Kumar has been active in efforts to bring the people of India and Pakistan closer together. In 1976, Kumar took a five-year shatter from film concerts. In 1981, he revisited with a character role in the movie Kranti and sustained his career playing central character roles in films such as Shakti (1982), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991).
His last film was Qila in 1998. The Government of India privileged him with the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for his contributions towards Indian cinema. Dilip Kumar has acted with actress Vyjayanthimala majorly, where they both had acted seven films jointly together with the former's home construction Gunga Jumna resulting great on-screen chemistry and assumed affair amid them.
JugnuHis first film with Nisar Bhai and Hamed Bhai Jwar Bhata was released in 1944 which went unnoticed. His first major hit was the 1947 film Jugnu. He went onto appear in many hit films including Mela (1948), Andaz (1949), Deedar (1951), Daag (1954), Devdas (1955), Yahudi (1958) and Madhumati (1958). These films established his screen image as the "Tragedy King".
Mughal-e-AzamOn the advice of his psychiatrist who suggested he take on more lighthearted roles, he took such roles in films such as Aan (1952), Azaad (1955) and Kohinoor (1960). In 1960 he portrayed Prince Salim in the historical film Mughal-e-Azam which as of 2008 was the second highest grossing film in the Hindi film history.
Ganga JamunaIn 1961 he produced and starred in Ganga Jamuna in which he and his real-life brother Nasir Khan played the title roles. This was the only film he produced. In 1962 British director David Lean offered him the role of Sherif Ali in his 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, but Kumar declined the part. The role eventually went to Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor. His next film Leader (1964) was below average at the box office.
Ram Aur Shyam. In 1967 Dilip Kumar played a dual role of twins separated at birth in the hit film Ram Aur Shyam. His career slumped in the 1970's with films like Dastaan (1970) and Bairaag (1976), the latter in which he played triple roles failing at the box office. He took a five year hiatus from films from 1976 to 1981.
SaudagarIn 1981 he returned with the multi-starrer Kranti which was the biggest hit of the year. He went onto play personality roles in hit films together with Shakti (1982), Vidhaata (1982), Mashaal (1984) and Karma (1986). In 1991 he starred alongside veteran actor Raaj Kumar in Saudagar which was his last successful film.
Mughal-e-AzamIn 1993 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1996 he was attached to make his directorial debut with a film titled Kalinga but the film was shelved. In 1998 he made his last film appearance in the unsuccessful film Qila where once again he played dual roles as an evil landowner and his twin brother investigating his death. His films Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur were fully colorized and re-released in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Films refusedDilip Kumar was very choosy, and turned down lead roles in many films which eventually were released to great box office success, including Lawrence of Arabia, Pyaasa, The Rains Came and Sangam.
Ill health rumoursAround September 10, 2011 it surfaced that the health of Dilip Kumar is worsening. Some incredible tweets even mistakenly spread news of his death. Later Dilip Kumar's wife Saira Banu made a public statement that the actor is good in health and in high spirits.