Legendary actor Dharmendra has entertained us for over six decades. Known for his wit, charm, smile and romanticism, and love for cinema the actor has never failed to wow his fans on and off the screen. therefore he is also monikered as Bollywood's He-Man.
As Dharmendra turns 85 today, let's reminisce some good old golden memories of the legendary actor that are pure priceless.
Born to a school teacher Kewal Kishan Singh Deol and 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.
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.
His mother suggested that he should write a letter requesting to act in films, something which worked in his favour. Dharmendra sent an application to Filmfare's new talent hunt with his pictures. Dharmendra was declared the winner of Filmfare magazine's National New Talent award. Being the award winner, he was called to Mumbai from Punjab to work in the movie promised, but the movie was never made.
First Bollywood film
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.
Dharmendra remains the only Bollywood actor to have delivered seven clean hits at the box office in a single year, having achieved the feat in 1987.
'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.
Dharmendra's beautiful and charming love life
Before falling in love with Hema Malini, Dharmendra was linked with other top leading ladies of his day, including Meena Kumari and Saira Banu. In fact, it was Meena Kumari who had a big hand to play in the early days of his acting career as being a much bigger star than him in the 60s (when he was starting), she would recommend him to several top filmmakers.
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 and Hema Malini's love story
In the year 1980, Dharmendra wed Hema Malini. Both converted to Islam so that they could get married since his first wife refused to grant him a divorce.
The actor paid Rs. 2000 just to hug Hema Malini on sets of Sholay
A report from IMDb revealed that Dharmendra once paid Rs. 2000 to the light boys each time they interfered on the scene when he was teaching his wife, actor Hema Malini how to shoot with a revolver.
The actor did so because he enjoyed hugging Hema on the set as much as he could. As mentioned in the same article, the actor had to pay Rs. 2000 to the light boys for the number of times they disturbed the scene. This was an opportunistic move made by Dharmendra to get to hug Hema again and again. Here is the clip of the scene from the movie Sholay, which is one of the most memorable of Dharmendra's movies with Hema Malini.
As mentioned by Pinkvilla, the actor had employed a code for signalling the light boys to do according to his wishes. If the actor pulled his ear, the light boys were to make blunders with the trolley movements or drop the reflectors. If he felt his nose, they were to leave the shot running just well. Accordingly, they did as per Dharmendra's wishes, and Hema was indeed impressed.
Awards and rewards
Dharmendra was awarded the Padma Bhushan award in 2012. In 2004, Dharmendra was honoured for Best Contribution to Indian Cinema. In 1997, he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hindi cinema.
He has a restaurant named 'He-Man.'
This is Dharmendra's second restaurant after the popular Garam Dharam Dhaba. He-Man is located on the Karnal Highway.
Dharmendra, who is popularly known as the 'He-Man of Bollywood' wrote on Instagram: "Dear friends, after the success of my restaurant 'Garam Dharam Dhaba' now I'm announcing the first-ever Farm to Fork restaurant called 'He-Man', friends, I truly appreciate your love, respect and belonging towards me. love you all... your Dharam."
The actor also shared an e-invite for his fans, which reads: "Dear fans, with immense joy and gratitude, I want to announce the launch of the first-ever farm to fork restaurant called He-Man. Launching this Valentine's Day 10.30 a.m. on Karnal Highway."
Dharmendra worked very hard to set up his farm-to-fork restaurant and often keeps sharing videos on social media of his farm, with farmers displaying fresh vegetables like cabbages, gourd, beetroot, brinjals, ladies fingers and fruits.
This is how the actor is ringing his 85th birthday!
The actor won't be celebrating his birthday this year, speaking to Bombay Times, Dharmendra said:
I have lived my life to the fullest, and life has kept me young," he added. The megastar also said that even at the age of 85 he is not playing an aged character in Apne 2. He revealed that there's emotion, but also a thrill element to the film. For many decades, he has been loved by his fans and he is immensely grateful for that.
The veteran actor is a little heartbroken because of the current unrest in the country around COVID-19 and the farmers' protest. He said that people have forgotten about coronavirus and that there is chaos across the country due to farmers' protests.
The government must listen to what farmers want to say once. They are sitting on the streets for so many days in cold temperatures. A mutual dialogue can solve the issue," the birthday boy added.
He has decided to stay away from social media.
A few days ago he deleted a tweet related to the farmers' protest. He said all he intended to say was, please hear out the farmers. However, it did not go down too well. Hence, now he has decided to stay away from social media as he claimed that it could be extremely toxic at times. The actor revealed that he doesn't celebrate his birthday in a big way.
Dharmendra prefers to stay alone on his birthday as he misses his mother.
He shared that he prefers to stay on his farm away from the chaos of the city and write poetry. Talking about his birthday celebration, the 85-year-old said that he performs the rituals and cries alone while remembering his mother.
Check out some of his priceless videos on social media.
Wishes pour in for Dharamendra's birthday!
Today we celebrate Dharamji’s https://t.co/Qbk7FAsoeU is the love and affection of u fans who still watch and appreciate our movies that we remain fresh in your memories.This is what keeps us going and we need ur blessings for ths togetherness to last.Thank u for all the love ? pic.twitter.com/ImkXJ6yHRc— Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) December 8, 2020
IBTimes, India wishes the legendary superstar Dharmendra a very Happy Birthday!