Amongst all well known Bollywood couples, Dilip Kumar and Sairabanu are arguably the most prominent. Very few Bollywood couples can match the grace of this star couple. The famed love story of Dilip Kumar and Sairabanu evolved after a long courtship.
Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Bollywood. He started his career in 1944. The sterling performance of the actor of yester year has been regarded as the epitome in Indian Cinema. He was the first actor to receive a Film fare Best Actor Award. Today he holds the proud record of receiving the most number of Film fare Awards to his name.
He was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan, in Qissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar. He had 12 siblings. His father Ghulam Sarwar was a fruit merchant and owned large orchard in Peshawar and Devlali in Maharashtra near Mumbai. The family relocated to Mumbai in the 1930s. Yusuf Khan moved to Pune and started his canteen business. He also used to supply dry fruits.
While in Pune he was spotted by a leading actress of those years, Devika Rani. She spotted the talent in him and initiated him to join the Bollywood film industry. She also gave him the screen name of Dilip Kumar.
Dilip Kumar married actress and "beauty queen" Saira Banu in 1966 when he was aged 44 and she was only 22. At the time gossip columnists predicted doom for the high-profile couple, but the union has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood. The marriage was briefly under threat when Kumar married a woman called Asma in 1980 but the marriage was quickly dissolved.
Saira Banu also Saira Bano was born in August 23, 1944. She was the daughter of Naseem Banu, a well-known actress of the 1960s and 1970s and the granddaughter of a courtesan Chamiyan Bai, also known as Shamshad Begum. She made her acting debut opposite Shammi Kapoor in the 1961 hit film Junglee for which she earned her first Film fare nomination as Best Actress. She later went on to act with Dilip Kumar in movies like Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag. All the 3 movies were big hits. It was while acting with him that their courtship began.
Finally in 1966, the 22 years old Sairabanu married the 44 year Dilip Kumar. Putting to rest all wild speculation their marriage has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood.
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