June 25, 2022

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar

01 / 15

Pradeep Kumar was recognised for his work in Hindi and Bengali movies. He started his career on stage and eventually moved to movies. His good looks played an important part in being cast as a prince or king. He enjoyed a prolific career as a lead actor, followed by character roles later in life.

 (FILMFARE.COM)

02 / 15

Born as Sital Batabyal on January 4, 1925, to an orthodox Brahmin family in West Bengal, he had a disciplined childhood. When Batabyal was 17, he showed interest in acting, to which his father disapproved. But he didn’t give up and began acting on stage. During one of his plays, a well-known filmmaker Debaki Bose was impressed by Batabyal’s performance. He got his screen name Pradeep Kumar from Debaki Bose.

 

03 / 15

The actor made his debut in the Bengali movie ‘Alaknanda’, followed by ‘Biyalish’ (1951). Kumar’s dreams got bigger and he soon made his base in Mumbai. He landed a job with Filmistan Studio. The actor brushed up his language skills in Hindi and Urdu.

 

04 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

Eventually, Kumar debuted in the Hindi movie ‘Anand Math’ (1952) alongside Prithviraj Kapoor and Geeta Bali. The movie’s story was based on the 18th century with nationalist attributes. The song “Vande Mataram” from the movie was a hit.

(Photo: Still from the movie ‘Anand Math’)

 

05 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

Soon, Kumar’s career escalated to the top. The actor worked with Bina Rai in ‘Anarkali’ (1953) and impressed the audience with his prolific acting. In the movie, he played the role of Mughal prince Salim, whereas Bina played the role of Anarkali. Their doomed romance on-screen touched many hearts.

(Photo: Still from the movie ‘Anarkali’)

 

06 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

The actor was then seen with Vyjayanthimala in ‘Nagin’ (1954). The movie portrayed romance between two lovers who belonged to a rival snake catching tribe. Nagin’s popular songs and Kumar’s python play on his wrist won audiences of all ages.

(Photo: Poster of the movie ‘Nagin’)

 

07 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

The actor worked with V Shantaram in ‘Subah Ka Tara’ (1952) and ‘Jagte Raho’ (1956) with Raj Kapoor. By 1956, Kumar had ten releases. In the 60s, the actor had fewer movies, but ‘Ghoongat’ (1960), ‘Aarti’ (1962), and ‘Taj Mahal’ (1963) struck the bull’s eye!

(Photo: Poster of the movie ‘Taj Mahal’)

 

08 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

Kumar made a successful pair with Meena Kumari. Together, they worked in seven movies—’Adl-e-Jehangir’ (1955), ‘Bandhan’ (1956), ‘Aarti’ (1962), ‘Chitralekha’ (1964), ‘Bheegi Raat’ (1965), ‘Bahu Begum’ (1967) and ‘Noor Jehan’ (1967). With Mala Sinha, he worked in eight movies—’Hamlet’ (1954), ‘Badshah’ (1954), ‘Ek Shola’ (1956), ‘Detective’ (1958), ‘Fashion’ (1959), ‘Duniya Na Maane’ (1959) and ‘Mitti Mein Sona’ (1960).

(Photos: Stills from the movie ‘Bheegi Raat’)

 

09 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

Despite being paired with megastar Madhubala, they did make a hit on-screen couple. Together, they worked in six movies—’Raj Hath’ (1956), ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’ (1957), ‘Gateway Of India’ (1957), ‘Police’ (1958), ‘Mehlon Ke Khwab’ (1960), and ‘Passport’ (1961). All top actresses of the 50s were paired with Kumar, including Nargis in ‘Adalat’ (1958), Nutan in ‘Heer’ (1956), and Nimmi in ‘Jayshree’ (1956).

(Photo: Still from the movie ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’)

 

10 / 15

#GoldenFrames: Pradeep Kumar, the legendary actor of Indian Cinema

Although Kumar acted in films belonging to genres other than historical, he is famous for his portrayals of kings and princes. In the 60s, Kumar was paired with popular actresses such as Saira Banu, Sadhana, and Sharmila Tagore. But the movies didn’t do well at the box office. After working with Asha Parekh in ‘Ghunghat’ (1960), and ‘Rakhi’ (1962) and ‘Meri Surat Teri Aankhen’ (1963) with Waheeda Rehman—Kumar switched to character roles.

(Photo: Still from the movie ‘Ghunghat’)

 

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