this achievement earned him the pet name, “Jubilee Kumar”.

His screen personality had the accessories of the traditional classical soft heroes Prem Adib, Surendra, and those of his generation, Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar and Biswajit. He played second fiddle to Dilip Kumar like Surendra did to K.L. Saigal. In serious character, his malleable and passive acting style differed from the powerful dramatics of his co-stars Meena Kumari, Mala Sinha and Vyjayanthimala. Rajendra Kumar crafted the image of a distressed lover in contemporary society but always failed to capture the greatness of his master. Along with his excellent appearance, inborn plainness, a sense of politeness and devoid of extreme histrionics, he symbolized the example of a fresh ‘simplified’ film hero, who is free from the suffering of an agonizing past. Rajendra Kumar offered a fresh role model – cultured, adorable, not cruel, a parents’ pride and respected by his beloved and keen to get settled in life in a good profession. Just like Rajesh Khanna and Manoj Kumar afterward, Rajendra Kumar developed his on-screen personality on extreme stylization.