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Rajendra Kumar
Rajendra Kumar Tuli

(1927-07-20)20 July 1927
Sialkot, Punjab, British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan)
Died 12 July 1999(1999-07-12) (aged 71)
Occupation Actor, producer, director
Years active 1949–1998
Spouse(s) Shukla
Children 3 including Kumar Gaurav
Honours Padma Shri (1969)

Rajendra Kumar Tuli (20 July 1927 – 12 July 1999) was an Indian film actor who starred in Bollywood films. Starting his career in 1950, he appeared in more than 80 films in a career spanning over four decades. He was popularly known as the 'Jubilee Kumar'. He was considered one of the most successful Indian actors in the 1960s. He also produced several films starring his son Kumar Gaurav. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1969.


Rajendra Kumar's family was based in Punjab, British India. He was born in a Punjabi Hindu family in Sialkot, in the Punjab province of British India. His grandfather was a successful military contractor and his father had a textile business in Karachi, Sindh, British India. During the Partition of India, the family had to leave all the land and property behind and move to India. When they came to Bombay, Kumar decided to try his luck in the Hindi film industry. He never wanted to be a hero and took up work with director H. S. Rawail as an assistant. For nearly five years, he worked with Rawail as an assistant in films like Patanga, Sagai, Pocketmaar.

During this time, he made his film debut with a cameo in the 1949 film Patanga, followed by a small role in Kidar Sharma's 1950 film Jogan, opposite Dilip Kumar and Nargis. It was producer Devendra Goel who noticed Kumar in Jogan and gave him a break in Vachan in 1955. Kumar was paid only fifteen hundred rupees for the film; however, the film was a hit and was Kumar's first silver jubilee film and he was given a title – 'A star is Born'. He got further success with his supporting role in Mehboob Khan's blockbuster epic film Mother India in 1957 in which he played Nargis's character's son. His first major success as a romantic leading man was in Amit Saxena's musical Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959), co-starring Ameeta.

The 1960s saw Kumar rise to stardom. There were times when he had six or seven films which had run for more than 25 weeks (known in India as a "silver jubilee film"), all running at the cinema at the same time, which rendered him the nickname "Jubilee Kumar". He starred in many box office hits including Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Gharana (1961), Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Mere Mehboob (1963), Sangam (1964), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Arzoo (1965), Suraj (1966), Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan (1968), Talash (1969) and Ganwaar (1970). He received the Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor for Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Arzoo (1965), and as Best Supporting Actor for Sangam (1964).. He also starred in K. Asif's incomplete film Sasta Khoon Mehanga Paani co- starring Saira banu. His brother Naresh Kumar was also a director and directed him in films like Gora Aur Kala (1972) and Do Jasoos (1975).

From 1972 onwards, he faced competition from Rajesh Khanna and many of his films were flops. He then switched to character roles in the late 1970s and 1980s. He was offered a role in the film Saajan Bina Suhaagan opposite Nutan in 1978 which was a success. He also starred in a number of Punjabi films like Do Sher and Teri Meri Ik Jindri.

In 1981, Rajendra introduced his son Kumar Gaurav in the film Love Story which he produced and also starred in. The film was declared a blockbuster. Rajendra produced a few other films starring his son but none matched the success of Love Story with the exception of the 1986 film Naam, which featured his son starring alongside Sanjay Dutt. His last production was the 1993 film Phool which also didn't do well. In 1995, he acted in the television serials Andaz and Vansh which were his last acting roles.

Personal life

See also: Behl family

He married Shukla who was the Sister of director OP Ralhan He and Shukla had a son and two daughters. His son Kumar Gaurav is a former actor. His daughter Dimple was married to Hollywood film producer Raju Patel.

Kumar acted with Sunil Dutt and Nargis in the film Mother India (1957) where Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar played sons of Nargis's character. He had a special relationship with Dutt and used to actively participate in campaigning for him, whenever the latter used to contest for elections. Dutt quoted as having said that "Even though Rajendra Kumar did not win any award throughout his career, he was one of the most genuine human beings I have ever encountered. When I was struggling with the troubles related to the arrest of my son Sanjay Dutt and my house was repeatedly being searched by means of numerous police raids, Rajendra Kumar was the one who came to my rescue by staying at my house and ensuring that raids were conducted using due procedures, false evidences were not planted in the house and valuables were not stolen." Kumar was best friends with Raj Kapoor, so much so that his son Kumar Gaurav was engaged to the latter's daughter, Reema. However, their friendship fell apart after their children broke the engagement and Kumar Gaurav married Sunil Dutt and Nargis's daughter Namrata.

He attained a Ph.D. and had a title of 'Doctor' prefixed to his name.


Known to refuse taking any medication, he died at the age of 71 on 12 July 1999, just a day after his son's 43rd birthday, and just 8 days before his 72nd birthday. He died of cardiac arrest in his sleep.

Honours and recognitions

Rajendra Kumar 2013 stamp of India
Kumar on a 2013 stamp of India
  • Rajendra Kumar was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 1969.
  • He was also conferred with Justice of Peace honour and served as Honorary Magistrate.
  • He was awarded the National Honour by late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru simultaneously for "Kanoon" (Hindi) and "Mehndi Rang Lagyo" (Gujarati film).
  • He received a special Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award and was associated with several charity schemes.

Awards and nominations

Filmfare Awards

Rajendra Kumar was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor for three consecutive years in 1964, 1965 and 1966. In the year 1965 he was nominated both for Filmfare Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Year Film Role Notes
1964 Dil Ek Mandir Dr. Dharmesh Nominated
1965 Ayee Milan Ki Bela Shyam
1966 Aarzoo Gopal/Sarju
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominations
1965 Sangam Gopal Verma Nominated


As actor

Films as actor
Year Film Role Notes
1949 Patanga Small Role
1950 Jogan Vijay's Friend Small Role.
1955 Vachan Kishore
1956 Toofan Aur Deeya Satish Sharma / Masterji
Aawaz Ashok
1957 Mother India Ramu
Ek Jhalak
Duniya Rang Rangeeli Shyam
1958 Devar Bhabhi Ramu
Ghar Sansar Deepak
Khazanchi Harish Mohan
Talaq Ravi Shankar Chaube
1959 Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan Dr. Anand
Dhool Ka Phool Mahesh Kapoor
Do Behnen Ramesh
Goonj Uthi Shehnai Kishan
Santan Mohanlal Verma
1960 Kanoon Advocate Kailash Khanna
Maa Baap Raj Kumar 'Raju'
Mehndi Rang Lagyo Anil Gujarati Film
Patang Dr. Rajan
1961 Zindagi Aur Khwab Inspector Manoj
Aas Ka Panchhi Rajan 'Raju' Khanna
Dharmputra party leader Special Appearance
Amar Rahe Yeh Pyar Advocate Iqbal Hussain
Gharana Kamal
Pyaar Ka Saagar Kishan Chand Gupta
Sasural Shekhar
Sanjog Guest Role
1963 Akeli Mat Jaiyo Prince Amardeep
Dil Ek Mandir Dr. Dharmesh Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Gehra Daag Shankar
Hamrahi Shekhar
Mere Mehboob Anwar
1964 Sangam Magistrate Gopal Verma Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Ayee Milan Ki Bela Shyam Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Zindagi Rajendra 'Rajan'
1965 Arzoo Gopal / Sarju Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1966 Suraj Suraj Singh
1967 Palki Naseem Baig
Aman Dr. Gautamdas
1968 Saathi Ravi
Jhuk Gaya Aasman Sanjay / Tarun Kumar 'Battu' 'Pappu' Saxena
1969 Anjaana Raju
Shatranj Jai/Vijay/Shinranz
Talash Raj Kumar 'Raju'
1970 Mera Naam Joker Rajendra Kumar
Geet Suraj 'Sarju' Kumar
Ganwaar Gopal Rai / Garibdas
Dharti Bharat
1971 Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee Kumar Verma
1972 Tangewala Raju / Rai Bahadur Kishandas / Dilbahadur Khan
Gora Aur Kala Karan Singh / Kali Singh (Kalua) Double Role
Gaon Hamara Shaher Tumhara Brij "Birju" Bhushan
Aan Baan Suraj
Lalkaar Wing Commander Rajan Kapoor
1974 Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam Boatsman
Do Sher Shera Punjabi film
1975 Do Jasoos Karamchand Jasoos
Rani Aur Lalpari Rani's Father
Sunehra Sansar Chandrashekhar
Teri Meri Ik Jindri Jaggar Singh Fauji Special Appearance
1976 Mazdoor Zindabaad Ram Singh
1977 Daku Aur Mahatma
Do Sholay Punjabi Movie Do Sher (1974) dubbed in Hindi
Shirdi Ke Sai Baba Doctor (Pooja's Husband)
1978 Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke Haath Shankar
Aahuti CID Inspector Ram Prasad / Rocky
Saajan Bina Suhagan Raj Kumar
1979 Bin Phere Hum Tere Jagdish Sharma
1980 Gunehgaar
Badla Aur Balidan Barrister Avinash Kumar
Dhan Daulat Raj Saxena
Oh Bewafa R K
1981 Yeh Rishta Na Tootay Police Inspector Vijay Kumar
Saajan Ki Saheli Barrister Avinash Kumar
Love Story Vijay Mehra
1982 Rustom J. D. Mehta
1983 Lovers Christian Priest
1988 Main Tere Liye Shiva
1989 Clerk Rahim U. Khan
1991 Insaaf Ka Khoon Judge Kumar
1993 Phool Dharamraaj Also Producer
TV show
Year Film Role Channel Notes
1995 Andaz Zee TV one episode
Vansh Zee TV


Films as producer
Year Film Director Notes
1981 Love Story Rahul Rawail To launch son Kumar Gaurav
1983 Lovers Bharathiraja
1986 Naam Mahesh Bhatt
1991 Jurrat David Dhawan Also editor of the film
1993 Phool Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
1994 The Jungle Book (co-executive producer)


  • The Train (1970)
  • Ganwaar (1970)
  • Talash (1969)
  • Phool Aur Patthar (1966)


  • Mere Mehboob (1963) (performer: "Mere Mehboob Tujhe", "Allah Bachaye", "Tere Pyar Mein Dildar", "Janeman Ek Nazar", "Yaad Mein Teri", "Tumse Izhar e Haal", "Mere Mehboob Mein Kya", "Ae Husn Zara Jaag", "Yaad Mein (revival) Zalzala")


  • Mera Naam Joker (1970) (acknowledgment) (as Rajender Kumar)


  • Raj Kapoor (1987) as Himself (during funeral)
  • Star (1982) as Himself (Guest Appearance)
  • Shrimanji (1968) as Himself
  • Kala Bazar (1960) as Himself

Archive footage

  • Film Hi Film (1983) (uncredited)
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