Dharmendra, popularly known as the He-Man of Bollywood id a distinguished actor turned producer. Dharmendra has been honored with several awards including Filmfare Award, Kalakaar Award, IIFA Award, among others. Dharmendra has starred in several blockbuster films like ‘Sholay’, ‘The Burning Train’, ‘Seeta aur Geeta’, ‘Yaadon ki Baraat’ and the recent ‘Life in a …Metro’ and ‘Apne’.
Dharmendra was born as Dharamendra Singh Deol on 8 December 1935 in Punjab. At an age of nineteen, he got married to Prakash Kaur and had two sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and two daughters Vijeyta and Ajita. However Dharmendra got romantically involved with the Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini and the two got married later. Dhramendra’s first wife refused to give him a divorce and thus he and Hema Malini converted to Islam. Dharmendra and Hema Malini are blessed with two daughters Esha and Ahana. Sunny Deol, Bobby DEol and Esha Deol are popular bollywood actors while Ahana aspires to work behind the camera. Well known actor Abhay Deol is Dharmendra’s nephew.
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Dharmendra was known for his well built physique and a charismatic persona. He had a huge female following during sixties, seventies and eighties. He made his acting debut in Arjun Hingorani’s 1960 release ‘Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere’. The film was followed by moderate successes like ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’, ‘Anpadh’, ‘Bandini’ and ‘Haqeeqat’ etc. He won critical acclaim for his performance in the 1968 release ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ wherein he played the negative lead. Directed by O P Rahlan, ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ also starred Meena Kumari and Shashikala. The film became a superhit and Dharmendra received nomination for the Filmfare Best Actor Award.
Dharmendra soon became one of the top line Indian actors and starred in different kind of films alongside the eminent film personalities. He played significant roles in blockbuster Hindi films like Nasir Hussain’s ‘Yaadon ki Baraat’, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Anupama’ opposite Sharmila Tagore, Raj Khosla’s ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’ opposite Asha Parekh, Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Aankhen’ opposite Mala Sinha, Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Seeta aur Geeta’ opposite Hema Malini and ‘Sholay’ alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan, Ravi Chopra’s ‘The Burning Train’ alongside Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Parveen Babi, Mohan Segal’s ‘Raja Jani’ opposite Hema Malini, Rajkumar Kohli’s ‘Naukar Biwi Ka’ alongside Anita Raj, Vinod Mehra and Reena Roy and Mukul S. Anand’s ‘Sultanat’ alongside his son Sunny Deol, Sridevi, Karan Kapoor and Juhi Chawla.
Dharmendra won accolades for his performance in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s acclaimed comic drama ‘Chupke Chupke’ also starring Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Om Prakash and Asrani. He also played a pivotal role in Raj Kapoor’s Magnum opus ‘Mera Naam Joker’ alongside an ensemble cast including Raj Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Manoj Kumar and Rishi Kapoor. Dharmendra ventured into film production and made films like ‘Ghayal’, ‘Dillagi’, ‘Barsaat’ and ‘Apne’. Dharmendra starred alongside his sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in Anil Sharma’s family drama ‘Apne’ also starring Kirron Kher, Shilpa Shetty and Katrina Kaif.
Dharmendra has also served as the Member of Parliament after winning the general elections in 2004 as a BJP candidate from Bikaner, Rajasthan. However he along with fellow MP and actor Govinda were criticized for not participating in the discussions and queries in the Lok Sabha.
Dharmendra has been acknowledged for his contribution to Indian cinema with several honors at the Pune International Film Festival, Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image International Film Awards and the Nashik International Film Festival. He has also received the Living Legend Award by FICCI, Filmfare Award, IIFA Award, Kalakaar Award, and Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement in the film industry.
Dharmendra will soon be seen in his home production ‘Yamala Pagla Deewana’ alongside his sons Sunny and Bobby deol.
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