Dara Singh
Dara SinghFacebook

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday expressed his deep grief over the passing away of the former Member of Rajya Sabha, Dara Singh.

Dara Singh, a well-know actor, film producer and internationally acclaimed wrestler, breathed his last on Thursday at his Mumbai residence after a prolonged illness.

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Dara Singh, who has been an inspiration and icon to many generations in our country," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"A self educated son-of-the-soil, he (Dara Singh) rose to the heights of the entertainment world, sports arena and public life with humility and grace. His contribution to the Hindi and Punjabi cinema, wrestling and the Upper House of the Parliament will be remembered by millions," Singh added, while condoling the demise of legendary wrestler and actor.

"I wish to send my deepest condolences to the family of Dara Singh and to his countless admirers in India and abroad," Manmohan Singh added.

Dara Singh was rushed to Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on July 7 following cardiac arrest.

However, doctors at the hospital said on Wednesday that Singh's chances of recovering were bleak due to extensive brain damage. He was later shifted to his home to be with his family members during his last moments.  

Singh was an undisputed champion and continued to defend his title as "The World Champion" untill he retired from wrestling in 1983.

He started his career in film industry in 1952 and became known for his roles in "King Kong" and "Faulad". He also became famous as "Hanuman" in Ramanand Sagar's mythological television series "Ramayan".

His last movie was Imtiaz Ali's 2007 romantic film "Jab We Met" where he played the character of Kareena Kapoor's grandfather.