Ashok Kumar was born on 13th October 1911 in Bhagalpur which is now in Bihar. He completed his education from Presidency College in Kolkata. His father was Kunjalal Ganguly and Mother was Gouri Devi. He has two brothers Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar and one sister Sati Devi. Both the brothers were actors in the Bollywood. Sati Devi got married with Sashadhar Mukherjee.
He came into film industry by accident. Ashok started his career with Bombay Talkies. His first film was "Jeevan Naya" in the year 1936. Actually another hero was selected for this film but due to some problem that hero was dismissed and Ashok Kumar was appointed. This film was directed by Himanshu Rai. In the same year he performed another film "Acchut Kanya" with the actress Devika Rani. This film became much hit.
Ashok Kumar did many films with Devika Rani, but she was a biggest star during that time Ashok Kumar was very new. He then performed some films with the actress Leela Chitnis and films were Kangan released in the year 1939, Bandhan in year 1940 and Jhoolaa in the year 1941. From this film he starts singing own songs.
Ashok Kumar changed typical theatre style and developed his own style of acting. He likes to take risks. He was started to perform anti-hero from the film "Kismat" released in the year 1943 and was a biggest hit film.
He also produced many films for the Bombay Talkies such as the popular movie "Mahal" released in year 1949 in which he performed opposite to Madhubala. He mostly played roles of cigar smoker villain and police inspector during 1950s. In 1960s he stops to perform leading roles and starts to play roles of parent, grandparent, villain etc. Nearly twenty films he performed with famous actress Meena Kumari. Some of the films were Parineeta, Paakizah, Bahu Begum, Ek hi Rasta, Arti Bandish and many other films.
During 1980s and 1990s he performed only selected films. He also worked on television. On TV he was anchoring the program "soap opera Hum Log" and serial "Bahadoor Shah Zafar". His last film was "Ankhon Mein Tum Ho" which was released in the year 1997. He was died on 10th December 2001 at the age of 90 years.
Ashok Kumar - Awards:
Ashok Kumar - Selected Filmography: