Sunil Dutt

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Sunil Dutt
Sunil Dutt cropped face.jpg
Born Balraj Dutt
(1930-06-06)June 6, 1930
Jhelum, Punjab Province, British India[1][2]
Died May 25, 2005(2005-05-25) (aged 74)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Ethnicity Punjabi
Occupation Actor, producer, director, politician
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Nargis (1958–1981; her death)
Children Sanjay Dutt
Priya Dutt
Namrata Dutt
Relatives See Dutt family
Awards IND Padma Shri BAR.png Padma Shri (1968)

Sunil Dutt (6 June 1930 – 25 May 2005), born Balraj Dutt, was an Indian movie actor, producer, director and politician. He was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Manmohan Singh government (2004–2005). His son, Sanjay Dutt, is also an actor, while daughter Priya Dutt, a former Member of Parliament.[3]

In 1968, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 1984 he joined the Indian National Congress party and was elected to Parliament of India for five terms from the constituency of Mumbai North West.

Early life[edit]

Sunil Dutt was born on 6 June 1930[4] in Khurd village, Jhelum district, Punjab Province, Pakistan.[1][2] 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 named Yakub, who had been friends with Dutt's father, saved their entire family.[5] The family resettled in a small village on the bank of river Yamuna called Mandauli in Yamuna Nagar, Punjab, is now a district of Haryana. Later he moved to Lucknow and spent a long time in Aminabad Galli during graduation. He then moved to Bombay, where he joined Jai Hind College as an undergraduate and took up a job at the city's BEST Transport division.[6]


Starting out in radio, Sunil Dutt was hugely popular on the Hindi service of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. He moved to acting in Hindi films and got introduced to the industry with 1955's Railway Platform.

He shot to stardom in the 1957 film Mother India where he co-starred with Nargis, whom he married on 11 March 1958. Dutt played a short-tempered, angry son of Nargis. During the making of this film a fire happened on the sets. It is believed that Dutt braved the raging fire to save Nargis and thereby won her love.

He 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), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965) 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 created a record of sorts by directing and starring in the unique film Yaadein (1964) in which he was the only actor. He later turned producer of the 1968 film Man Ka Meet which introduced his brother Som Dutt who was unsuccessful in films. In 1971 he produced, directed and starred in the big-budget period romantic film Reshma Aur Shera (1971) which was a huge failure at the box office. He continued to star in hits that included Heera (1973), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), Nagin (1976) andJaani Dushman (1979). 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).[7]

He launched his son Sanjay's career with Rocky in 1981 which was a success. Shortly before the film's release, Dutt's wife died of pancreatic cancer. He founded the Nargis Dutt Foundation in her memory for the cure of cancer patients.[8] He was a sponsor of the India Project, an organisation akin to Operation Smile for the treatment of Indian children with facial deformities.[9]

In 1982 he was appointed as the Sheriff of Mumbai, an apolitical titular position bestowed on him by the Maharashtra government for a year.[10]

He turned character actor in the 1980s often playing an elderly police officer or patriarch at the centre of family feuds. He retired from the film industry in the early 1990s to turn to politics after his last few releases including Yash Chopra's Parampara (1992) and J.P.Dutta's Kshatriya (1993). 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, a Pistol and hand grenades that he claimed was for protection of his family after bomb blasts in Mumbai.[11]

In 1995 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry for four decades. He returned to films shortly before his death in 2003's Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. He shared the screen with son Sanjay for the first time although they had appeared earlier in Rocky (1981) and Kshatriya (1993).


Sunil Dutt died of a heart attack on 25 May 2005 at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai.[12] His seat in Parliament was contested by his daughter, Priya Dutt, who won it and was a member of parliament from North West Mumbai between November 2005–April 2014.

Awards and honours[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]

Acting Filmography
Film Role
Railway Platform (1955) Ram
Kundan (1955) Amrit
Ek Hi Raasta (1956) Amar
Kismet Ka Khel (1956) Pratap
Mother India (1957) Birju
Sadhna (1958) Mohan
Sujata (1959) Adhir
Insaan Jaag Utha (1959) Ranjeet
Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960) Sanjeev
Hum Hindustani (1960) Surendra Nath
Chhaya (1961) Arun / Rahee
Main Chup Rahoongi (1962) Kamal Kumar
Gumraah (1963) Rajendra
Mujhe Jeene Do (1963) Thakur Jarnail Singh
Nartaki (1963) Professor Nirmal Kumar
Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke (1963) Anilkumar G. Sahni
Aaj Aur Kal (1963) Dr. Sanjay
Beti Bete (1964) Ramu
Yaadein (1964) Anil
Gazal (1964) Ejaz
Khandan (1965) Govind
Waqt (1965) Ravi
Mera Saaya (1966) Thakur Rakesh Singh
Hamraaz (1967) Kumar
Meherbaan (1967)
Milan (1967) Gopi
Padosan (1968) Bhola
Gauri (1968) Sunil
Chirag (1969) Ajay Singh
Jwala (1971) (This was Madhubala's last movie)
Reshma Aur Shera (1971) Shera
Zameen Aasmaan (1972) Ravi
Heera (1973) Heera
Geeta Mera Naam (1974) Johnny
36 Ghante (1974) Himmat
Zakhmee (1975)
Nagin (1976) Professor Vijay
Darinda (1977)
Paapi (1977) Raj Kumar
Kala Aadmi (1978) Birjoo
Daaku Aur Jawaan (1978)
Jaani Dushman (1979) Lakhan
Ahinsa (1979) Birju
Shaan (1980) Inspector Shiv Kumar
Rocky (1981) Rocky's Father (Guest Appearance)
Badle Ki Aag (1982) Lakhan
Dard Ka Rishta (1982) Dr Ravi
Raaj Tilak (1984) Jai Singh
Faasle (1985) Vikram
Dharam Yudh (1989)
Kurbaan (1991) Prithvi Singh
Yeh Aag Kab Bhujegi (1991)
Parampara (1992) Thakur Bhavani Singh
Phool (1993) Balram Choudhary
Kshatriya (1993) Maharajah Bhavani Singh
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) Hariprasad Sharma

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kumar, Shiv (25 May 2005). "Sunil Dutt is no more". The Tribune. Retrieved 2016-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Bollywood legend Sunil Dutt dies". BBC News. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 2016-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Current Lok Sabha Members Biographical Sketch". Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Zee Premiere- The Triumph of Spirit". May 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2001. 
  5. ^ "'We all are one, whichever religion we belong to'". 25 May 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sunil Dutt: The Man Stardom Never Dared to Change". The Quint. Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  7. ^ "A towering personality". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  8. ^ "NDMCT - Nargis Dutt Memorial Charatiable Trust". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  9. ^ "Remembering Sunil Dutt on his 77th Birthday... Contd". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  10. ^ "Sunil Dutt appointed new sheriff of Bombay : Signposts - India Today". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  11. ^ "Sanjay Dutt convicted in 1993 Bombay blasts case, gets 5 years in jail". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  12. ^ "Bollywood legend Sunil Dutt dies". BBC News. 25 May 2005. 
  13. ^ [1] Archived 13 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Sunil Dutt – film star, peace activist, secularist, politician extraordinary". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 26 May 2005. 
  15. ^ "Phalke award for B.R. Chopra : Happenings News". ApunKaChoice.Com. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Tribute to a son of the soil". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 25 May 2007. 
  17. ^ To Mr. and Mrs. Dutt, with love (Literary Review) The Hindu, 7 October 2007.

External links[edit]