Danny Denzongpa in 2010
|Born||Tshering Phintso Denzongpa
25 February 1948 
Gangtok, Kingdom of Sikkim (now state of Sikkim in India)
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
Tshering Phintso "Danny" Denzongpa  (born 25 February 1948) is an Indian actor of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent, working in Bollywood films though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Telugu and Tamil films as well. He has acted in around 190 Hindi films since 1971. He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth highest civilian honour. Denzongpa is noted for his villainous and character roles.
Early life and education
Danny was born to a Buddhist family in the Yuksom, Sikkim (the 22nd state of India since 1975) where he had his early schooling, and thereafter completed his schooling from Birla Vidya Mandir and St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling, in 1964. Denzongpa's love of horses and horse riding began at an early age, as his family was into horse breeding.
He nursed an ambition to join the Indian Army and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and participated in the Republic Day parade. In an interview to The Times of India newspaper, he said that he had qualified for prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune but withdrew admission to join Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He decided to change his name to a simpler sounding "Danny" as his original name was tough to be pronounced by other students. The name has stuck since.
Film and singing career
During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Hindi by talking to the ocean.
He started out with B-grade movies such as B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971(released in 1972), and had positive role in Mere Apne(1971). He had his first major negative role which he played in B.R.Chopra's 'Dhundh'(1973), a role which showed his power to emote. He got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne and later in B R Chopra's Dhund where he played a crippled and frustrated husband. Danny, in the 1970s period was increasingly open to do versatile roles but chose to do more positive roles. It is said Danny was the first choice to play the iconic role of Gabbar Singh in the film Sholay. However since he was away on the shoot of Feroz Khan film Dharmatma, eventually Gabbar's role went to Amjad Khan. He played more positive roles in commercially successful critically acclaimed films like Chor Machaye Shor, 36 Ghante, Fakira, Sangram(1976), Kalicharan, Kala Sona and Devata(1978).
Danny's film career spans more than 4 decades. After his performance in the film Devata (1978) he started getting more significant lengthy roles. He was simultaneously part of big budget movies like Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Paapi, Bandish, The Burning Train and Chunoti in negative roles.
In the early 1980 period, he had thought of quitting films. He said in an interview, when asked why he decided to direct a film, "I remember in 80′s I was so fed up of the films I was doing. Those days every villain was a dacoit and I remember going on the sets where an actor called Tiwari was my henchmen and my den was a cave with lanterns. Next day I went on another set and I saw Tiwari again as my henchman, and the same lanterns. I asked myself what was I doing? I left Mumbai. I did lot of trekking and did not do films for a couple of years. I told NN Sippy about a script that I had in mind. and he asked me to direct. I made Phir Wohi Raat with Rajesh Khanna and my then girlfriend Kim."  After the success of his directorial debut, he received offers to act as the hero again in the films like Bulundi and Hum Se Badkar Kaun in 1981, which became successful. He played double role in the film Bulundi. However, most of the subsequent films of Danny between 1981-83 were not successful. Hence Danny started accepting supporting roles, often playing a character quite elder to his real age. He played Kumar Gaurav’s father in law in Love Story(1981) and Mithu Chakrabothy’s father in Boxer(1984). He started increasingly getting offers to play the negative character in Hindi films, post success of films Phir Wahi Raat, Jeeo Aur Jeene Do and Dharm Aur Qanoon. He then went on to play the roles of the villain many times since 1984. Since 1984 and through the 1990s, Danny mainly featured as the lead negative character opposite all the leading actors of those times such as Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol.
His most applauded negative characters are in Dharm Aur Qanoon (1984) as SP Karan, Kanoon Kya Karega (1984) as Raghuvir Singh, Andar Baahar (1984) as Shera, Oonche Log (1985) as Thakur Maan Singh, Aandhi Toofan (1986), Bhagwaan Dada (1986) as Gangwaa, Agneepath (1990) as Kancha Cheena, Hum (1991) as Bakhtawar, Ghatak: Lethal as Kaatya, Krantiveer (1994) as Chatur Singh , Pukar (2000) as Abhrush and Indian as Shankar Singhania. He was pitted against Pran in the film Sanam Bewafa and 1942:A Love Story. His command over the Hindi language came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar's Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand's Khuda Gawah.
At a time, when he was increasingly doing negative lead roles, Rajkumar Santoshi cast him as the positive role in China Gate(1998). In the early 2000s, Danny gave stellar performances in movies such as Asoka and 16 December (2002). Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord.He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.
Danny in the early 2003 decided to take a break from films as he wanted to do different but strong roles, even if it was a negative character. He appeared in only 10 films between 2003-2009.
He is an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, three stalwarts of Indian music. He has released Nepalese songs and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs recorded in the 1970s but still hit are "Chiso Chiso Hawama" ("In the cool air") and "Manko kura lai bandhi narakha..."("Do not keep the words of the heart tied"). He is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor.
He wrote and acted in the Nepali film Saino which was super hit. His nephew Ugyen Chhopel directed it. He has sung its title song and a duet with Deepa Narayan, wife of Udit Narayan. Later, this film was made in Hindi as Ajnabi as a telefilm for Doordarshan. He has sung a Nepali duet with Asha Bhosle, "Aage aage topai ko gola pachhi pachhi machinegun barara". R.D.Burman composed the song -Sang Mere Nikle The Sajan from the film Phir Wohi Raat - after getting inspired from melody of the Nepali folk song sung by Danny 'Aage Aage Topaiko Gola'. His all-Nepali songs are hits and people like them even today: "Hiun vanda chiso, Aago vanda taato..." ("Colder than snow, hotter than fire.."), "Naachana hoi maichyan hau nachana"' ("Dance o lovely girl"), "Jhimkai deu pareli manma bajchha mitho murali..." ("Please blink your eyes and sweet sound of flute plays in the heart), "Rato rani pulhya" etc. are his few hit numbers. He gained popularity as a singer in the period 1975-1990 especially in places like Nepal, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Assam.
He then made a strong comeback as the villain with his role in Enthiran.He made his debut in the Tamil films with Enthiran, co-starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the leads. Denzongpa played the antagonist role of Bohra, a prominent scientist who transforms Chitti (played by Rajinikanth) into an evil robot. He then started playing villain in big budget movies like Jai Ho (2014) co-starring Salman Khan, Bang Bang (2014) co-starring Hrithik Roshan.
Danny, who married Gawa Denzongpa, a Sikkimese princess and niece of the last chogyal from her hometown of Gangtok, currently resides in Juhu in Mumbai. Since the 2003, he has become more selective of the roles he plays.In the movies he chooses, he works on his own terms. His brother owns a bouj and beer factory in Melli, Sikkim.
|2003||Government of India||Padma Shri||Honoured|
|1979||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Devata||No|
|1985||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Kanoon Kya Karega||No|
|1990||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Agneepath||No|
|1992||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Sanam Bewafa||Yes|
|1992||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Hum||No|
|1994||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Khuda Gawah||Yes|
|1995||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Krantiveer||No|
|1995||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Vijaypath||No|
|1996||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Barsaat||No|
|1997||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Ghatak||No|
|1980||Phir Wahi Raat||Yes|
|This section requires expansion. (March 2014)|
|This section requires expansion. (March 2014)|
|2014||Jai Ho||Home Minister Dashrat Singh|
|2013||Boss||Big Boss (Mentor of Boss-Akshay Kumar)|
|2010||Enthiran||Professor Bohra (Tamil)|
|2004||Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo||Colonel Ashfaque Khan|
|2003||Ek Hindustani||Special Appearance|
|2002||Ab Ke Baras||CBI Officer Sikander Baksh|
|2002||16 December||Vir Vijay Singh|
|2002||Yeh Mohabbat Hai||Aman Khan|
|2001||Officer||Pratap Rai/Dushyant Singh|
|2000||Tune Mera Dil Le Liya|
|1999||Silsila Hai Pyar Ka||Jabhal Khargoshi|
|1999||Dahek: A Burning Passion||Jabbar Bahkshi|
|1999||Kohram||Minister Virbhadra Singh|
|1998||Zulm O Situm||Sikander|
|1998||Vinashak - Destroyer||Jailer Lankeshwar|
|1998||China Gate||Maj. Ranjir Singh Gurung|
|1997||Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law||Advocate Diwan|
|1995||Barsaat (1995 film)||ACP Neghi|
|1995||Sarhad: The Border of Crime|
|1994||Mohabbat Ki Arzoo||Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada|
|1993||1942: A Love Story|
|1992||Drohi (Antham - Telugu)||J.P. Sethi (Raghav's boss)|
|1992||Khule-Aam||Insp. Uday Singh/Insp. Ranvir Singh Rathod|
|1992||Khuda Gawah||Khuda Baksh|
|1991||Vishnu-Devaa||Thakur Shamsher Singh/Samppat|
|1991||Sanam Bewafa||Sher Khan|
|1991||First Love Letter||Thakur Ajit Singh|
|1991||Yodha||Daaga/Justice Dharmesh Agnihotri|
|1990||Pyaar Ke Naam Qurban||Prince Yeshwant Singh|
|1989||Shehzaade||(uncredited) Thakur Roshan Singh|
|1989||Kasam Suhaag Ki|
|1989||Galiyon Ka Badshah||Inspector Vijay|
|1988||Ek Hi Maqsad||Inspector. Deepak|
|1988||Mardon Wali Baat||Raja Sunder Singh|
|1988||Gunahon Ka Faisla|
|1988||Jeete Hain Shaan Se||J.P.|
|1988||Paap Ki Duniya||Pasha|
|1988||Yateem||Girivar Prasad Mathur|
|1987||Aag Hi Aag||Daulat Singh/Choudhury|
|1987||Deewana Tere Naam Ka||Shambhu|
|1986||Chambal Ka Badshah||Sultan|
|1986||Bhagwan Dada||Shambu Dada|
|1985||Maha Shaktiman||aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)|
|1985||Yudh||Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy|
|1985||Oonche Log||Thakur Maan Singh|
|1985||Patthar Dil||Jung Bahadur|
|1984||Kanoon Kya Karega|
|1984||Manzil Manzil||Gautam (Pahadi Baba)|
|1984||Mera Dost Mera Dushman|
|1984||Pyar Jhukta Nahin|
|1983||Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye|
|1983||Ganga Meri Maa|
|1983||Andha Kanoon||Akhbar Ali|
|1981||Love Story||Ram Dogra|
|1980||The Burning Train|
|1980||Choron Ki Baraat|
|1980||Phir Wahi Raat||Ashok|
|1979||Aaj Ki Dhara||Danny|
|1979||Lahu Ke Do Rang|
|1977||Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka||Vikram (Jamunadas' son)|
|1977||Abhi To Jee Lein||Danny|
|1977||Khel Khilari Ka|
|1977||Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale|
|1976||Laila Majnu||Prince Bahksh|
|1975||Apne Rang Hazaar|
|1975||Rani Aur Lalpari|
|1974||Chor Machaye Shor|
|1974||36 Ghante||Dilawar Khan|
|1973||Dhund||Thakur Ranjit Singh (crippled husband)|
|1973||Khoon Khoon||remake of Dirty Harry (English)|
|1972||Rakhi Aur Hathkadi||Raja|
|1972||Yeh Gulistan Hamara|
- "Star birthdays in February". ifestyle.in.msn.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "If I had done Sholay, we would have missed a fantastic actor in Amjad Khan," Screen India
- "Danny Denzongpa Birthday Special" (inextlive.jagran.com). Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". The Times of India. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Somaaya, Bhawana (September 26, 2003). "1984 DANNY DENZONGPA". Screen magazine.
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