There has been talk about Manoj Kumar’s health. The veteran actor turns 83 today. Producer nephew Manish Goswami provided a health update to say that Mr Bharat is fine. “He’s just having a slip disc problem,” informs Goswami. Like every year, family members will get together to mark his big day. One of his landmark films, Purab aur Paschim, which he produced directed and acted in, clocks 50 years in 2020.
Manoj Kumar made his acting debut with a film named Fashion in 1957. Best known for his films ‘Hariyali Aur Raasta’, ‘Woh Kaun Thi?’, ‘Himalaya Ki God Mein’, ‘Do Badan’, ‘Patthar Ke Sanam’, ‘Shaheed’ and ‘Roti Kapda Aur Makaan’, Kumar became popular as “Bharat Kumar” thanks to his patriotic dramas. He went on to star in romantic hits like ‘Honeymoon’, ‘Apna Banake Dekho’, ‘Naqli Nawab’, ‘Do Badan’, ‘Paththar Ke Sanam’, ‘Sajan’ and ‘Sawan Ki Ghata’.
The actor later shifted his focus to films with patriotic theme by acting in films like “Shaheed”, which was based on the life of Bhagat Singh. Kumar made his directorial debut with “Upkaar”, which is said to be inspired by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan. His other films that explore the idea of patriotic duty include “Purab Aur Paschim”, “Roti Kapda Aur Makaan” and “Kranti”, in which he got a chance to work with his idol Dilip Kumar.
Kumar’s career started to decline after “Kranti”. He quit acting after his appearance in the 1995 film “Maidan-E-Jung” but returned as a director to launch son, Kunal Goswami, in the 1999 film “Jai Hind” which had a patriotic theme. The film, however, did not do well at the box office.
The actor won a National Film Award for Upkaar and was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1992. He was also bestowed with India’s highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, in 2015.