- Along with his family, had to flee Delhi aged ten, following the dissolving of British India.
- Named himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip Kumar's character in Shabnam (1949).
- One of the few people to have won both the Filmfare Best Director and Best Actor Awards, for Upkaar (1967) and Beimaan (1972), respectively.
- Was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 1992.
- Received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.