Manoj Kumar was the screen name of Harikrishna Giri Goswami, who was born on the 24th of July, 1937 in Abbotabad, which was then in undivided India but is now in Pakistan. He was brought up in a Gosain Hindu family, which moved to Delhi after partition when he was just a boy of 10. He graduated from Hindu College, Delhi University and then set out to make his fortune in the Indian Film Industry.
Manoj Kumar, Bollywood’s Mr. Bharat Kumar
His first step towards a new destiny was to change his name to Manoj Kumar after his idol actor Dilip Kumar’s character’s name in the 1949 film Shabnam.
Manoj Kumar’s Idol, Dilip Kumar
A Young Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar debuted at the age of 19 years, in Bollywood with the forgettable film Fashion that was released in 1957. But, the reports regarding the youngster were so positive that he went on to do his first film as a leading man in the 1960 film Kaanch Ki Gudia. He went on to do the films Piya Milan Ki Aas and Reshmi Roomal.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Hariyali Aur Raasta
Manoj Kumar in Woh Koun Thi?
Manoj Kumar’s Film Himalaya Ki God Mein
He hit the real limelight in 1962 when he starred opposite senior actress Mala Sinha in the hit Vijay Bhatt film Hariyali Aur Raasta. The hugely successful 1964 mystery thriller Raj Khosla directed film Woh Koun Thi? with actress Sadhana followed the previous success. His other big commercially successful films include Vijay Bhatt’s film Himalaya Ki God Mein in 1965 and Raj Khosla’s Film Do Badan. All these films had amazing music and songs, besides having powerful performances by the lead actors.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Shaheed
Manoj Kumar was given the title of ‘Mr. Bharat Kumar’ because of the many deeply patriotic movies he was a part of , whether as a director or as an actor. It all began with the film Shaheed, which was based on the life and struggle of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, who died in India’s independence movement.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Upkaar
In 1965, after the Indo-Pak War, the then Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri asked him to make a film based on his coined slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”. The 1967 film Upkaar was a result of that and was Manoj Kumar’s directorial debut too. The film was a success at the box office and it fetched him his first Filmfare Best Director Award.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Purab Aur Paschim
Manoj Kumar’s Film Be-Imaan
His next patriotic based film was the film Purab Aur Paschim in 1970, which again had great music and was a big hit at the box office. In 1972, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his film Be-Imaan.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan
Manoj Kumar’s Film Dus Numbri
During the mid -70s, Manoj again hit the jackpot with the films Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan in 1974, which fetched him his second Filmfare Award for Best Director. The film Sanyasi came next in 1975 and Dus Numbri in 1976.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Kranti
Manoj Kumar’s Film Jat Punjabi
In 1981, Manoj Kumar had the privilege to act beside and direct his idol, Dilip Kumar as well for his hit film Kranti. He was a part of the hit Punjabi film Jat Punjabi.
Manoj Kumar in Clerk
Manoj Kumar’s Film Maidan-E- Jung
After a hugely successful career in Bollywood with a string of hit movies as an actor and director and memorable music in his films, Manoj Kumar’s success graph began to slip and he never managed to see the kind of success he had seen till the beginning 80s. His films like Clerk flopped despite using the strategy of taking Pakistani actors in his film. He soon quit acting altogether after the debacle of the 1995 film Maidan-E- Jung.
Manoj Kumar’s Film Jai Hind
He tried to pass on the baton to his actor son Kunal Goswami in his directorial venture Jai Hind in 1999, but it didn’t get the cash registers ringing at the box office. Manoj Kumar was awarded for all his work by the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.
Manoj Kumar tried his hand in Politics too after retirement and he joined the Maharashtra based Shiv Sena in 2004, though he is not into active Politics at present.
Manoj Kumar was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1992
Manoj Kumar With Wife
Manoj Kumar With Vishal
Manoj Kumar’s Son, Kunal
Manoj Kumar Brother-in-law, Rajiv
Manoj Kumar is married to Shashi Goswami. They have two sons, Vishal who is a singer and Kunal who is an actor. Manoj’s brother-in-law Rajiv Goswami also was a wannabe actor, but none of them could make any kind of impression in Bollywood.