Dharmendra who has done a variety of roles in Bollywood had been the reigning king of Hindi Cinema in the 70s and 80s. One of the highest-paid actors of his era, Dharam Paaji won several hearts during his time in the industry. Also referred to as the ‘Action King’ has seen glorious decades in the film industry and has given Indian cinema some of its finest movies. Here are 10 of his unknown and interesting facts about ‘Garam Dharam’ that we bet you didn’t know.
1. Dharmendra ji hated going to school
Born to a school teacher Kewal Kishan Singh Deol and his wife Satwant Kaur on December 8, 1935, Dharmendra hated going to school like most kids. As a matter of fact, he used to urge his mother not to send him to school as his father scolded him more than other children.
2. Dharmendra Ji’s dream?
Dharmendra always dreamt of becoming an actor and it was his mother with whom he shared his fascination. During one of his conversations with his mum, she suggested that he should write a request letter to act in films, something which proved to be a boon for Dharmendra.
3. Dharmendra sent an application to Filmfare’s
Adhering to his mother’s suggestion, Dharmendra sent an application to Filmfare’s new talent hunt with his pictures. As fate would have it, he won the competition and came to Mumbai from Punjab looking for work.
4. His Best performances
In the year 1960, he debuted with Arjun Hingorani’s ‘Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere’. Dharmendra established himself as an action hero with the 1966 release ‘Phool Aur Patthar’. During his struggle days, Dharmendra befriended Manoj Kumar. Of course, both of them were unaware back then that they would become great superstars of Bollywood.
5. Dharmendra was keen to play the character of Thakur Baldev Singh
‘Sholay’ is one of Bollywood’s iconic films and one of the most memorable ones of Hema Malini and Dharmendra. According to a report, Dharmendra was keen to play the character of Thakur Baldev Singh and he was told that Sanjeev Kumar would then play Veeru and get the girl (to be played by Hema Malini). Finally, it was Dharmendra who got to romance Hema in the film. The report further stated that Hema Malini had no scenes with Thakur Baldev Singh played by Sanjeev Kumar as she had just turned down his marriage proposal and didn’t want to be anywhere near him.
6. He has worked with many divas of the 70s
Though Dharmendra has given incredible performances in a number of movies, his work in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Satyakam’ won him critical acclaim. Dharmendra has played the romantic hero to many leading ladies of Bollywood including Meena Kumari, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, Asha Parekh, and Zeenat Aman. But his pairing with Hema Malini is regarded as his best.
7. Dharmendra Ji’s love life
Dharmendra married Prakash Kaur in 1954 at the age of 19. He has two sons from his first marriage – Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol – both successful actors, and two daughters – Vijeeta Deol and Ajeeta Deol. In the year 1980, Dharmendra wed Hema Malini. He also converted to Islam so that he could also stay married to his previous wife without having to get a divorce.
8. Sunny ventured into Bollywood
Such was the charm of Dharmendra that even after his eldest son Sunny ventured into Bollywood, he kept getting movie offers for lead roles. On seeing his fit body, veteran actor Dilip Kumar had once exclaimed that God was unfair to him for not having gifted him with a body like Dharmendra.
9. Achievements of Dharmendra ji
Dharmendra was awarded the Padma Bhushan award in 2012. In 2004, Dharmendra was honored with Best Contribution to Indian Cinema. In 1997, he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hindi cinema.
10. Dharmendra Ji’s restaurant in New Delhi
Dharmendra also has a theme restaurant in New Delhi that celebrates his films, characters, and dialogues. The owners are diehard fans of Dharmendra and feel that this was the best way to idolize the star. Dialogues from his various films are scribbled on the walls while the menu is characterized by his screen names. Dharmendra himself inaugurated the restaurant. The mocktails go by the names of Jawani Bhari Gulabo, Veeru Ki Ghutti, and Pyaare Mohan Masala Nimbu.