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Dharmendra on the sets of India's Got Talent
Born Dharam Singh Deol
(1935-12-08) 8 December 1935 (age 79)
Nasrali, Khanna, Punjab, British India
Residence Mumbai, India
Ethnicity Punjabi
Occupation Actor, producer, politician
  • Parkash Kaur
    (m.1954–present; (4 children))
    [1]Hema Malini
    (m.1980–present; (2 children))
Children Sunny Deol (Ajay Singh Deol)
Bobby Deol (Vijay Singh Deol)
Vijayta Deol
Ajeeta Deol
Esha Deol
Ahana Deol

Dharmendra (born Dharam Singh Deol[2] on 8 December 1935)[3] is a Hindi film actor. In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hindi cinema.

His starring roles in action films earned him nicknames such as "Action King" and "He-Man".[4] One of his most notable roles was in Sholay (1975).[5]

He has also been a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India, representing Bikaner constituency in Rajasthan from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2012, he was honoured India's third highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.[6]

Early life[edit]

Dharmendra was born in a Punjabi[7] Jat Sikh family in dangon in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab to Kewal Kishan Singh Deol and Satwant Kaur.[7][8][9] His ancestral village is Dangon which is located next to Pakhowal, Ludhiana.[10] He spent his early life in village Sahnewal and studied at Government Senior Secondary School at Lalton Kalan. His father was a school headmaster in the village of Lalton Kalan, Ludhiana.[11] He did his intermediate from Ramgarhia College, Phagwara in 1952.[12]


Film career[edit]

Dharmendra won the Filmfare magazine's new talent award and came to Mumbai from Punjab looking for work.[13] He made his debut with Arjun Hingorani's Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere in 1960.[14][15] He had a supporting role in the film Boy Friend in 1961, and was cast as the romantic interest in several films between 1960 and 1967. He worked with Nutan in Soorat Aur Seerat (1962), Bandini (1963), Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966) and Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967), and with Mala Sinha in Anpadh (1962), Pooja Ke Phool (1964), Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, with Nanda in Akashdeep, with Saira Banu in Shaadi and Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964) and with Meena Kumari in Main Bhi Ladki Hoon (1964), Kaajal (1965), Poornima (1965), Phool Aur Paththar (1966), Chandan Ka Palna, and Baharaon Ki Manzil. His major breakthrough was as the supporting role to hero Rajendra Kumar in Ayee Milan Ki Bela in 1964 and a supporting role in the patriotic film Haqeeqat in the same year.[citation needed] He played the romantic interest in several films from 1960-1967, and also had supporting roles to Balraj Sahni, Ashok Kumar, Biswajit in the same period, in films such as Soorat Aur Seerat, Bandini, Mamta, Ghar Ka Chirag. He had a solo hero role in Phool Aur Patthar (1966), which was his first action film, and he became established as an action hero in the 1971 film Mera Gaon Mera Desh.

Phool Aur Paththar became the highest grossing film of 1966 and Dharmendra received his first Filmfare nomination for Best Actor.[16] His performance in Anupama was critically acclaimed. He worked with actresses including Meena Kumari, Mala Sinha, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, Parveen Babi, Hema Malini,[17] Reena Roy, Jaya Prada and Anita Raj. Having played romantic as well as action hero parts, he began to be called a versatile actor by 1975.[citation needed] His comic timing in comedy films like Tum Haseen Main Jawan, Do Chor, Chupke Chupke, Dillagi, Naukar Biwi Ka was appreciated.[according to whom?]

His most successful pairing was with Hema Malini, who went on to become his future wife.[14] The couple played together in a large number of films, including Raja Jani, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sharafat, Naya Zamana, Patthar Aur Payal, Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Jugnu, Dost, Charas, Maa, Chacha Bhatija, Azaad, and Sholay.

Dharmendra's most notable acting performances include Satyakam with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.,[18] and Sholay, which is listed by Indiatimes as one of the "Top 25 must see Bollywood films of all time".[19] In 2005, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare Awards awarded Sholay the special distinction of Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years.

Dharmendra went on to star in a number of action films between 1976 and 1984, including Dharam Veer, Charas, Azaad, Katilon Ke Kaatil, Ghazab, Rajput, Bhagawat, Jaani Dost, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Main Intequam Loonga, Jeene Nahi Doonga, Hukumat, and Raaj Tilak. Along with Rajesh Khanna he made a cameo appearance in the 1986 B film Mohabbat Ki Kasam.[20]

He has worked with various directors, each having different styles in their film-making: Bimal Roy, Mohan Kumar, Dulal Guha, Ramanand Sagar in drama films, Raghunath Jhalani, Bhappi Sonie, Brij, Mohan Segal in romance films, Raj Khosla, Ramesh Sippy, Arjun Hingorani, Anil Sharma, K.C.Bokadia, J.P. Dutta, T. Rama Rao, Rama Rao Tatineni, Raj Sippy, K. Bapaiah, Rajkumar Santoshi in action films and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee and Rajkumar Kohli in comedy films.[21] However his most successful and longest collaboration was with director Arjun Hingorani from 1960-1991. Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere was debut film of Dharmendra as an actor and Arjun’s first directorial venture with Dharmendra as the lead hero. They worked together in Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan?, Kahani Kismat Ki, Khel Khilari Ka, Katilon Ke Kaatil and Kaun Kare Kurbanie where Arjun Hingorani was the producer and the director, and Sultanat and Karishma Kudrat Ka, produced by Arjun Hingorani. Dharmendra also worked with director Pramod Chakravorty in Naya Zamana, Dream Girl, Azaad and Jugnu. Dharmendra has played dual roles in many films such as Yakeen (1969) as both the hero and the villain, Samadhi (1972) as father and son, Ghazab (1982) as twin brothers and Jeeo Shaan Se (1997) in triple roles.

Dharmendra has worked with all members of the Kapoor family except for Prithviraj and Kareena Kapoor. He worked with Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker, with Rishi Kapoor in Sitamgar, Katilol Ka Katil, Hathyar, Sher Dil and with Rajiv Kapoor in Zalzala, with Karishma in Maidan-E-Jung, with Shammi Kapoor in Boyfriend, Mast Kalander, Khule-Aam, and with Shashi in Krodhi, with Randhir in Chacha Bhatija, Karan Kapoor in Sultanat and Loha and with Neetu Singh in Aaina. The famous scene of Deewar where character Vijay(Amitabh) locks the door and throws away the key to beat up many goons was first done by Dharmendra in Kahani Kismat Ki. He acted with his son Sunny in the films Sultanat (1986), Saveray Wali Gaadi (1986) and Kshatriya (1993).

He has also periodically made films in his native tongue of Punjabi, starring in Kankan De Ole (Special Appearance) (1970 ), Do Sher (1974), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), Teri Meri Ik Jindri (1975), Putt Jattan De (1982) and Qurbani Jatt Di (1990). Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he continued to appear in many other films in both leading and supporting roles. In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. While accepting the award from Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu, Dharmendra became emotional and remarked that he had never won any Filmfare award in the Best Actor category despite having worked in so many successful films and nearly a hundred popular movies. He was glad that his contributions had finally been recognized.[22] Speaking on this occasion Dilip Kumar commented, "Whenever I get to meet with God Almighty I will set before Him my only complaint - why did You not make me as handsome as Dharmendra?".[23]

Dharmendra has experimented with film production; he launched both of his sons in films: Sunny Deol in Betaab (1983) and Bobby Deol in Barsaat (1995) as well as his nephew Abhay Deol in Socha Na Tha (2005).[24] He was the presenter for his films like Satyakam (1969) and Kab Kyun Aur Kahan (1970). Among the other fans he is the idol of lots of idols. In one of her interviews, actress Preity Zinta has been quoted as saying that Dharmendra is her favourite actor. She recommended him to play her father's role in Har Pal (2008).[25] Actor Salman Khan also always recommended himself as his biggest fan and they worked together in"Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya".

After 4-year hiatus from acting since 2003, he is reappearing in films as a character actor from 2007. His 2007 films Life in a... Metro and Apne were both critically and commercially successful at the box office. In the latter, he appears with both his sons, Sunny and Bobby for the first time.[26] His other release was Johnny Gaddaar, where he played a villainous role. In 2011, he starred alongside his sons again in Yamla Pagla Deewana released on 14 January 2011.[27] A sequel Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 was released in 2013. He also acted with his daughter Esha in his wife Hema Malini's directorial venture Tell Me O Khuda in 2011. In 2014, he played a double role in the Punjabi film Double Di Trouble.


In 2011, Dharmendra replaced Sajid Khan as the male judge of the third series of popular reality show India's Got Talent.[28] On 29 July 2011, India's Got Talent aired on Colors with Dharmendra as the new judge and surpassed the opening ratings of the previous two seasons.[29]


All India Jat Mahasabha Centenary Celebrations 2007, Seen in the image are Dharmendra, Dara Singh and Kamal Patel.

Dharmendra has also been active in politics. He was elected as a Member of the Parliament in the 2004 general elections, from Bikaner in Rajasthan, on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. During his election campaign, he made an ironic remark that he should be elected Dictator perpetuo[30] to teach "basic etiquette that democracy requires" for which he was severely criticized.[31] Dharmendra rarely attended Parliament when the house was in session, preferring to spend the time shooting for movies or doing farm-work at his farm house.[32]


In 1983 Deol set up a production company known as Vijayta Films. Its first film was Betaab. The film was released in 1983, starring his son Sunny Deol as the lead actor in his debut movie. The film was a blockbuster. In 1990 he produced the action flick Ghayal, starring his son Sunny Deol. The film won seven Filmfare Awards, including the Best Movie Award. It also won National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Dharmendra also launched his younger son Bobby Deol's in 1995 through Barsaat and his nephew Abhay Deol in 2005 through Socha Na Tha.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Dharmendra with his sons Bobby Deol and Sunny Deol

Dharmendra's first marriage was to Parkash Kaur at the age of 19 in 1954. From his first marriage, he has two sons, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol both successful actors, and two daughters,Vijeeta Deol and Ajeeta Deol.

He has 4 grand sons named Karan, Rajvir, Aryaman, and Dharam. Karan Deol was an assistant director on the sets of Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 and he also rapped in a song sung by Diljit Dosanjh in the film YPD 2. Karan is to make his Bollywood debut by 2015 in Dharmendra's home production.

Dharmendra fell in love with Hema Malini during the filming of Sholay.[34] She eventually married him in 1980. The couple has two daughters, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. Esha is an actress and Ahana is a dancer.


Civilian award
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
Other Awards and recognitions


Latest films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Metro Amol
Apne Baldev singh
Johnny Gaddaar Sheshadri
Om Shanti Om Himself Himself in song Deewangi Deewangi
2011 Yamla Pagla Deewana Dharam Singh
Tell Me O Kkhuda
2013 Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 Dharam Singh
2013 Singh Saab The Great Himself Cameo in the song Daaru band kal se
2014 Jatt Pardesi First Punjabi movie as a lead actor
2014 Double Di Trouble Ajiit With Gippy Grewal
2015 Second Hand Husband Ajiit With Gippy Grewal
2015 Ishq De Maare Mehar Sidhu Announced
2015 Cheers - Celebrating Life Arjan Singh Under Production


Year Film Notes
1975 Pratigya
1990 Ghayal National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

Filmfare Award for Best Movie

1995 Barsaat
2001 Indian
2003 23 March 1931: Shaheed
2005 Socha Na Tha
2007 Apne
2013 Yamla Pagla Deewana 2
2015 Ghayal Once Again

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hema Malini on 35th wedding anniversary" (Mid-day.com). Mid Day. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  2. ^ NDTV Movies: Dharam still Garam at 77
  3. ^ "14th Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha. 
  4. ^ "Hema is still my dream girl: Dharmendra". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Top Box Office Draws of Indian Cinema". Ibosnetwork,com. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  6. ^ "Padma Awards". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Watch In Conversation with The Deols". 13 November 2012. BBC Asian Network. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "thedeols". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Sumbly, Vimal (4 January 2002). "Dharmendra walks down memory lane". Ludhiana Tribune. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  10. ^ Correspondent, Our (6 November 2013). "Dharmendra nostalgic on visiting Dangon". Ludhiana Tribune. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  11. ^ Sumbly, Vimal (2 May 2004). "From Ludhiana to Bikaner in support of Dharmendra". Ludhiana Tribune. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Affidavit". Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan. 
  13. ^ "Dharmendra - Action King: Humble Beginnings". Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-12-23. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Dharmendra - Action King: Romantic hero". Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  15. ^ Ranjana Das Gupta (4 Nov 2010). "My First Break: Dharmendra". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 8 Dec 2011. 
  16. ^ "Dharmendra charms the Big Apple". Rediff. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  17. ^ "Hema Malini 35th marriage anniversary" (Post.jagran.com). Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Dinesh Raheja. "Satyakam: Dharmendra's career best role". Rediff. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  19. ^ Kanwar, Rachna (3 October 2005). "25 Must See Bollywood Movies". Indiatimes movies. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  20. ^ "That's Entertainment". The Times of India. 5 September 1986. p. 3. 
  21. ^ "Dharmendra - Action King: Comic learnings". Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  22. ^ "The real stars of Bollywood". Rediff. 11 March 2004. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  23. ^ "I was the Salman Khan of my days: Dharmendra". Financial Express. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  24. ^ "Initial roadblocks were blessing in disguise: Abhay Deol". Indian Express. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  25. ^ Lambok Nongspung (1 November 2007). "Preity, Dharmendra in Shillong". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  26. ^ "'It's good that I did not get any award'". Rediff. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  27. ^ "Yamla Pagla Deewana highlights – Deol show". One India. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  28. ^ "Bollywood's lucky for TV". Indian Express. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "Dharmendra fetches higher ratings for India's has Got Talent-3". Times of India. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Dharmendra wants to be dictator". Times of India. 17 April 2004. Retrieved 2 January 2009. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Congress makes Dharam garam". Rediff. 23 April 2004. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  32. ^ "Dharmendra - Action King: Political career". Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  33. ^ "Dharmendra (I)". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "Dharmendra – Action King: Personal life". Indian Express. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  35. ^ "Padma Awards2012". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  36. ^ Koimoi.com Team. "Dacoit To Con Man: Dharmendra Posters On His Birthday!". Koimoi.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  37. ^ "Top ten action heroes of Bollywood". filmyworld.com. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  38. ^ Rangaraj, R (14 March 2007). "FICCI-Frames award for Kamal Haasan". Channai Online. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  39. ^ "Devdas sweeps movie awards". The Statesman. 29 March 2003. 
  40. ^ "Hrithik, Urmila win top honours at Zee awards". The Express. 27 February 2004. 
  41. ^ "Dharmendra gets an award – Sunday TOI – Home – The Times of India". The Times of India. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  42. ^ a b "'Garam Dharam' still a hit with fans in US, Canada". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  43. ^ "Winners of Max Stardust Awards 2008". IndiaFM. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009. [dead link]
  44. ^ "Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor win at 10th M.A.M.I event". IBOS. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  45. ^ "Dharamendra, Asha Parekh get lifetime achievement award". Indianexpress.com. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  46. ^ Kalyani Prasad Keshri. "Dabangg bags 5 Big Star Entertainment Awards". One India. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  47. ^ Bollywood Hungama News Network (11 January 2011). "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywoodhungama.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12. [dead link]
  48. ^ "Dharmendra Bags 'Salaam Maharashtra Award' For 50 Years In B'Town!". Movietalkies (Yahoo! Movies). Retrieved 2011-02-01. [dead link]
  49. ^ Bollywood Hungama News Network (12 February 2011). "Winners of 1st Global Indian Film & Television Honors 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-02-14. [dead link]
  50. ^ "Dadasaheb Phalke awards 2011". breakingnewsonline. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  51. ^ "Amitabh, Dharmendra honoured at Indian Television Awards". New Delhi: Hintustantimes. 26 Sep 2011. Retrieved 8 Dec 2011. 
  52. ^ "PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2012 Winners". Punjabi Film Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 

External links[edit]