Dara Singh

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Dara Singh
Dara Singh
Singh in 2010
Deedar Singh Randhawa

(1928-11-19)19 November 1928
Died12 July 2012(2012-07-12) (aged 83)
Years active1947–1983 (wrestler)
1950–2012 (actor)
2003–2009 (politician)
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Bachno Kaur
(m. 1942⁠–⁠1952)
Surjit Kaur
(m. 1961)
Children6, including:
Vindu Dara Singh
FamilySee Randhawa family
Ring name(s)Dara Singh
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight127 kg (280 lb)
Billed fromPunjab, India
Trained byHarnam Singh
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
27 August 2003 – 26 August 2009

Dara Singh Randhawa (born Deedar Singh Randhawa; 19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012) was an Indian professional wrestler, actor, director and politician. He started acting in 1952 and was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India.[3] He worked as Hindi and Punjabi film producer, director and writer, and he acted in films and television. His role of Hanuman in the film Bajrangbali (1976) and in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan made him popular.[4] Singh was inducted into the Legacy Category of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018.[5]

Early life[edit]

Singh was born in a Jat Sikh family as Deedar Singh Randhawa to Surat Singh Randawa and Balwant Kaur on 19 November 1928[6][7] in the village of Dharmuchak in the Majha area of the Punjab region of India. At the time, it was still under British Raj colonial rule.[8][9]


Professional wrestling[edit]

Singh wrestling King Kong at JWA in 1955

He came to Singapore in 1947, where he worked in a drum-manufacturing mill and began his wrestling training under Harnam Singh in the Great World Stadium.[10] As an adult he was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall,[2] weighed 127 kilograms (280 lb) and had a chest measurement of 53 inches (130 cm). Due to his physique, he was encouraged to take up pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling, in which he trained for several years. After switching to professional wrestling, he competed around the world with opponents such as Bill Verna, Firpo Zbyszko, John Da Silva, Rikidōzan, Danny Lynch and Ski Hi Lee. His flooring of King Kong is still remembered.[11]

In 1951, Dara Singh lost a match in Greeco Roman Style with Brahmdev Mishra of Gorakhpur in stadium located at Dahrmtalla maidan Culcutta.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

In 1954, Dara competed in the Rustam-e-Hind (Champion of India) tournament where he won the final by defeating Tiger Joginder Singh and received a silver cup from Maharaja Hari Singh.[18] In 1959, he won the Commonwealth Championship by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta. On 29 May 1968 in Bombay, his victory over Lou Thesz earned him the World championship.[19][20] According to Thesz, Singh was "an authentic wrestler, was superbly conditioned" and had no problem losing to the latter.[21] His last tournament, where he announced his retirement, was held in Delhi in June 1983.[22]

Films and television[edit]

Singh left his village for Singapore in 1948.[9] He started his career as an actor in 1952 with Sangdil.[23] He was a stunt film actor for many years and played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong (1962).[24] From around 1963, he partnered often with Mumtaz, with whom he performed in 16 Hindi films. The couple became the highest-paid B-grade actors, with Singh receiving nearly four lakh rupees per film.[25]

He then went on to do television in the late 1980s, where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan.[26] He also had roles in numerous films, such as Veer Bheem Sen and Ramayan, and in other television serials. He starred as Bhima in various Mahabharata movies, besides also playing Balram, he also starred as Shiva in various theological movies.

His last Hindi movie was Jab We Met and the last Punjabi movie released before his illness was Dil Apna Punjabi. He acted in National Award-winning film Main Maa Punjab Dee directed by Balwant Singh Dullat. He directed seven Punjabi films including Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar, Dhyanu Bhagat and Rab Dian Rakhan. He also directed two films in Hindi; Bhakti Mein Shakti and Rustom (1982), which were produced and directed under the banner "Dara Film" which he set up in 1970.[24] Singh acted as himself in the 1985 Malayalam film Mutharamkunnu P.O..

Dara Studio[edit]

Singh was the owner of Dara Studio[27] at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The studio was operational from 1980 as a film studio.


Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in January 1998.[28] He became the first sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha – the upper house of the Parliament of India. He served in that role between 2003 and 2009. He was also president of the Jat Mahasabha.[23][29]


Singh's son Vindu Dara Singh, launched first comic book The Epic Journey of the Great Dara Singh at Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in February 2019.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Singh married twice. He had three sons and three daughters, including Parduman and Vindu Dara Singh.[1] His brother Randhawa was also a wrestler and actor.


Singh was admitted into Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 7 July 2012 following a massive heart attack. Two days later, it was confirmed that he had brain damage due to the lack of blood flow.[31] He was discharged from hospital on 11 July 2012, citing that nothing can be done to prolong life, and died the next day at his home in Mumbai.[32] He was cremated at Juhu crematorium.[33][34]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1996, Singh was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. He was ranked 94 out of 100 wrestlers for Dave Meltzer's Top 100 Wrestlers of all time in 2002. In 2016, Dara was included in the list India's top wrestlers of all time.[35] On 7 April 2018, WWE inducted him in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy class of 2018.[5]


Year Title Director Producer Notes Ref.
1970 Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar Yes No
1973 Mera Desh Mera Dharam Yes No [24]
1974 Bhagat Dhanna Jatt Yes No
1976 Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun Yes No
1978 Dhyanu Bhagat Yes No
1978 Bhakti Mein Shakti Yes Yes [24][36]
1982 Rustom Yes No [24]
1994 Karan No Yes
Acting roles
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1952 Sangdil [23]
1954 Pehli Jhalak Wrestler Dara Singh [24]
1960 Engal Selvi Tamil film [37]
1962 King Kong Jingu / King Kong [24]
1963 Faulad Faulad Singh [24]
Rustom-E-Baghdad Dara/Rustom-E-Baghdad [23]
Awara Abdulla Abdulla [26]
1964 Samson Samson [24]
Aaya Toofan Deepu
Jagga Jagga Daku
Aandhi Aur Toofan [26]
Darasingh: Ironman Dara Singh [26]
1965 Rustom-E-Hind [24]
Boxer [26]
Tarzan comes to Delhi Tarzan [38]
Sher Dil [23]
Raaka [23]
Saat Samundar Paar
Mahabharat Bheem
Sikandar-E-Azam Alexander [23][24]
Lootera [26]
1966 Dulla Bhatti Dulla Bhatti Punjabi film
1966 Naujawan [24]
1966 Veer Bajrang [24]
1966 Husn Ka Ghulam
1966 Dada
1966 Daku Mangal Singh Daku Mangal Singh / Kumar[clarification needed] Hindi film [39]
1966 Jawan Mard
1967 Chand Par Chadayee
Do Dushman
Watan Se Door [23]
1968 Jung Aur Aman [26]
1968 Balram Shri Krishna Balram
1969 Danka
Thief of Baghdad [24]
Faulad Ki Aulad
Toofan Badal
1970 Choron Ka Chor Ashok
Hudd kar di Devendra Singh Dhanowa
Ilzaam Raju/Kishan
Mera Naam Joker Sher Singh [23][24]
Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar Kartar Singh Punjabi film [26]
1971 Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon [26]
Ramu Ustad Ramu
Tulsi Vivah Bhagwan Shiv
Anand Pahalwan [24]
1972 Aankhon Aankhon Mein Pahelwan [26]
Hari Darshan Bhagwan Shiv
Mele Mitran De Punjabi film
Sultana Daku
1975 Warrant Pyaara Singh [26]
1973 Hum Sab Chor Hain
Mera Desh Mera Dharam
1974 Kuwara Baap [24]
Amar Saheed Bhagat Singh Kaher Singh
Bhagat Dhanna Jatt Dhanna Jatt
Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam Daku Daulay Khan
Har Har Mahadev Bhagwan Shiv [26]
Satguru Teri Oat Punjabi film
Kisan Aur Bhagwan Dhanna
Zehreela Insaan
1975 Dharam Karam Ustaad ji [23]
Dharmatma Pahelwan
1976 Bajrangbali Hanuman [24][26]
Lambhardarni Lambardar/Dharma Punjabi film
Raakhi Aur Rifle Ganga Singh
Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun Kartar Singh Punjabi film
Apna Khoon Apna Dushman
1977 Jai Bolo Chakradhari
Jai Mata Di Balbir Punjabi film
Ram Bharose Sardar Vikram Singh
1978 Bhakti Mein Shakti Dyanu Bhakt
Dhyanu Bhagat Dhyanu Bhagat Punjabi film
Nalayak Pahelwan [24]
Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke Haath Nihalchand
Giddha Bhalwaan Dulla ji
1979 Chambal Ki Raani
Jhoota Kahin Ka Bodybuilder, Dance partner in Item Song
1980 Shiv Shakti (1980 film)
1981 Guru Suleman Chela Pahelwan
Khel Muqaddar Ka
1982 Main Intequam Loonga Ajay Kumar [24]
Rustom Rustom Mangal Singh
1983 Babul Da Vehra Punjabi film
Unkhili Muttiar Mechanic Punjabi film
1984 Maya Bazar Ghatotkach Gujarati film
Aan Aur Shaan
1985 Mutharamkunnu P.O. Himself Malayalam film
Mard Raja Azaad Singh [23][24]
Vikram Aur Betaal Virvar TV; 2 episodes
1986 Karma Dharma [24][26]
Krishna-Krishna Bhagwan Shri Balram
Ramayan Hanuman TV series [23]
Sajna Sath Nibhana Joseph
Maaveeran Tamil film adaptation of Mard [41]
1988 Maula Jatt Maula Jatt & Dharma
Paanch Fauladi Ustadji (Fauladi #1)
Mahaveera Delar Singh
Mahabharat Hanuman TV series [26]
1989 Shehzaade Jailor
Elaan-E-Jung Bheema [26]
Gharana Vijay Singh Pahelwan
1990 Tera Mera Pyar Preet's father [26]
Naaka Bandi Dharam Singh [24][26]
Pratiggya Daku Delavar Singh
Sheran De Putt Sher Subedaar
1991 Dharam Sankat Dara (the dacoit)
Ajooba| Maharaja Karan Singh [24]
Maut Ki Sazaa Pyara Singh
1992 Prem Deewane Loha Singh
1993 Bechain Captain Dara
Anmol Dara Shamsher, Zafar's father
1994 Karan
1995 Ram Shastra Police Commissioner [24]
Jai Veer Hanuman Kesari TV serial
1997 Lav Kush Hanuman [24]
Main Maa Punjab Dee Punjabi film
1998 Guru Gobind Singh
Auto Driver Telugu film [42]
Qahar Guest appearance
1999 Dillagi Veer Singh [24][26]
Zulmi Baba Thakur
Door Nahin Nankana Bhakhtawar Singh
Hudd Kar Di Devender Singh Dhanwa/Papaji TV series
2000 Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge Sapna's grandfather Guest appearance [24][26]
2001 Farz Tayaji
2002 Shararat Mr. Gujral [43]
2003 Kal Ho Naa Ho Pritam Chaddha [26]
Border Hindustan Ka Jamail Singh
2004 Family Business TV series
2006 Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa Amardeep Sehgal (Dadaji) TV series [44]
Dil Apna Punjabi Hardam Singh [45]
2007 Jab We Met Geet's grandfather [23]
2012 Ata Pata Lapata Guest appearance

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


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  2. ^ a b c "Wrestler Finds Acting Easy, Is Idol Of India's Morie Fans, p.2". Bombay: The Milwaukee Journal. 9 May 1966.[permanent dead link]
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  14. ^ Gupta, Nitish (11 December 2019). "गोरखपुर के इस लाल ने चंद मिनटों में पहलवान दारा सिंह को दी थी पटखनी." Gorakhpur Live. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  15. ^ Śaharanāmā Gorakhapura. Veda Prakāśa Pāṇḍeya, वेद प्रकाश पाण्डेय (Prathama saṃskaraṇa ed.). Nayī Dillī. 2017. ISBN 978-93-5229-698-9. OCLC 993096342.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ "Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Bharat Kesari GAMA Pahalwan and Mishra family, Gorakhpur ,Uttar Pradesh". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
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  38. ^ Tarzan Comes to Delhi (1965) - IMDb, retrieved 2 September 2021
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  42. ^ "Auto Driver (1998)". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  43. ^ "Dara Singh dies at 83". Mumbai Mirror. Reuters. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  44. ^ "Eijaz Khan talks about Dara Singh". Mumbai: Mid-Day. 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
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  46. ^ "Stan Neilson - OWW". Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
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  50. ^ "Congratulations to the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy inductees". WWE. 7 April 2018. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

Further reading[edit]


  • Dara Singh Meri Atmkatha (en. My Autobiography by Dara Singh) 1993 Praveen Prakashan

External links[edit]