Tuesday, December 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India




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Ashok Kumar is no more

Mumbai, December 10
Hindi cinema’s leading actor of yesteryear Ashok Kumar, popularly known as Dada Moni, who left an indelible mark on the silver screen with his brilliant portrayals, died after a prolonged illness at his Chembur residence here today, family sources said. He was 90.

Ashok Kumar, the grand old man of Bollywood, was bed-ridden for quite some time due to asthmatic attacks. He passed away at 2.30 pm, the sources said. The actor is survived by his son, Arup Kumar Ganguli and two daughters, including actress Preeti.

Before entering films, Ashok Kumar was a law student. He started in movies as a laboratory assistant at Filmalaya studios founded by his brother-in-law Sashadhar Mukherjee. It was Bombay Talkies’ Himanshu Roy, who introduced Ashok Kumar as a hero in "Jeevan Nayya".

Dada Moni had also cherished to become a director of Hindi films.

One of the early hits of Ashok Kumar was "Achhut Kanya" in which he played a Brahmin boy and featured opposite Devika Rani. The actor shone in films like "Mahal", "Samadhi", "Howrah Bridge" and "Khoobsurat".

Ashok produced movies like "Mahal", "Majboor", "Mashaal" and "Ziddi" for Bombay Talkies.

He later launched his Ashok Kumar productions and went on to produce "Maa", "Kalpana" and "Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen".

The eldest of Ganguli brothers, Ashok Kumar entered the Hindi film industry during the silent era. His two other brothers, the late Kishore Kumar and Anoop Kumar, also joined him in the film industry.

The last rites of Ashok Kumar were performed at the Chembur crematorium late tonight.

Among those who bade a tearful adieu to the actor were members of the Ganguly family, including the late Kishore Kumar’s wife Leena Chandravarkar and his sons Amit Kumar and Sumit Kumar, besides Joy Mukherji, Bappi Lahiri, Amrish Puri, Goga Kapoor, Amit Khanna, Ramesh Sippy, Vijay Anand and Sunil Dutt. PTI, UNI
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PM condoles death

New Delhi, December 10
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has expressed profound grief at the death of nonagenarian thespian Ashok Kumar, who died of heart attack in Mumbai this afternoon.

In his condolence message the Prime Minister said, “Dadamuni, as Ashok Kumar, was fondly called, had an emotive appeal that transcended all barriers and was a source of inspiration and a role model for many a generation of aspiring actors.” “His demise is an irrepairable loss to the world of cinema,” Mr Vajpayee added. UNI
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