Veteran Bollywood star Manoj Kumar, best known for his patriotic films Purab Aur Paschim, Upkar and Kranti, was chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest official recognition in Indian cinema, on Friday.
The 78-year-old actor became the 47th recipient of the award, which consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl, an official announcement said here.
Kumar’s name was unanimously recommended by a five-member jury consisting of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Salim Khan, Nitin Mukesh and Anup Jalota.
Veteran Film Actor Shri Manoj Kumar to be conferred Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2015: https://t.co/wMDP8cAb3e— MIB India (@MIB_India) March 4, 2016
Born as Harikrishna Giri Goswami in Abbottabad, Kumar got his first big break in 1960 with Kaanch Ki Gudia but it was Hariyali Aur Raasta that finally established him. The actor later shifted his focus to films with patriotic themes.
He won a National Film Award for Upkaar and was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1992.
As wishes from the film fraternity poured in, the veteran actor said the government’s decision to honour him came as a “pleasant surprise”. “I was sleeping and I started getting calls from my friends. I thought they were kidding but when I read the news myself, I realised that it’s for real,” Kumar said.
“Let me digest the fact that I am getting this award. It is certainly one of the most prestigious awards we have. I am extremely satisfied with whatever I have achieved in my life, and my family is extremely happy with this news,” added the actor