Here’s Why Dilip Kumar Changed His Name From Muhammad Yusuf Khan

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Dilip Kumar was a bonafide legend and his death today has sent waves of grief across the country. While Dilip Kumar portrayed many memorable characters on screen, his most notable have to be in Mughal-e-Azam and Devdas. But, it is common knowledge that Dilip Kumar was the actor’s stage name and that he was born Muhammad Yusuf Khan. There are many stories as to why the thespian changed his name. Some state that he changed his name on producer Devika Rani’s request.

Muhammad Yusuf Khan

Dilip Kumar confirms the same in his autobiography, Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow. “She (Devika Rani) said, quite matter-of-factly: ‘Yousuf, I was thinking about your launch soon as an actor and I felt it would not be a bad idea if you adopted a screen name. You know, a name you would be known by and which will be very appropriate for your audience to relate to and one that will be in tune with the romantic image you are bound to acquire through your screen presence. I thought Dilip Kumar was a nice name. It just popped up in my mind when I was thinking about a suitable name for you. How does it sound to you?” he wrote.

Muhammad Yusuf Khan

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In a 1970 interview, Kumar had said that he had changed his name out of fear of his father. The late actor’s father did not appreciate Kumar’s acting career and called it ‘nautanki’.

Read More – The One And Only Dilip Kumar

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