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Kishore Kumar Biography

Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar was a renowned actor and playback singer.

Biography of Kishore Kumar

Actor and singer Kishore Kumar was a multi-faceted genius. He was an inimitable comedian, a melodious composer, a perfect director, a sensitive lyricist and above all a brilliant and matchless playback singer. His contribution has been so immense that even 3 decades after his death, he is still remembered with great admiration and reverence.

Personal Life

Kishore Kumar was born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, on August 4, 1929. His father Kunjala Ganguly was a lawyer and mother Gauri Devi was a homemaker. Kishore Kumar had three siblings, and he was the youngest.

He married four times. His first wife was Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Ghosh, who was also a singer. Their marriage lasted for eight years, from 1950 to 1958. He married Madhubala in 1960, for whom he even converted to Islam and got his name changed to Karim Abdul. In 1969, Madhubala died and their marriage ended. His third marriage was to Yogeeta Bali, which lasted for two years, i.e. 1976 to 1978. His fourth wife was Leena Chandavarkar, with whom he resided until his death in 1987.


When Kishore was in college, his elder brother, Ashok Kumar was already an established actor. After completing academics, he decided to make a foray into the film industry. While he was doing small roles, renowned music director Khem Chand Prakash spotted his singing talent. He began to hone the hidden talent in the young boy. Later on, Kishore was roped in by legendary composer S.D. Burman. Meanwhile, Kishore also carved out a niche for himself as an upcoming comedian. In 1958, he produced and directed a movie named Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi. The movie was a blockbuster. Kishore Kumar had finally established himself as the number one comedy star.

After a string of failures (except for Padosan, 1968), he decided to give up acting as a career and instead concentrated on playback singing. Then came the first major break as a singer; the song ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’ from Aradhana swept the nation. His songs became such a rage that the star cast hardly mattered in some films. Almost all the famous directors, music directors, music companies and producers relied heavily on him to deliver hits. His rendition was so touching and soulful that a trained classical singer like Rafi was relegated to the second spot. Kishore Kumar’s rich mellifluous voice and matchless style helped him retain his number one spot till his premature death in 1987.

Awards and Achievements

He won Filmfare awards for many popular songs. Some of them are:

  • “Roop Tera Mastana” from movie Aradhana, 1970
  • “Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera” from movie Amanush, 1976
  • “Khaike Paan Banaras Wala” from movie Don, 1979
  • “Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekheen” from movie Thodisi Bewafaii, 1981
  • “Pag Ghungroo Baandh” from movie Namak Halaal, 1983
  • “Agar Tum Na Hote” from movie Agar Tum Na Hote,1984
  • “Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain” from movie Sharaabi, 1985
  • “Saagar Kinaare” from movie Saagar, 1986

Apart from these, he won many Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards, including

  • Best Male Playback Singer for Aradhana, 1971
  • Best Male Playback Singer for Andaz, 1972
  • Best Male Playback Singer for Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1973
  • Best Male Playback Singer for Kora Kagaz, 1975