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|Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports|
22 May 2004 – 25 May 2005
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Vikram Verma|
|Succeeded by||Mani Shankar Aiyar|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Preceded by||Ram Jethmalani|
|Succeeded by||Madhukar Sarpotdar|
|Constituency||Mumbai North West|
|Preceded by||Madhukar Sarpotdar|
|Succeeded by||Priya Dutt|
|Constituency||Mumbai North West|
6 June 1929
Nakka Khurd, Punjab, British India
(in present Punjab, Pakistan)
|Died||25 May 2005 (aged 75)|
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
(m. 1958; died 1981)
|Children||3, including Sanjay Dutt and Priya Dutt|
|Relatives||See Dutt family|
|Residence(s)||Bandra, West Mumbai|
|Alma mater||Jai Hind College|
|Awards||Padma Shri (1968)|
Dutt debuted with the 1955 Hindi film Railway Platform. He acted in a number of successful films including Ek Hi Raasta (1956), Mother India (1957), Sadhna (1958), Insan Jaag Utha (1959), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965), Khandan (1965), Mera Saaya (1966), Milan (1967), Mehrban (1967), Hamraaz (1967), Padosan (1968), Heera (1973), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), Nagin (1976), Jaani Dushman (1979), Muqabla (1979) and Shaan (1980).
In 1984 he joined the Indian National Congress party and was elected to the Parliament of India for five terms from the constituency of Mumbai North West. He was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Manmohan Singh government (2004–2005) and also a former Sheriff of Mumbai.
Sunil Dutt was born on 6 June 1929 in Nakka Khurd, Jhelum District, Punjab Province, British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan) into a Hussaini Brahmin family as Balraj Dutt to father Diwan Raghunath Dutt and mother Kulwantidevi Dutt. He belonged to a family of landlords. When he was five years old, Dutt's father died. When he was 18, the Partition of India began inciting Hindu-Muslim violence across the country. A Muslim friend of Dutt's father named Yakub, saved their entire family. The family resettled in the small village of Mandauli on the bank of the river Yamuna located in Yamunanagar District, East Punjab, which is now a district in Haryana. Later he moved to Lucknow, United Provinces with his mother, Kulwantidevi Dutt, and spent a long time in the Aminabad Bazaar neighbourhood during graduation. He then moved to Bombay, Bombay State, where he joined Jai Hind College, University of Bombay in Churchgate, South Bombay as an undergraduate and took up a job at the city's BEST Transportation Engineering division. He graduated with B.A. (Hons.) in History in 1954.
Starting out in radio, with his command over the Urdu language, Sunil Dutt was hugely popular on the Hindi service of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. He moved to act in Hindi films and got introduced to the industry in 1955's Railway Platform.
Debut and coining of the screen name "Sunil Dutt"
Director Ramesh Saigal was instrumental in giving Dutt a break in the film Railway Platform (1955) when the latter was hosting the show, Lipton Ki Mehfil on Radio Ceylon. While covering the Dilip Kumar film Shikast in 1953, Dutt met director Saigal, who impressed by his personality and voice, offered him a role in his upcoming film. Saigal came up with the new screen name "Sunil Dutt" for the debutante actor whose real name was Balraj Dutt to avoid name conflicts with the then veteran actor Balraj Sahni.
Rise to stardom
Dutt shot to stardom in the 1957 film Mother India in which he co-starred with Nargis as her short-tempered, angry son. During the making of this film, a fire happened on the set. It is believed that Dutt braved the raging fire to save Nargis and thereby won her love. They went on to marry in 1958. They had one son Sanjay Dutt, also a successful film actor, and two daughters, Priya Dutt and Namrata Dutt. His daughter Namrata married Kumar Gaurav, son of Rajendra Kumar. The two fathers were co-stars in Mother India.
Dutt was one of the major stars of Hindi cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s and continued to star in many successful films which included Sadhna (1958), Insan Jaag Utha (1959), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965), Mera Saaya (1966) and Padosan (1967). His collaboration with B.R. Chopra proved to be successful in films such as Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965) and Hamraaz (1967). One of his favourite writers and friends was Aghajani Kashmeri. Dutt made his directorial debut and was the only actor to feature in the 1964 film Yaadein. The film was featured in the Guinness Book of Records for Fewest Actors in a Narrative Film. He later produced the 1968 film Man Ka Meet which introduced his brother Som Dutt, Vinod Khanna and Leena Chandavarkar. In 1971, he produced, directed and starred in Reshma Aur Shera (1971) which was critically well received but a box office failure.
During the early 1970s, his career as an actor was at a stand-still. Amidst this setback, he played Madhubala's hero in the 1971 film Jwala, which was a delayed film that had started production in the late 1950s and was Madhubala's last film. It was Geeta Mera Naam (1974) that brought him into the limelight again. The anti-hero was reborn after a long gap of films like Mother India and Mujhe Jeene Do. Sunil Dutt's performance of Johnny was liked by the masses as he clearly stole the limelight. It was one of the best performances of his career. He continued to star in hits that included Heera (1973), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), Nagin (1976), Jaani Dushman (1979), Muqabla (1979), and Shaan (1980). He also starred in a series of Punjabi religious movies in the 1970s: Man Jeete Jag Jeet (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), and Sat Sri Akal (1977). Even in 1980s he starred in both leading and supporting role in several successful movies such as Dard Ka Rishta (1982), Badle Ki Aag (1982), Raaj Tilak (1984), Mangal Dada (1986), Watan Ke Rakhwale (1987) and Dharamyudh (1988).
He launched his son Sanjay's career with Rocky in 1981 which was a success. Shortly before the film's release, Nargis died of pancreatic cancer. He founded the Nargis Dutt Foundation in her memory for the curing of cancer patients. He was a sponsor of the India Project, an organisation akin to Operation Smile for the treatment of Indian children with facial deformities.
In 1995, he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry for four decades. He returned to acting shortly before his death in 2003's Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. in which he shared the screen with his son Sanjay for the first time although they had appeared earlier in Rocky and Kshatriya but did not share any scenes together.
In 1987 when Punjab was facing heightened militancy, Dutt, accompanied by his daughter Priya undertook a 2,000 km 76 day long Mahashanti Padyatra (journey by foot) from Bombay to Amritsar (Golden Temple) to establish communal harmony and brotherhood. During the padyatra, he attended more than 500 roadside meetings and suffered a bout of jaundice.
His political career was halted for some years in the early 1990s when he worked to free his son from jail after he was arrested for keeping an AK-56 that he claimed was for the protection of his family after bomb blasts in Bombay.
Dutt died of a heart attack on 25 May 2005 at his residence in Bandra, West Mumbai, two weeks before his 76th birthday. At the time of his death, he was the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Union Government led by Manmohan Singh and was the Member of Parliament from North-West Mumbai. He was cremated with full state honours at Santacruz Crematorium in Mumbai. He was succeeded as Minister by Mani Shankar Aiyar. His seat in the Parliament was contested by his daughter, Priya Dutt, who won it and was a Member of Parliament until May 2014.
In popular culture
Awards and honours
- 1963 – Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Mujhe Jeene Do
- 1964 – National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for Yaadein
- 1965 – Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Khandan
- 1967 – BFJA Award for Best Actor (Hindi) for Milan
- 1968 – Padma Shri
- 1982 – Sheriff of Bombay
- 1995 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1998 – Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
- 1999 – Screen Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2000 – Anandalok Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2001 – Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement
- 2007 – Glory of India Award by IIFS, London.
- As an Actor
|Railway Platform||1955||Ram||Ramesh Saigal|
|Kismet Ka Khel||Prakash Verma||Kishore Sahu|
|Mother India||Birju||Mehboob Khan|
|Post Box 999||Vikas||Ravindra Dave|
|Insaan Jaag Utha||1959||Ranjeet||Shakti Samanta|
|Didi||Gopal||K. Narayan Kale|
|Usne Kaha Tha||Nandu||Moni Bhattacharjee|
|Hum Hindustani||Surendra Nath||Ram Mukherjee|
|Ek Phool Char Kaante||Sanjeev||Bhappi Sonie|
|Duniya Jhukti Hai||Mohan / Bankelal||J.B.H. Wadia||Double Role|
|Chhaya||1961||Arun / Poet Rahee||Hrishikesh Mukherjee|
|Main Chup Rahungi||1962||Kamal Kumar||A. Bhimsingh|
|Jhoola||Dr. Arun||K. Shankar|
|Gumraah||1963||Rajendra||B. R. Chopra|
|Aaj Aur Kal||Dr. Sanjay||Vasant Joglekar|
|Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke||Anilkumar G. Sahni||R. K. Nayyar|
|Nartakee||Professor Nirmal Kumar||Nitin Bose|
|Mujhe Jeene Do||Thakur Jarnail Singh||Moni Bhattacharjee||Won - Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Yaadein||1964||Anil||Sunil Dutt||Also Director & Producer|
|Beti Bete||Ramu / Krishna||L. V. Prasad|
|Waqt||1965||Advocate Ravi||Yash Chopra|
|Khandan||Govind Shankar. Lal||A. Bhimsingh||Won - Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|Mera Saaya||1966||Thakur Rakesh Singh||Raj Khosla|
|Amrapali||Magadh Samrat Ajatashatru||Lekh Tandon|
|Maitighar||Sunil||B.S. Thapa||Special Appearance in Nepali Film|
|Milan||1967||Gopi / Gopinath||Adurthi Subba Rao||Won - BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi)
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Actor
|Hamraaz||Kumar||B. R. Chopra|
|Sadhu Aur Shaitaan||Catholic Priest D'souza||A. Bhimsingh||Guest Role, Uncredited|
|Gauri||Sunil Kumar||A. Bhimsingh|
|Pyasi Sham||1969||Raja||Amar Kumar|
|Meri Bhabhi||Raju||Khalid Akhtar|
|Jwala||Sunil||M. Krishnan Nair||Guest Role|
|Chirag||Ajay Singh||Raj Khosla|
|Bhai Bahen||Surendra Pratap||A. Bhimsingh|
|Darpan||1970||Balraj Dutt||Adurthi Subba Rao|
|Bhai-Bhai||Deep / Ashok / Sangram||Raja Nawathe||Double Role|
|Reshma Aur Shera||1971||Shera Singh||Sunil Dutt||Director & Producer|
|Jwala||Jwala||M. V. Raman||Delayed Film|
|Zindagi Zindagi||1972||Dr. Sunil||Tapan Sinha|
|Zameen Aasmaan||Ravi||A Veerappan|
|Jai Jwala||Major Anand||Manohar Deepak|
|Man Jeete Jag Jeet||1973||Bagga Daaku / Baghel Singh||B.S. Thapa||Punjabi Film|
|Kora Badan||1974||Sunil||B.S. Ghad||Guest Role|
|Geeta Mera Naam||Suraj / Johnny||Sadhana||Negative Role|
|Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye||Raja Thakur||S. Ali Raza|
|Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam||Sadhu||B.S.Thapa||Guest Role in Punjabi Film|
|36 Ghante||Himmat Singh||Raj Tilak||Negative Role|
|Umar Qaid||Raja||Sikandar Khanna|
|Himalay Se Ooncha||Vijay||B.S. Thapa|
|Nagin||1976||Vijay||Rajkumar Kohli||Supernatural Thriller|
|Nehle Pe Dehla||Sunil||Raj Khosla|
|Darinda||1977||Krishna / Yogidutt||Kaushal Bharati|
|Sat Sri Akal||Chaman Nillay|
|Ladki Jawan Ho Gayi||Sunil||Anand Dasani|
|Paapi||Raj Kumar||O. P. Ralhan|
|Gyaani Ji||Pilot Sardar Hari Singh||Chaman Nillay||Punjabi Name : Sat Sri Akal (1977)|
|Charandas||Advocate Tondon||B.S. Thapa||Guest Role|
|Aakhri Goli||Vikram||Shibu Mitra|
|Sone Ki Lanka||1978||Satpal|
|Ram Kasam||Bhola / Shankar||Chand||Double Role|
|Kaala Aadmi||Birju||Ramesh Lakhanpal|
|Daaku Aur Jawan||Birju||Sunil Dutt|
|Muqabla||1979||Vikram 'Vicky'||Rajkumar Kohli|
|Jaani Dushman||Laakhan||Rajkumar Kohli||Horror Thriller|
|Salaam Memsaab||Naresh Sarit||Asrani||Guest Appearance|
|Shaan||DSP Shiv Kumar||Ramesh Sippy|
|Yari Dushmani||Shambhu||Sikandar Khanna|
|Ganga Aur Suraj||Inspector Ganga||A. Salaam|
|Ek Gunah Aur Sahi||Shankar Ramdas||Yogi Kathuria|
|Rocky||1981||Shankar||Sunil Dutt||Guest Appearance, Uncredited|
|Meena Kumari Ki Amar Kahani||Himself||Sohrab Modi||(Scene from movie)|
|Badle Ki Aag||1982||Lakhan||Rajkumar Kohli|
|Dard Ka Rishta||Dr. Ravi Kant Sharma||Sunil Dutt||Producer & Director|
|Film Hi Film||1983||Himself||Hiren Nag||Uncredited|
|Raaj Tilak||1984||Jai Singh||Rajkumar Kohli|
|Laila||Dharamraj Singh / Thakur Prithviraj Singh||Saawan Kumar||Double Role|
|Yaadon Ki Zanjeer||Ravi Kumar||Shibu Mitra||Film delayed for 5 years|
|Kala Dhanda Goray Log||1986||Gauri Shankar / Michael||Sanjay Khan|
|Mangal Dada||Mangal Dada||Ramesh Gupta||Film Delayed for 6 Years|
|Watan Ke Rakhwale||1987||Jailor Suraj Prakash||T. Rama Rao|
|Raj Kapoor||Himself||Siddharth Kak||(during funeral)|
|Dharamyudh||1988||Thakur Vikram Singh||Sudarshan Nag|
|Yeh Aag Kab Bujhegi||1991||Prof. Kishna||Sunil Dutt|
|Kurbaan||Prithvi Singh||Deepak Bahry|
|Hai Meri Jaan||Telegram Wala||Roopesh Kumar||Guest Role|
|Virodhi||1992||Police Commissioner||Rajkumar Kohli|
|Kshatriya||1993||Maharaj Bhavani Singh||J.P. Dutta|
|Parampara||Thakur Bhavani Singh||Yash Chopra|
|Phool||Balram Choudhary||Singeetam Srinivasa Rao|
|Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.||2003||Hari Prasad Sharma||Rajkumar Hirani||(final film role)|
|Lage Raho Munna Bhai||2006||Shri Hari Prasad Sharma||Rajkumar Hirani||Photo used in many scenes as Munna's Father|
|Om Shanti Om||2007||Magadh Samrat Ajatashatru||Farah Khan||Recreated Via CGI during the song "Dhoom Tana", (archive footage)|
- Mr. and Mrs. Dutt: Memories of our Parents, Namrata Dutt Kumar and Priya Dutt, 2007, Roli Books. ISBN 978-81-7436-455-5.
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