As Dilip Kumar turns 98 on December 11, Subhash K Jha highlights some lesser known facts about the thespian.
Dilip Kumar has worked with every major film-maker in Mumbai.
But somehow, he never got around to working with Satyajit Ray, who was keen on working with him.
When Waheeda Rehman was working with Ray in Abhijaan, the director sent Dilip Kumar a message, asking for a meeting.
It never happened.
Waheeda Rehman was among many actresses who apparently wanted to marry Dilip Kumar.
Others on the list were Nalini Jaywant, Madhubala and Vyjanthimala.
He chose Saira Banu, a privilege that he never allowed her to forget.
Guru Dutt had finalised Dilip Kumar for Pyaasa.
Just hours before shooting, he opted out, saying the character's melancholic shades were too similar to what he was playing in Devdas.
Guru Dutt had no choice but to play the role himself.
Dilip Kumar never had a craving to look for fame outside his home domain.
If he had no interest in working with Satyajit Ray, he also said no to David Lean for Lawrence Of Arabia
Omar Sharif's role was first offered to Yusufsaab. He turned it down, arguing it was a supporting role.
Has Dilip Kumar worked with Gulzar?
Yes, he has.
He made a guest appearance as himself, in Gulzar's Koshish.
He featured in a sequence where Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri dial a wrong number. Yes, the 'wrong number' turns out to be Dilip Kumar.
Dilip Kumar sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Musafir.
Before the recording of the song Lagi Nahin Choote Rama (composed by Salil Chowdhary), Dilip Kumar requested his 'Choti Bahen' Lata Mangeshkar to keep in mind that he was not a professional singer.
After the recording, he felt she had out-sung him and did not speak to her for months.
In his entire career, one of the most brilliant actors India has produced never won a National Award for any of his performances.