India has witnessed a pure legend in Bollywood and it is because of him that we see the industry as it is now. Superstar Dharmendra, in his days, has been one of the finest actors in the Indian film fraternity who is still capable to pump the heart beats of any woman.
Dharam Singh Deol aka. Dharmendra was born in Nusrali, a village near Ludhiana on 8th December 1935. His father Kewal Kishan Singh Deol was a school headmaster and mother Satwant Kaur was a housewife. His early schooling was at Lalton Kalan, Ludhiana at the Government Senior Secondary School. He completed his intermediate classes from Ramgarhia College, Phagwara in the year 1952.
Less people know that Dharmendra was only 19 years old when he already got married to Prakash Kaur. From his 1st marriage, he has four children Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Vijeta Deol and Ajeita Deol. Esha Deol and Ahana Deol are from his second marriage to the gorgeous actress Hema Malini. Esha is a successful actress and Ahana is a graceful dancer.
He was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 1997 for his outstanding work in the B-Town although he never got a Filmfare for the best actor. He was bestowed upon with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2012.
Since his childhood days, he always had a flair in acting and hence he participated in various talent shows. In 1960, he won the Filmfare magazine’s new talent award and from there his journey to Bollywood started. ‘Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere’ was his debut movie, which got released in 1960 and during 1960-67 he played romantic interests in several movies like ‘Soorat Aur Seerat (1962), ‘Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967)’, ‘Anpadh (1962), ‘Pooja Ke Phool (1964)’, etc. which were mostly women-centric movies. He got his first Filmfare nomination for ‘Phool aur Paththar (1966)’ which was the highest grossing movie that time. But in 1971, his talent finally got recognized in the movie ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’. He was critically acclaimed for his amazing performance in the movie ‘Anupama’. By 1975, he became a versatile actor and became an instant hit amongst the viewers. He got nicknames like “Action King” and “Garam Dharam” because of his superb performances. He also did many comic roles in the movies ‘Naukar Biwi Ka’, Do Chor’, ‘Tum Haseen Main Jawan’, ‘Chupke Chupke’ and ‘Dillagi’ which were very much liked by the people all over the country.
His biggest blockbuster was the evergreen movie ‘Sholay’ (1975) directed by Ramesh Sippy where his role of “Veeru” instantly gave him the fame he was looking for. Sholay was listed by Indiatimes as "Top 25 must see Bollywood films of all time". That movie changed his life forever because he fell in love with the beautiful Hema Malini and decided to marry her. He willingly converted his religion from Hindu to Muslim and changed because polygamy is prohibited under the Hindu law.
Dharmendra-Hema jodi was loved by everyone worldwide and together they gave many hits in Bollywood including including ‘Dost’, ‘Sharafat’, ‘Naya Zamana’, ‘Raja Jani’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Charas’, ‘Maa’, ‘Tum Haseen Main Jawaan’, ‘Jugnu’, ‘Chacha Bhatija’, ‘Azaad’, ‘Patthar Aur Payal’.
In total, Dharmendra has done whopping 288 films which have earned him a lot of love and fame around the world. Also, less people knows this for a fact that he has also done 13 B Grade movies during the time period of 1991 – 2003. In 2006, The Economic Times surveyed that Dharmendra was the 4th highest grossing star of all times.
Dharmendra’s sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol are born from his first marriage. To promote his son Sunny, Dharmendra diversified himself as a producer and launched Sunny in the movie ‘Betaab’ under his own banner ‘Vijeta Films’ and the movie became a hit. ‘Ghaya’ (1990) was also made under papa Deol’s banner and Sunny’s dialogue “Yeh dhaai kilo ka haath” became an instant hit. Ghayal backed 7 Filmfares.
Under his own banner, Dharmendra also introduced his younger son, Bobby Deol in the movie ‘Barsaat’ and his talented nephew Abhay Deol in the movie ‘Socha Na Tha’
In 1998 Dharmendra came back as a supporting role in the movie ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’, ‘Life in a… Metro’ (2007) and ‘Apne’ (2007).
But apart from this, he also played a negative role in ‘Johnny Gaddaar’ which was also very much appreciated by everyone. He, along with his sons was seen in ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ (2011) and ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana 2’ (2013).
He also was instrumental in the Indian politics when he joined the Bhartiya Janta Party and became the member of the 14th Lok Sabha where he represented the Bikaner region.
Also, there's a restaurant dedicated to this superstar called as 'Garam Dharam' which is opened in Delhi exclusively for all the Dahrmendra fans. Right from the ambiance to the menu, everything has a glimpse of Dharmendra in it.
His charismatic attitude and effortless acting have been appreciated across the country and people are still fans of his performances in various genres. His exceptional career is surely the proof of his immense talent and an honest heart.
We all would love to see Dharam paaji soon in the silver screen.