Odishatv Bureau

Veteran actor Dilip Kumar breathed his last at the age of 98 today morning. His family friend Faisal Farooqui confirmed the news on the actor’s official Twitter account.

“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, a few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return," the tweet read.



He passed away due to prolonged illness at 7.30 am, Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating Kumar, told PTI.

Kumar was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Hinduja Hospital, Khar, on June 29, after reportedly complaining of breathlessness.

Kumar, who was married to actor Saira Banu, had been in and out of hospital the last one month and his family had hoped that he would get better.

The Hindi cinema veteran, the last of the golden troika with Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand, was admitted to hospital last month following episodes of breathlessness.

He was then diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion, a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs, and underwent a successful pleural aspiration procedure. He was discharged after five days only to be admitted to the hospital again.

The thespian's longtime aide Faisal Farooqui said that the grief-struck family is discussing the funeral modalities and the last rites are likely to be held at the Juhu Muslim Cemetery in Santacruz west, around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Around 9.30 a.m., an ambulance carrying Dilip Kumar's body left for his home in Bandra west, with his wife of 55-years Saira Banu Khan accompanying along with some family members.

Just two days ago, Saira Banu Khan had tweeted about his improving medical condition, since her husband had been keeping unwell recently.

But that was a short-lived glimmer of hope and he passed away around dawn Wednesday, plunging Bollywood, his billions of fans, followers and admirers around the world into gloom.

Kumar, born Yousuf Khan and often known as the Nehruvian hero, did his first film Jwar Bhata in 1944 and his last Qila in 1998, 54 years later.

Fondly known as the Tragedy King of the Hindi cine industry for his immaculate acting, Kumar has acted in over 65 films in his career over a span of six decades. Some of his iconic roles in movies like 'Devdas '(1955), 'Naya Daur' (1957), 'Mughal-e-Azam' (1960), 'Ganga Jamuna' (1961), 'Kranti' (1981), and 'Karma' (1986) are considered to be immortal blockbusters in the cine industry.

(With Agency Inputs)