Denzongpa in February 2010
Tshering Phintso Denzongpa|
25 February 1948
Gangtok, Kingdom of Sikkim
(now in Sikkim, India)
|Occupation||Actor, Singer, Businessman|
Danny Denzongpa (born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa; 25 February 1948) is an Indian film actor, singer and film director of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent. He has mainly worked in Bollywood films, though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films. He has acted in about 190 Hindi films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth highest civilian honour. His film career spans more than 4 decades.
He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt. His best known villainous roles are in Dhund, 36 Ghante, Bandish (film) (1980), Jeeo Aur Jeene Do, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Agneepath and is remembered for his performances in positive roles such as in Fakira, Chor Machaye Shor, Devata (1978 film), Kalicharan, Bulundi and Adhikar (1986 film). His directorial venture Phir Wahi Raat was considered among the top five best horror suspense films of Hindi Cinema.
Early life and education
Denzongpa was born to a Buddhist family in Gangtok and is of Bhutia and Nepalese descent. He did his schooling from Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital and thereafter completed his college from 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 is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor.
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 the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, but withdrew admission to join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He decided to change his name to a simpler sounding "Danny", on recommendation from his then-colleague Jaya Bachchan, as his original name – Tshering Phintso Denzongpa – was found to be hard to pronounce.
During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Hindi by talking to the ocean.
He started out with B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971 (released in 1972), which was his debut film. He got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne (1971), where he had a positive role. He had his first major negative role in B.R.Chopra's Dhundh (1973), where he played the role of a crippled and frustrated husband, who showed his power to emote. Danny, in the 1970s period, was increasingly open to do various roles, but chose to do more positive roles.
It is said that 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 the Feroz Khan film Dharmatma, eventually Gabbar's role went to Amjad Khan.
He played the second lead hero and had more positive roles in commercially successful critically acclaimed films in the seventies, such as Chor Machaye Shor, 36 Ghante, Fakira, Sangram (1976), Kalicharan, Kaala Sona and Devata. After his performance in the film Devata, he started getting more significant lengthy roles. He was simultaneously part of big budget films such as Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Paapi, Bandish, The Burning Train and Chunoti in negative roles.
In the early 1980s 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 such as Bulundi and Hum Se Badkar Kaun in 1981, which became successful. He played a double role in the film Bulundi. However, most subsequent films of Danny between 1981-83 were not successful. He was disappointed with the failure of his recently released film Abhi Toh Jee Ley, which had popular songs such as "Tu Laali Hai Saveriwali". Hence, Danny started accepting supporting roles, often playing a character quite older than his real age. He played Kumar Gaurav’s father-in-law in Love Story (1981) and Mithun Chakraborty’s father in Boxer (1984).
He started getting more frequent offers to play the negative character in Hindi films, after the success of the films Phir Wahi Raat, Jeeo Aur Jeene Do and Dharm Aur Qanoon. He then went on to play the role of villain many times since 1984. From 1984 and through the 1990s, Danny mainly was featured as the lead negative character opposite all the leading actors of that time such as Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol. He stated in an interview; "Had it not been that I had not done the four special negative roles - with Rajesh Khanna, in the lead - Phir Wohi Raat, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Bandish and Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, people would not have considered me for villainous roles. In Adhikar I had positive role. He holds special place in my heart as he recognized and stood by me in my tough times which was early eighties."
His most applauded negative characters are in Bandish (1980) as Kapil Kumar, Phir Wahi Raat as "Ashok", 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), as "Balbir" 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 one time, when he was increasingly doing negative lead roles, Rajkumar Santoshi cast him as the positive role in China Gate. In the early 2000s, Danny gave stellar performances in movies such as Asoka and 16 December. Some of the antihero roles he played included an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and stingy 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. He did positive roles in Lahu Ke Do Rang, Bulundi, Boxer, Humse Badkar Kaun, Khudah Gawah, 16 December and China Gate.
Danny, in 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 and 2009.
He then made a strong comeback as the villain with his role in Enthiran. He made his debut in 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 villains in big budget movies such as Jai Ho (2014), co-starring Salman Khan and Bang Bang (2014), co-starring Hrithik Roshan.
Singing and Businessman career
He is an accomplished singer, having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, three stalwarts of Indian music. He was first given a chance to sing by Dev Anand in the film Yeh Gulistan Hamara in 1972. Danny sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar - Mera Naam Aao picturised on Johnny Walker and Jayshree.T. He has released Nepalese songs, and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs recorded in the 1970s but still popular are "Chiso Chiso Hawama" ("In the cool air") and "Manko kura lai bandhi narakha... ("Do not keep the words of the heart tied"). He sang the duet "Suno Suno Kasam Se" in Kaala Sona with Asha Bhosle and sang the duet "Mujhe Dostaon Tum Gale Lagalo" with Mohammed Rafi in the 1978 film Naya Daur - both of which were composed by R.D. Burman.
He has sung a Nepali duet with Asha Bhosle, "Aage aage topai ko gola pachhi pachhi machinegun barara" in 1976. This song was shown by Danny to Rajesh Khanna who liked the song tremendously. Then Rajesh Khanna requested R.D. Burman to compose the song - "Sang Mere Nikle The Sajan" from the 1981 film Phir Wohi Raat, which was directed by Danny himself - after getting inspired by the melody of the Nepali folk song sung by Danny "Aage Aage Topaiko Gola". R. D. Burman changed the interludes and tunes of stanzas but retained the tune at the beginning.
All of his 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 phulay ghain sanjama", "Pani Hai Paryo Jhyaure" etc. are some of 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 wrote and acted in the Nepali film Saino which was a superhit. 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.
|2003||Government of India||Padma Shri||Honoured|
|1979||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Devata||Nominated|
|1985||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Kanoon Kya Karega||Nominated|
|1990||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Agneepath||Nominated|
|1992||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Sanam Bewafa||Won|
|1992||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Hum||Nominated|
|1993||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award||Khuda Gawah||Won|
|1995||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Krantiveer||Nominated|
|1995||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Vijaypath||Nominated|
|1996||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Barsaat||Nominated|
|1997||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Best Villain Award||Ghatak||Nominated|
|1980||Phir Wahi Raat||Yes|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2014)
|2017||Naam Shabana||Feroz Ali Khan|
|2015||Baby||Firoz Ali Khan|
|2014||Bang Bang!||Omar Zafar|
|2014||Jai Ho||Home Minister Dashrat Singh|
|2007||Big Brother||Police Commissioner Kulkarni|
|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||Jabbar 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|
|1997||Seven Years in Tibet||Regent|
|1995||Sarhad: The Border of Crime|
|1994||Mohabbat Ki Arzoo||Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada|
|1993||1942: A Love Story||Major Bisht|
|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||Dacoit|
|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||Bhagwaan Dada||Shambu Dada|
|1985||Maha Shaktiman||aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)|
|1985||Yudh||Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy|
|1985||Zulm Ka Badla||Shamvu|
|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||Bhanu Pratap|
|1983||Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye||Dayashankar Ray|
|1983||Ganga Meri Maa||Malan|
|1983||Andha Kanoon||Akhbar Ali|
|1981||Hum Se Badkar Kaun||Raju/Johny|
|1981||Love Story||Ram Dogra|
|1980||The Burning Train||Randhir|
|1980||Choron Ki Baraat|
|1980||Phir Wahi Raat||Ashok|
|1979||Aaj Ki Dhara||Danny|
|1979||Lahu Ke Do Rang||Suraj|
|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||Himself (Special appearance)|
|1974||Chor Machaye Shor||Raju Ustad|
|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". MSN. 31 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "Danny Denzongpa Height, Weight, Age, Biography, Wiki, Wife, Family". Bollysuperstar. Bollysuperstar. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Denzongpa, Danny. "Short biography". Celebrity Kick. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Remembering Bollywood Baddie Danny As He Turns 68". The Quint. The Quint. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- Denzongpa, Danny. "(Talk about your background) Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Somaaya, Bhawana (26 September 2003). "1984 DANNY DENZONGPA". Screen magazine.[dead link]
- "Danny Denzongpa to play negative role in Shuddhi". Hindustan Times. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- "When Danny Denzongpa sang ghazals". Scroll.in. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
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