Date of Birth
West Bengal, IndiaEdit page
Ashok Kumar (born Kumudlal Ganguly; 13 October 1911 – 10 December 2001), also known as Dadamoni, was an Indian actor who attained iconic status in Indian cinema. He was a pioneering actor who introduced natural acting to Hindi cinema. He is considered the first superstar of Hindi cinema in the black and white era of the 40s and 50s as well as the first lead actor to play an anti-hero. He also became the first star to reinvent himself, enjoying a long and hugely successful career as a character actor. He was a member of the cinematic Ganguly family.
He was honored in 1988 with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest national award for cinema artists, by the Government of India. He also received the Padma Bhushan in 1999 for his contributions to Indian cinema.
Background and personal life
Ashok Kumar was born Kumudlal Ganguly to a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Bihar, India). His father, Kunjlal Ganguly, was a lawyer while his mother, Gouri Devi, was a housewife. Kumudlal was the eldest of four children. His only sister, Sati Devi, a few years younger than him, was married at a very young age to Sashadhar Mukherjee and became the matriarch of a large "film family". Next was his brother, Kalyan, 16 years younger (b.1927), who later took the screen name Anoop Kumar. Youngest of all was Abhas (b.1929), whose screen name was Kishore Kumar, who became a phenomenally successful playback singer in Hindi films. Although the eldest by several years, Kumudlal outlived all his siblings. In fact, he stopped celebrating his birthday after his youngest brother, Kishore, died on that day in 1987.