Raaj Kumar Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 69 Years
Wife: Jennifer (Gayatri)
Death Date: 03/07/1996

Raaj Kumar

Birth NameKulbhushan Pandit [1]Independent
Name EarnedJaani [2]Hindustan Times
Famous ForHis quintessential style of dialogue delivery
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourSalt & Pepper
DebutFilm: Rangeeli (1952)
Raaj Kumar's Debut Film Rangeeli (1952)
Last FilmGod and Gun (1995); as Saheb Bahadur Rathore
Raaj Kumar Last Film God And Gun (1995)
Awards1964: Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film "Dil Ek Mandir" (1963)
1966: Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film "Waqt" (1965)
Personal Life
Date of Birth8 October 1926 (Friday)
BirthplaceLoralai, Baluchistan Agency, British India (now in Balochistan, Pakistan)
Date of Death3 July 1996 Wednesday)
Place of DeathMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Age (at the time of death)69 Years
Death CauseThroat Cancer

Note: He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease for a long time. [3]Filmfare
Zodiac signLibra
Signature/AutographRaaj Kumar's Autograph
CasteKashmiri Pandit [4]I Diva
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian [5]Filmfare
AddressHe mostly lived at his Juhu bungalow "The Whispering Windows" in Mumbai. [6]Stardust
HobbiesTrekking, Playing Golf, Horse Riding, Listening to Classical Music and Ghazals [7]Filmfare
Controversies• Raaj Kumar and Raj Kapoor had an altercation at Prem Chopra's wedding party in 1969. Reportedly, the altercation started after Raj Kapoor told Raaj Kumar, “You are a bloody murderer!” Kapoor had told so in anger because Mr Kumar had refused his offer of a side role in Kapoor's multi-starrer film Mera Naam Joker. Raaj Kumar gave a fierce reply to Mr Kapoor, he said, “I might be a killer, but I never went to you for a favour. It is you who had come to me!” [8]

• After Mother India's release, Raaj Kumar had gone for an evening drive along with his friend director Prakash Aurora and his wife when he had a fight with some anonymous men who had started heckling Kumar at a Paan shop. The fight was so intense that a person died, and Raaj Kumar was arrested. However, after a year of trial, Kumar was acquitted of all charges. [9]IMDb
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Affairs/GirlfriendsJennifer (an Anglo-Indian air hostess)
Marriage DateDuring the '60s [10]Filmfare
Marriage TypeLove [11]Filmfare
Wife/SpouseJennifer (after marriage - Gayatri); an Anglo-Indian air hostess
ChildrenSon- 2
• Puru Raaj Kumar (actor)
Raaj Kumar with his son Puru Raaj Kumar
• Panini Raajkumar (actor)
Raaj Kumar's Son Panini Raajkumar
Raaj Kumar's Sons Puru and Panini Raajkumar
Daughter- 1
• Vastavikta Pandit (actor)
Raaj Kumar Daughter Vastavikta Pandit
ParentsFather- Jagdishwar Nath Pandit
Mother- Dhanraj Rani Pandit
SiblingsBrother- 3
• Anand Babi Pandit
• Jeevanlal Pandit
• Mahindernath Pandit
Sister- He had four sisters. [12]IMDb
Raaj Kumar with his sister
Favourite Things
Song'Aye dil-e-nadaan' from the film Razia Sultan [13]Filmfare
BeverageKahwa (a Kashmiri drink)
FoodRogan Josh, Chaman (Paneer) with Baingan and Kasuri Methi, Methi Paratha
AttireKurta Pyjama, Shirts and Trousers and Khadau (wooden sandals) [14]Filmfare
Travel Destination(s)Kashmir, Switzerland
FilmmakerMehboob Khan
Style Quotient
Car CollectionHe had a Plymouth, [15]Independent a Chevrolet, a Mercedes, a Volkswagen and a Willy’s Jeep. [16]Filmfare

Raaj Kumar givinng a pose

Some Lesser Known Facts About Raaj Kumar

  • Did Raaj Kumar smoke?: Yes [17]Filmfare Raaj Kumar Smoking
  • Did Raaj Kumar drink alcohol?: Yes [18]Cineplot
  • Raaj Kumar was an Indian actor who acted in more than 70 films in a career that lasted for more than forty years; 42 years to be exact (1952-1995). He is best remembered for his flamboyant looks and quintessential dialogue delivery.
  • In his acting career spanning more than four decades, he gave many memorable roles, such as ‘Shamu’ in Mother India (1957), ‘Ram’ in Dil Ek Mandir (1963), ‘Raja’ in Waqt (1965), ‘Chitrasen’ in Neel Kamal (1968), ‘Salim’ in Pakeezah (1972), ‘Rajeshwar Singh’ in Saudagar (1991), and ‘Brigadier Suryadev Singh’ in Tirangaa (1993).

    Raaj Kumar in different roles

    Raaj Kumar in different roles

  • He was born into a middle-class Kashmiri Brahmin family in Loralai, now in Pakistan.
  • After India’s partition, he moved to Bombay where he started working as a police officer (a Sub-inspector) in the late forties and was attached to the Mahim Police Station. However, after his alleged involvement in a murder case, he had to quit the police service.
  • After leaving the police service, he switched to acting and also changed his name from Kulbushan Pandit to Raaj Kumar in 1950. [19]Independent
  • Although the 1952 Hindi film Rangeeli is considered to be his debut film, he made his screen debut with the 1950 Hindi film Neeli. [20]Independent
  • Before Rangeeli and Neeli, he had auditioned for the Hindi film Daulat in 1949 but got rejected. [21]IMDb
  • During the ’60s, he met an Anglo-Indian air hostess named Jennifer on a flight and fell in love with her. Their romance blossomed, and soon, they got married to each other. After marriage, Jennifer changed her name to Gayatri.
  • Apart from being a Golfer, he was also a horse rider, a trait which was similar to his wife Jennifer’s, and they both used to do a lot of horse riding in Gulmarg. [22]Filmfare
  • Raaj Kumar was first noticed in Sohrab Modi’s costume action drama film Nausherwan-E-Adil in 1957 in which he played the role of Prince Naushazad. However, it was Mother India, which was released in the same year, that established him in the film industry. The film went on to become India’s official entry to the Oscars. Although he played a brief role as the husband of Nargis in Mother India, his posied acting skills caught the eyes of cine critics.

    Raaj Kumar and Nargis in Mother India

    Raaj Kumar and Nargis in Mother India

  • The 1959 Hindi film Paigham earned him his first Filmfare nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor. Thereafter, he got four more Filmfare nominations in the same category – for Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Waqt (1965), Kaajal (1965), and Neel Kamal (1968). In Paigham, he played the role of a Mill worker alongside Dilip KumarRaaj Kumar and Dilip Kumar in Paigham and Saudagar
  • He reunited with Dilip Kumar in the 1991 Bollywood film Saudagar, directed by Subhash Ghai. The film went on to become a classic story about friendship. Here’s a famous dialogue of Raaj Kumar from Saudagar –

    जानी…हम तुम्हें मारेंगे और जरूर मारेंगे, पर बंदूक भी हमारी होगी और गोली भी हमारी होगी और वह वक्त भी हमारा होगा।”

  • His dialogues from the film Waqt are still remembered among the film fraternity. Here’s the most popular dialogue of Raaj Kumar from the film –

    चिनॉय सेठ, जिनके घर शीशे के बने होते हैं वो दूसरों पर पत्थर नहीं फेंकते।

  • Raaj Kumar became a household name after the 1972 Hindi film Pakeezah. The film rocketed Kumar to fame, and for years to come, many young ones tried to imitate his style in wooing their loved ones. In the film, Raaj Kumar played the role of an aristocrat who fell in love with a nautch girl just by seeing her feet in a railway compartment. Here’s the most famous romantic line of Raaj Kumar from Pakeezah –

    आपके पांव देखे, बहुत हसीन हैं, इन्हें जमीन पर मत उतारिएगा मैले हो जाएंगे।”

    Amrohi directing Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari in Pakeezah

    Amrohi directing Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari in Pakeezah

  • Interestingly, the lady whose feet Raaj Kumar had addressed in Pakeezah was not the lead heroine of the film Meena Kumari but her body double. [23]Hindustan Times
  • The 1993 Bollywood film Tirangaa is considered the last hit film of Raaj Kumar. In the film, he played the role of ‘Brigadier Suryadev Singh’ whose dialogues are still popular among his fans. Here’s a popular dialogue of Raaj Kumar from Tirangaa –

    हम आंखो से सुरमा नहीं चुराते। हम आंखें ही चुरा लेते हैं।”

  • Unlike other Bollywood actors who often preferred doing two to three films simultaneously, Raaj Kumar was very selective, and he rarely did more than one film at a time. He was so professional and confident in choosing films that when a journalist, at the peak of his career, asked him to name some of his favourite roles, he replied,

    I Have not yet done a role I’ve disliked. I select only what I like.” [24]Stardust

  • Just like the confidence in choosing a film, he had similar confidence in his personal life; as he often used to quote –

    I believe in things I do, I do things I believe in.”

  • Even after being a star, he maintained a recluse and mysterious life. Once when a journalist asked him whether he ever felt lonely, he replied,

    I can find companionship in a crowd or in solitude. No, I never feel lonely but there are moments when I want to be alone.”

  • In his youth, he permanently lost his hairs due to some unknown disease. Since then, he wore wigs. [25]IMDb
  • The sunset hour was his favourite time of the day, and he often wanted to be photographed late in the evenings.
  • He was considered one of the first actors in Bombay who had started driving a Jeep.
  • He was passionate about dogs and had many pets at his Juhu house; his favourite one was Toby. [26]Stardust
  • Raaj Kumar was a chain smoker and a heavy drinker; he was often spotted with his signature pipe and scotch whiskey. [27]Stardust
  • He was very concerned for his image and never let the media to find flaws in his work ethics. Describing his punctuality and a disciplined approach on the sets, filmmaker Mehul Kumar who had worked with Raaj Kumar in the films like Tiranga (1993), Marte Dum Tak (1987), and Jung Baaz (1989), once said that on the first day of Marte Dam Tak’s shoot, Raaj Kumar arrived at Madh Island in a cab, and when asked the reason that why had he used a cab instead of his personal car, Raaj Kumar replied,

    My car broke down near my Juhu bungalow. I thought if I didn’t turn up on the first day, the press would dub me a truant.” [28]Hindustan Times

  • Raj Kumar was often termed as an introvert and less sociable, a thing that he once clarified by saying –

    I pick my associates, otherwise, socialisation would be hypocrisy.” [29]Stardust

  • Reportedly, even after being an affluent person who had every luxury to enjoy, he drove the same Plymouth car for more than forty years. He also retained the same tailor, hairdresser, and driver during the same period. [30]Independent
  • He was an explicit and outspoken person, once he questioned over the portrayal of death scenes in the films and pointed the film industry for turning death into a Tamasha and had insisted that his own exit would be a private, family affair. He said,

    Jab jaonga pata bhi nahin chalega (When the time really comes, you won’t know).” [31]Hindustan Times