Whenever Indian Cinema may talk of versatility at its best the only actor whose name may crop unanimously is that of Sanjeev Kumar because if on one hand he was the favorite of filmmakers, who made realistic and thinking cinema like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Bhattacharya, Gulzar etc. then on other hand Sanjeev Kumar was adept for commercial filmmakers too like Yash Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Subhash Ghai. July 9 marks the birth anniversary of the legendary actor; Glamsham.Com remembers him and takes a look how he struggled his way to stardom.
Haribhai Jariwala better known as Sanjeev Kumar began his career on stage and tried his luck in Bollywood. But the journey was arduous. After intense struggle his days finally changed. Few are aware that eminent film maker K.Asif, who made MUGHUL-E-AZAM, had discovered Sanjeev Kumar. During his struggling phase Sanjeev Kumar was first noticed by K. Asif, who was impressed by his histrionics and saw a great actor in him.
In those days he was making LOVE AND GOD with Guru Dutt and Nimmi in the lead roles. Asif gave Sanjeev Kumar a small role in the movie. However, destiny had some other plans and Guru Dutt committed suicide. Post his death, K. Asif was in dilemma and the shooting of the film was shelved. Finally Asif sahab decided to cast the young actor, Sanjeev Kumar in the lead. Shooting began and things moved smoothly. Suddenly K. Asif expired at the young age of 48 years and the movie was abandoned eventually leading to poor Sanjeev Kumar struggle again to make his presence felt.
Eventually Sanjeev Kumar got a life time opportunity to play a cameo role opposite thespian Dilip Kumar in the movie SANGHARSH (1968). Though the movie was not a huge hit but the rave reviews that Sanjeev Kumar got, opened doors of stardom. In fact, Dilip Kumar himself praised Sanjeev Kumar for his brilliant performance and predicted a great future for the budding actor.
Next with two National Awards for Best actor in DASTAK (1971) and KOSHISH (1973) and the commercial success of KHILONA, SEETA AUR GEETA, SHOLAY made Sanjeev Kumar a star!