Remembering Dadamoni: Happy Birthday Ashok Kumar
Veteran actor Ashok Kumar aka Kumudlal Ganguly was one of Indian cinema’s finest actor. With more than 250 films to his credit and a career that spanned over 70 years, it is the 106th birth anniversary of the the ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gadi’ actor. The fan favorite last acted in ‘Aankhon Me Tum Ho’ 20 years ago in the year 1997 but is still remembered for his exemplary acting skills.
Born and brought up in a Bengali family in Bhagalapur, then a part of Bengal Presidency in British India, Dadamoni ruled the hearts of his fans through his charming persona and powerful acting. Be it the lead role in a movie or a negative role, Kumar did justice to each role he played on the silver screen.
Although it always seemed that he was made for Indian cinema, Ashok Kumar became an actor by chance. He was original for his debut film Jeevan Naya in 1936, he volunteered to fill in for the lead actor. After that, there was no looking back for this megastar. His 1943 release Kismat ran for three years in Bombay and Calcutta.
He is still remembered for his acting in films like Kismat, Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Mahal, Sangam, and Khoobsurat.
An actor who could capture all your attention in one shot, Dadamoni was also a practicing homeopathy doctor. He was a full-time lab assistant in Bombay Talkies where he later became a producer. Ashok Kumar became a familiar face on television screens in the 1980s when he started anchoring India's first soap opera Hum Log.
In 1988, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, which is the highest honor presented to a film personality by the Indian government. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1998 for his contribution to Indian cinema. Ashok Kumar had stopped celebrating his birthday from 1987, as his youngest brother Abhas, who was popularly known as Kishore Kumar, passed away on the same day.