Ashok Kumar born Kumudlal Ganguly, and also fondly called Dadamoni, was an Indian film actor who attained iconic status in Indian cinema. He was honoured in 1988 with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest national award for cinema artists, by the Government of India and also received the Padma Bhushan in 1999 for his contributions to Indian cinema. He is considered to be one of India's finest actors ever, playing leading, antagonist and character roles with equal panache. Ashok Kumar was born Kumudlal Ganguly to a Bengali family in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency, British India (now in Bihar, India). His father, Kunjlal Ganguly, was a lawyer while his mother, Gouri Devi, was a home-maker . Ashok Kumar is widely regarded as a pioneering actor who introduced natural acting to Hindi cinema. He was the first superstar of Hindi cinema as well as the first lead actor to play an anti-hero.
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