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Ashok Kumar (1911-2001) was one of the greatest actors of the Hindi cinema.�Born as whose original name was Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguly in Bhagalpur in Bihar, Ashok Kumar became the face of the 40's and 50's with his classic Bengali looks and his phenomenal talent.� His first film was Himanshu Rai's Jeevan Naiya (1936) opposite Devika Rani, which was soon followed by the more renowned Achhut Kanya (1936). In 1943 he started a new production company called Filmistan in partnership with Sashdhar Mukherjee, Gyan Mukherjee and Chunilal.�
Some important films in his long film career include Kangan (1939), Azad (1940), Mahal (1949), Deedar (1951), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Gumrah (1963), Chitralekha (1964), Bahu Begum (1967), Jewel Thief (1967), Aashirwad (1968), Aradhana (1969), Satyakam (1969), Paakezah, (1971), Guddi (1971) and Chhoti si Baat (1975).He also has to his credit the first real blockbuster of India: Kismet which ran for over a year with Ashok Kumar playing the first real anti-hero of popular cinema. Ashok Kumar acted in about 300 films and continued acting till the late 80s when he gave up because of health problems.
Popularly called 'Dada Moni', in his older age he became the grand old man of Hindi films. He anchored the popular tele-serial Hum Log during the 1980s. His list of awards includes the Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1996) for life-time achievement, two Filmfare awards for Rakhi (1963) and Aashirwad (1969) and for best supporting actor for Afsana and the Screen Videocon Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1997.