Danny Denzongpa

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Danny Denzongpa
Danny Denzongpa in 2010
Born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa
(1948-02-25) February 25, 1948 (age 66)[1]
Gangtok, Kingdom of Sikkim (now state of Sikkim in India)
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Gawa Denzongpa
Children Rinzing Denzongpa,
Pema Denzongpa

Tshering Phintso "Danny" Denzongpa [2] (born 25 February 1948) is an Indian actor of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent, working in Bollywood films though he has appeared in several Nepali, Telugu and Tamil films as well. He has acted in numerous Hindi films such as Asoka and 16 December. 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[edit]

Danny was born to a Buddhist family in the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim[3] (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, Nainital, 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.[4]

Film and singing career[edit]

During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Hindi by talking to the ocean. The language came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar's Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand's Khuda Gawah.

Danny's film career spans more than 4 decades. In the 1970s, he played relatively smaller roles which got him noticed. After his performance in the film Lahoo Ke Do Rang, he started getting more significant lengthy roles. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Danny mainly featured as the lead negative character opposite all the leading actors of those times such as Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborthy, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol.

He had his first major role which he played in B.R.Chopra's 'Dhundh'(1973). This role shows his power, followed by 'Kanoon Kya Karega'. His other most applauded negative characters are in Andar Baahar (1984) as Shera, Aandhi Toofan (1986), Bhagwan Dada (1986) as Gangwaa, Agneepath (1990) as Kancha Cheena, Hum (1991) as Bakhtawar, Ghatak: Lethal as Kaatya, Krantiveer (1994) as Chatur Singh and Pukar (2000) as Abhrush

He started out with B-grade movies such as B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971,[5] and later moved on to Mere Apne and Kala Sona where he played more positive roles. He then went on to play the roles of the villain numerous times. Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord. 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. 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. One of his critically acclaimed roles as a villain came when he played the role of Bakhtawar, a don bent on revenge in Mukul Anand's Hum. He was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Villain.

He is an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, 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 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" . 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 is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor.

In the past decade, Danny gave stellar performances in movies such as Asoka and 16 December (2002).[citation needed] He then went on to appear in the successful Tamil film, 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. Upon release, the film won critical and commercial acclaim.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

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 2000s (decade), 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.


Year From Award Won/Honored
2003 Government Of India Padma Shri Honoured


Year From Award Film Won
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
1993 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

As director[edit]

Year Film Director
1980 Phir Wohi Raat Yes
Unknown Ram Yes


Year Film Role/Notes
2014 Bang Bang Omar
2014 Jai Ho
2013 Boss Big Boss (Mentor of Boss-Akshay Kumar)
2010 Enthiran Professor Bohra (Tamil)
2009 Acid Factory Om
2008 Luck Tamang
2008 Karzzzz Kabira
2008 Chamku Baba
2007 Big Brother
2007 Hattrick David Anna
2007 Frozen Karma
2004 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo Colonel Ashfaque Khan
2004 Shikaar Darshan Damania
2003 Sandhya
2003 Ek Hindustani Special Appearance
2002 Soch Nautiyal
2002 Ab Ke Baras CBI Officer Sikander Baksh
2002 16 December Vir Vijay Singh
2002 Yeh Mohabbat Hai ... Aman Khan
2001 Moksha Bachelor Simon
2001 Indian ... Shankar Singhania
2001 Lajja Gajendra
2001 Asoka Virat
2001 Pukar Abhrush
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 Udaan Mr. Rana
1997 Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law Advocate Diwan
1997 Himalay Putra Rana
1996 Ghatak: Lethal Katya
1996 Rajkumar
1996 Army Naagraj
1996 Shastra Babu
1995 Barsaat ... ACP Neghi
1995 Sarhad: The Border of Crime
1994 Vijaypath Dilawar Singh
1994 Chauraha Baba Bhatti
1994 Krantiveer Chatursingh
1994 Mohabbat Ki Arzoo Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada
1993 1942: A Love Story
1993 Dhartiputra Major Hisht
1993 Gurudev ... Khakan
1993 Prateeksha Dinesh Khanna
1993 Sangram Madhu's father
1993 Tahqiqaat Bhanu Pratap
1992 Drohi (Antham - Telugu) J.P. Sethi (Raghav's boss)
1992 Balwaan Bhaiji
1992 Khule-Aam Insp. Uday Singh/Insp. Ranvir Singh Rathod
1992 Khuda Gawah Khuda Baksh
1991 Lakshmanrekha Birju
1991 Vishnu-Devaa Thakur Shamsher Singh/Samppat
1991 Hum Bakhtawar
1991 Bahadur Bahadur (Bengali)
1991 Sanam Bewafa Sher Khan
1991 First Love Letter Thakur Ajit Singh
1991 Yodha Daaga/Justice Dharmesh Agnihotri
1990 Agneepath Kancha Cheena
1990 Pyaar Ke Naam Qurban Prince Yeshwant Singh
1990 Chingariyan
1990 Jagira
1990 Shandaar Dhaga
1990 Shesh Naag
1989 Shehzaade (uncredited) Thakur Roshan Singh
1989 Jung Baaz Mahakal
1989 Kasam Suhaag Ki
1989 Galiyon Ka Badshah Inspector Vijay
1989 Khoj
1989 Saaya
1989 Ustad
1988 Commando Ninja
1988 Shoorveer Shankar
1988 Ek Hi Maqsad Inspector. Deepak
1988 Mardon Wali Baat Raja Sunder Singh
1988 Gunahon Ka Faisla
1988 Janam Janam
1988 Jeete Hain Shaan Se J.P.
1988 Mera Shikar
1988 Paap Ki Duniya Pasha
1988 Yateem Girivar Prasad Mathur
1987 Saino (Nepali Film)
1987 Itihaas
1987 Faqir Badshah
1987 Aag Hi Aag Daulat Singh/Choudhury
1987 Deewana Tere Naam Ka Shambhu
1986 Chambal Ka Badshah Sultan
1986 Bhagwan Dada Shambu Dada
1986 Allah Rakha
1985 Maha Shaktiman aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)
1985 Yudh Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy
1985 Jawaab Seth. Jagmohan
1985 Aandhi Toofan
1985 Aitbaar Inspector Barua
1985 Oonche Log Thakur Maan Singh
1985 Patthar Dil ... Jung Bahadur
1984 Andar Baahar ... Shera
1984 Farishta
1984 Boxer Dharma
1984 Jagir Danny
1984 Kanoon Kya Karega
1984 Manzil Manzil Gautam (Pahadi Baba)
1984 Mera Dost Mera Dushman
1984 Pyaar Jhukta Nahin
1983 Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye
1983 Lovers
1983 Ganga Meri Maa
1983 Andha Kanoon Akhbar Ali
1982 Raj Mahal
1982 Kachche Heere Arjun
1981 Love Story Ram Dogra
1980 Chunaoti
1980 Kali Ghata Kishore
1980 Abdullah
1980 Bandish Kapil Kumar
1980 Bulundi
1980 The Burning Train
1980 Choron Ki Baraat
1980 Phir Wohi Raat Ashok
1979 Griha Pravesh Danny
1979 Aaj Ki Dhara Danny
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang
1978 Lal Kuthi (Bengali)
1978 Devata Inspector Lawrence
1978 Naya Daur
1977 Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka Vikram (Jamunadas' son)
1977 Abhi To Jee Lein Danny
1977 Chandi Sona
1977 Khel Khiladi Ka
1977 Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale
1977 Paapi Abdul
1976 Fakira Munna/Ajay/Toofan
1976 Kalicharan
1976 Laila Majnu Prince Bahksh
1976 Sangram Salim/Altaf
1975 Aakhri Dao Robert
1975 Apne Rang Hazaar
1975 Kala Sona
1975 Ponga Pandit Rocky
1975 Raftaar
1975 Rani Aur Lalpari
1975 Zorro
1974 Chor Machaye Shor
1974 36 Ghante Dilawar Khan
1974 Khotte Sikkay Danny
1973 Dhund Thakur Ranjit Singh (crippled husband)
1973 Khoon Khoon remake of Dirty Harry (English)
1972 Milap
1972 Rakhi Aur Hathkadi Raja
1972 Yeh Gulistan Hamara
1971 Mere Apne Sanju
1971 Zaroorat


  1. ^ "Star birthdays in February". ifestyle.in.msn.com. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "If I had done Sholay, we would have missed a fantastic actor in Amjad Khan," Screen India
  3. ^ "Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". The Times of India. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Somaaya, Bhawana (September 26, 2003). "1984 DANNY DENZONGPA". Screen magazine. 
  5. ^ Danny Denzongpa treks down the past one.india, September 11, 2007.

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