Ranjendra Kumar Tuli, (20 July 1929 – 12 July 1999) was an Indian film actor who prominently starred in Bollywood films. His family was based in Punjab, British India. During the partition of India, his family had to leave all the land and property behind and move to India. It was when they came to Bombay during this time that Kumar decided to try his luck in the Hindi film industry. He never wanted to be a hero and took up work with director H. S. Rawail as an assistant. For about five years, he worked with Rawail as an assistant in popular films like Patanga, Sagai and Pocketmaar. After working with Rawail, Rajendra Kumar made his film debut with a small role in Kidar Sharma’s 1950 film Jogan, opposite Dilip Kumar and Nargis. Later, it was producer Devandra Goel who noticed Kumar and gave him a role in Vachan in 1955. Kumar was only paid fifteen hundred rupees, however, the film was a huge success and was Kumar’s first silver jubilee film. After this, he was given the title ‘A Star is Born’. He then went on to get further success with his supporting role in Mehboob Khan’s blockbuster epic film Mother India in 1957. His first major success as a romantic leading man was in Amit Saxena’s musical Goonj Uthi Shehnai in 1959. After that, Kumar saw rise to stardom in the 1960s. There were times when he had six or seven of his films which had been running in cinemas for more than 25 weeks at the same time. This led to his second nickname ‘Jubilee Kumar’. He then went on to star in many box office hits including Dhool Ka Phool, Dil Ek Mandir, Mere Mehboob, Arzoo, Jhuk Gaya Aasman, etc. He also received several Filmfare Nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor during this time. Then, from 1972 onwards, he faced competition from Rajesh Khanna and many of his films were flops. He also started starring in a number of Punjabi films such as Teri Meri Ek Jindar. Sadly, he passed away on 12 July 1999 from cancer as he was known to refuse taking any medication. However, his legacy continues to live on through his children and grandchildren.
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