Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar dies aged 98

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Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar has died aged 98. (Photo by Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar has died aged 98. (Photo by Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar has died at the age of 98. 

The actor, who was known as the 'tragedy king', died on Wednesdays illness after a prolonged illness. 

He had been admitted to the Hinduja hospital in Mumbai last week following complaints of breathing problems.

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A message from Kumar's official Twitter account written by family friend Faisal Farooqui announced the news.

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It read: "With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago.

"We are from God and to Him we return.” 

Kumar was a star of Indian cinema for 50 years, acting in more than 65 pictures. 

Dilip Kumar's successful career spanned five decades. (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Dilip Kumar's successful career spanned five decades. (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Born in Peshawar, which is located in Pakistan today, he was named Yusuf Khan though opted to take on a Hindu name when joining the film industry. 

He made his debut in 1944's Jwar Bhata before a breakthrough turn in romantic drama Andaz in 1949. Other big cinematic hits of Kumar's include Naya Daur, Ganga Jumna, Devdas and Mughal-e-Azam.

The star, who has been credited with being one of Bollywood's earliest method actors, was the first winner of the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and holds the record for the most wins at the ceremony overall alongside Shah Rukh Khan. 

Dilip Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu. (Photo by Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Dilip Kumar is survived by his wife Saira Banu. (Photo by Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Kumar's last big screen appearance came in 1998 film Qila.

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Tributes poured in for Kumar, including one from India's prime minister Narendra Modi who tweeted: “Dilip Kumar Ji will be remembered as a cinematic legend. 

"He was blessed with unparalleled brilliance, due to which audiences across generations were enthralled."

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"An institution has gone... Whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written, it shall always be 'before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar'.

"My duas for peace of his soul and the strength to the family to bear this loss. Deeply saddened," wrote Amitabh Bachchan, Kumar's co-star in 1982 film Shakti and fellow Indian cinema icon. 

He is survived by his wife Saira Banu, also a Bollywood actor, whom he married in 1966.

Watch: Indian cinema legend Dilip Kumar dies aged 98

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