Before he actually started acting, Pradeep Kumar worked with cameraman Dhiren Dey as his assistant in Aurora Studio. He then joined Debaki Bose who was planning a film with, Kanan Devi and Paresh Banerjee, superstars of that time. It took him sometime more to act in a film as such. Pradeep Kumar's first film, 'Alaknanda' was a miserable flop in the box-office. But his very next film 'Bhulini' was a tremendous hit and this proved to be very helpful for him. 'Anandmath' directed by Hemant Gupta, his first Hindi film, turned out to be a big hit. This film had the likes of Geeta Bali, Prithviraj Kapoor and Bharat Bhushan. Some of Pradeep Kumar's biggest movies are 'Anarkali', 'Taj Mahal' and 'Bahu Begam'. He worked with some of the top heroines of his time like Meena Kumari, Bina Rai and Geeta Bali. He was one actor who was not scared of doing negative roles as in 'Mamta Ki Chao Mein', 'Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi' and 'Kagaz Ki Nau'.
At the twilight of his career, he also did some good character roles as in 'Khatta Meetha' with Ashok Kumar.