Raaj Kumar (8 October 1926 – 3 July 1996), born as Kulbhushan Pandit, was an Indian film actor. He worked as sub-inspector of Mumbai Police in the late 1940s before he turned to acting with the 1952 Hindi film Rangeeli. He appeared in the Oscar-nominated 1957 film Mother India and went on to star in over 70 Hindi films in a career that spanned over four decades.
8 October 1926
Loralai, Baluchistan Agency, British India
(now in Balochistan, Pakistan)
|Died||3 July 1996
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
Raaj Kumar was born in Panjgur, Balochistan, British India in a Kashmiri Pandit family. In the late 1940s he moved to Mumbai, India where he became Sub-inspector of the Mumbai Police. He married Jennifer, an Anglo-Indian, whom he met on a flight where she was the air hostess. She later changed her name to Gayatri as per Hindu customs. They had three children, sons Puru Raajkumar (a Bollywood actor), Panini Raajkumar and daughter Vastavikta Pandit, who made her screen debut in 2006 film Eight: The Power of Shani.
Raaj Kumar made his acting debut in the 1952 film Rangili and appeared in films like Aabshar, Ghamand and Lakhon Mein Ek, but it was as Prince Naushazad in Sohrab Modi’s Nausherwan-E-Adil (1957) that he became famous. In 1957, he achieved prominence with his brief role as the husband of Nargis in Mother India. He followed this with the unglamorous role of a mill worker in Paigham (1959) alongside Dilip Kumar. In Sridhar’s Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Raaj Kumar played the role of a cancer patient for which he won the Filmfare Award in the Best supporting actor category.He was cast with Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor and Balraj Sahni in Yash Chopra’s family drama Waqt in 1965.  He became known for his distinct style of dialogue delivery.
His other notable films included Hamraaz (1967), Heer Raanjha (1971), Maryada (1971), Lal Patthar (1971) and Pakeezah (1972). After a period of flops in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he had notable successes as a supporting actor in Kudrat (1981), Ek Nai Paheli (1984), Marte Dam Tak (1987), Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). In 1991, he reunited with fellow veteran actor Dilip Kumar after 32 years in Subhash Ghai's Saudagar. His last hit film was the 1992 film Tirangaa and his final film was 1995's God & Gun.
From his screen debut in Rangili in 1952 to his last film God & Gun in 1995, he played memorable characters in 60-odd films.
He died of throat cancer at the age of 69 on 3 July 1996. According to Purru Raaj Kumar in his interview to Farhana Farook, his father suffered from Hodgkins for which he had chemotherapy. The last two years were bad with the nodes recurring in the lungs and ribs.
|1957||Nausherwan-E-Adil||Naushazad / Joseph|
|1959||Paigham||Ram Lal||Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award|
|1959||Swarg Se Sundar Desh Hamara|
|1960||Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai||Dr. Sushil K. Verma|
|1963||Dil Ek Mandir||Ram||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award|
|1963||Phool Bane Angarey||Capt. Rajesh|
|1963||Pyar Ka Bandhan||kalu|
|1965||Waqt||Raja||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award|
|1965||Kaajal||Moti||Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award
Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
|1965||Oonche Log||Inspector Shreekant|
|1968||Mere Huzoor||Nawab Salim|
|1968||Neel Kamal||Chitrasen||Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award|
|1971||Lal Patthar||Kumar Bahadur Gyan Shankar Rai|
|1971||Maryada||Raja Babu / Raj Bahadur|
|1972||Pakeezah||Salim Ahmed Khan|
|1972||Dil Ka Raja||Raja Bichitra Singh / Raju|
|1973||Hindustan ki kasam||Rajib|
|1974||36 Ghante||Editor Ashok Rai|
|1976||Ek Se Badh Kar Ek||shankar|
|1978||Karmayogi||Shanker / Mohan|
|1980||Bulundi||Professor Satish Khurana|
|1980||Chambal Ki Kasam||Thakur Suraj Singh|
|1981||Kudrat||Choudhury Janak Singh|
|1982||Dharam Kanta||Thakur Bhavani Singh|
|1984||Ek Nai Paheli||Upendranath|
|1984||Raaj Tilak||Samadh Khan|
|1984||Sharara (film)||Raj kumar|
|1987||Marte Dam Tak||S.I. Rane / Rana|
|1987||Muqaddar Ka Faisla||Pandit Krishnakant|
|1988||Mahaveera||DSP Karamvir / Don|
|1988||Mohabbat Ke Dushman||Rehemat Khan|
|1989||Desh Ke Dushman|
|1989||Jung Baaz||Krishan Prasad|
|1989||Galiyon Ka Badshah||Ram / Raja|
|1989||Suryaa: An Awakening||Rajpal Chauhan|
|1990||Police Public||Jagmohan Azad|
|1993||Tirangaa||Brigadier Suryadev Singh|
|1993||Insaniyat Ke Devta||Jailer Rana Pratap Singh|
|1993||Police Aur Mujrim||Police Commissioner Veer Bahadur Singh|
|1994||Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzilen|
|1994||Betaaj Badshah||Prithvi Raj|
|1995||Jawab||Ashwani Kumar Saxena|
|1995||God and Gun||Saheb Bahadur Rathore|
- "Raaj Kumar". IMDb. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- Hindus Contribution Towards Making Of Pakistan Archived 29 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine. 22 May 2010 Retrieved 28 January 2011
- "Purru Raaj Kumar: Dad was Bizzare [sic] But Never Boring". iDiva.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014.
- "Raaj Kumar's daughter VASTAVIKTA debuts - bollywood news : glamsham.com". glamsham.com. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012.
- "BLAST FROM THE PAST Dil Ek Mandir (1963)". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013.
- "Raj Kumar of dialogue delivery". Archived from the original on 28 September 2012.
- "King of dialogue delivery". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 October 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013.
- Dhawan, M. L. (29 June 2003). "Remembering A Legend". The Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Singh, Kuldip (6 July 1996). "Obituary Raaj Kumar". The Independent. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Farook, Farhana. "Dad Was Bizarre But Never Boring". news-entertainment. iDiva.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.