Remembering Sujit Kumar on his 14th death anniversary (05/02).

BollywooDirect
2 min readFeb 5, 2024

Today marks the 14th death anniversary of Sujit Kumar, a distinguished actor and producer who graced the Indian film industry from the 1960s through the 1990s (05/02). Hailing from a village near Varanasi, Sujit Kumar’s career spanned across at least 150 Hindi movies and more than 20 Bhojpuri films, establishing him as Bhojpuri cinema’s inaugural superstar during his prime.

Film aficionados from the 1960s might recall his leading roles in suspense thrillers such as ‘Lal Bangla’ (1966) and ‘Ek Saal Pehle’ (1965). Nonetheless, his most iconic role could arguably be the memorable scene where he plays the mouth organ in a jeep in ‘Aradhana’ (1969), with Rajesh Khanna wooing Sharmila Tagore in the backdrop. Kumar was a staple in numerous films alongside Bollywood legends like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, and Dharmendra, showcasing his versatility in roles that spanned from comedic to villainous, and at times, a blend of both. His portrayal of a spy in Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Aankein’ and a memorable part in Dev Anand’s ‘Des Pardes’ are among his standout performances.

Kumar’s contribution to Bhojpuri cinema was monumental, making a significant impact with his debut in ‘Bidesiya’ (1963), where he played Bidesi Thakur, a role that won the hearts of audiences in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. His leading role in ‘Dangal’ (1977), the first Bhojpuri film in color, played a pivotal role in rejuvenating the regional film industry after a period of decline. His directorial venture, ‘Pan Khaye Saiyan Hamaar’ (1984), even featured cameo appearances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha.

Towards the end of his career, Kumar ventured into film production, backing projects like ‘Champion’ (starring Sunny Deol and Manisha Koirala) and ‘Aetbaar’ (featuring Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham).

Battling cancer, Sujit Kumar passed away in Mumbai on February 5, 2010. As we remember his vast contributions to Indian cinema, we pray for his soul to find everlasting peace.

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