Rajendra Kumar is an Indian actor and producer. He has acted in the films Patanga (1949), Vachan (1955), Mother India (1957), Maa Baap (1960), Do Sholay (1977), Rustom (1982) and Phool (1993). The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri Award in 1970.
Rajendra Kumar was born on Wednesday, 20 July 1927 and passed away on 12 July 1999 after suffering from a cardiac arrest during his sleep. He was born in the Punjab province of British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan). His zodiac sign is Cancer. He attended the Hailey College of Commerce in Lahore, however, his education was cut short in his second year during the Partition. Before getting into acting, Rajendra Kumar worked as an assistant to the director H. S. Rawail, who tried to convince him that he was not cut out for acting, criticism that Rajendra Kumar rose against. In 1975, Rajendra Kumar built a theatre within his residential property and named it Dimple Theatre, a venture that turned out to be successful.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Rajendra Kumar was born into a Khatri family of Punjabi Hindu origin in the city of Sialkot. He was born in the Punjab Province of British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan). He was born into a wealthy family who had to leave their wealth and property behind during the Partition and move to India where they lived in a shared accommodation in Delhi’s Subzi Mandi. Rajendra then moved to Bombay to begin his career.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Lakshmichand Tuli (deceased) was born into a family of great wealth and had a textile business in Karachi. He has two sisters, Manorama and Kamla, and a younger brother Naresh Kumar who is a film director.
Wife & Children
His wife, Shukla Kumar belongs to the Behl family, a prominent one in the Hindi film industry. He has two children, a son, Kumar Gaurav who is an actor and a businessman, and two daughters, Dimple Kumar who went on to marry Raju Patel, a Hollywood film producer and director, and Kaajal Tuli.
Rajendra Kumar and Saira Banu were on-screen partners whose chemistry seemed to have leaked over into real life. The two acted in films such as Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Aman (1967) and Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968). Saira Banu is reported to have fallen head over heels in love with Rajendra and it was him that she wanted to marry despite him having a wife and children. Her feelings were allegedly reciprocated and Rajendra was ready to leave his family behind for Saira Banu. Saira’s mother begged Dilip Kumar to intervene which is how Saira and Dilip ended up getting married. In a book based on his life, Jubilee Kumar: The Life And Times of a Superstar, Rajendra Kumar stated that the two actors did not have any “wrong relations” even though they liked each other.
Rajendra Kumar followed Hinduism.
Rajendra Kumar started his entry into the film industry with a cameo in Patanga (1949). He then played a small role along with revered actors Dilip Kumar and Nargis Dutt in the film Jogan (1950). This role got him noticed by director and producer Devendra Goel, who cast Rajendra as the lead in the film Vachan (1955).
This film brought him success and was his first (among several) silver jubilee film. His role in the film Mother India (1957) furthered his success.
The films he starred in during the 1960s were what brought him fame and the status as a Star. At times, he had six or seven movies running for over 25 weeks simultaneously in theatres, which earned him the nickname “Jubilee Kumar.” He acted in numerous successful movies that became popular at the box office. Some of these include Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Kanoon (1960), Gharana (1961), Aas Ka Panchhi (1961), Sasural (1961), Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Mere Mehboob (1963), Sangam (1964), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Zindagi (1964), Arzoo (1965), and Suraj (1966). He also acted in the Punjabi films Do Sher (1974) and Teri Meri Ik Jindri (1975).
Rajendra Kumar acted in the Television shows Andaz (1995) in which he acted in a singular episode and Vansh (1995).
Rajendra Kumar has worked as a producer solely on films in which his son starred, The Train (1970) being an exception. The film Love Story (1981) in which Kumar Gaurav was introduced went on to become a blockbuster.
His next blockbuster as a producer came with the movie Naam (1986) starring his son Kumar Gaurav and Sanjay Dutt.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Rajendra Kumar was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri in 1970
- Rajendra Kumar was bestowed with the esteemed Justice of Peace title and fulfilled the role of an Honorary Magistrate.
- Rajendra received a National Honor from the late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru for both the films Kanoon (Hindi) and Mehndi Rang Lagyo (Gujarati film) at the same time.
- Rajendra Kumar was honoured with a distinctive Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award.
He was known for not taking any medicine, and he passed away in his sleep at the age of 71 on July 12, 1999. This unfortunate event occurred only one day after his son’s 43rd birthday and eight days before his 72nd birthday. The cause of his death was cardiac arrest.
- Rajendra Kumar used to be best friends with Raj Kapoor and Rajendra’s son Kumar Gaurav was engaged to Raj’s daughter Reema. However, once the engagement broke, so did the friendship between the two veteran actors.
- Rajendra Kumar earned the nickname “Jubilee Kumar” owing to the number of films that reached the status of silver and golden jubilee.
- Rajendra Kumar is believed to be very rich as he chose roles sensibly and invested wisely.
- Jubilee Kumar: The Life and Times of a Superstar by Seema Sonik Alimchand is a biography of Rajendra Kumar.
- Rajendra Kumar used to smoke cigarettes.
- Rajendra Kumar had a curious variety of pets which included a cow, six dogs, a monkey and a deer.
- Rajendra enjoyed playing tennis to escape from his thoughts.