Happy birthday Manoj Kumar! Here’s looking back at the journey of this legend in the Hindi film industry

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The veteran actor turns 81 today

Born on July 24, 1937 in Abbottabad (now in Pakistan) as Harikishan Giri Goswami, Bollywood’s fave actor-director Manoj Kumarturns 81 today. He made his Bollywood debut in 1960 with “Kaanch Ki Gudia” but later shifted focus to acting and directing films with. Kumar was part of several romantic films but his patriotic flavour is what he became known, earning him the moniker ‘Bharat’ Kumar. He is also fondly known as the inventor of the facepalm. A list of of his popular films include Shaheed, Woh Kaun Thi?, Gumnaam, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Upkar, Aadmi, Kranti, Hariyali Aur Raasta, Himalay Ki God Mein, Do Badan, Patthar Ke Sanam and Purab Aur Paschim. The veteran was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1992. He also won a National Film Award for Upkaar and a Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

Biographies and biopics might be in vogue today, but Manoj Kumar is not comfortable with the idea of doing the same on his life story. Kumar says he is neither in favour of a biopic on his life, nor a book as it would involve talking about other people too, which may not be a good idea. In an interview with PTI, Kumar had said, “I am against my biography also. I can write about myself, but there are other persons involved in it and I will have to name them. I’ll be exposing them then, which I don’t like.”

Here’s wishing Manoj Kumar a happy birthday!

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