Bollywood icon Kumar in hospital with malaria


June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 30, 2009 at 2:12 AM EDT

Legendary Indian actor Dilip Kumar -- known as Bollywood's "Tragedy King" -- is being treated for malaria in hospital, according to health officials.

The private Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai said in a statement released on Monday that the 86-year-old star had been admitted with a fever.

"Doctors at the hospital have diagnosed that he has malaria and have begun treating him for this. Shri Dilip Kumar has begun showing signs of improvement. He will be in Lilavati Hospital for another two to three days," it added.

With Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, Kumar was one of the big three names who dominated the golden age of India's Hindi-language cinema in the 1940s, 50s and 60s and enjoyed a career spanning more than 50 years and nearly 60 films.

He earned his nickname because of his brooding good looks, tousled hair and deep voice. He became an icon after playing the lead in some of the most commercially successful films of the period.

But although a Bollywood legend, he missed out on international fame after turning down the chance to play Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 classic "Lawrence of Arabia". The part went to the Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif.

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