Star Of The Week - Sunil Dutt


Profile

Born as: Balraj Dutt
DOB: June 6, 1928
Star: Gemini

Occupation: Actor, producer, director and politician. He has also been the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Considered as: One of the major stars of Hindi cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s

Recognition:

•Sunil Dutt received three Filmfare awards, a National Award and a Dadasaheb Phalke award among others.

•In 1968, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Interesting facts:

•Sunil Dutt was born in Khurd village in Jhelum district of Punjab Province in British India. 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. 

•The family resettled in a small village on the bank of the river Yamuna called Mandauli in Yamuna Nagar, Punjab, which is now a district of Haryana. Later, he moved to Lucknow and then to Bombay.

•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 made a debut with Railway Platform (1955).

•He shot to stardom with Mother India (1957) in which he co-starred with Nargis as her short-tempered 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.

•The two actors got married in 1958. They had a son Sanjay Dutt, also a successful film actor and two daughters, Priya Dutt and Namrata Dutt. His daughter Namrata married Kumar Gaurav, son of veteran actor Rajendra Kumar, who co-starred with Dutt in Mother India.

•The actor starred in many successful films, including 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).

•Dutt created a record of sorts by directing and starring in Yaadein (1964) in which he was the only actor in the cast. He later turned producer with Man Ka Meet (1968) which introduced his brother Som Dutt, who was unsuccessful in films.

•The star continued to give hits that included Heera (1973), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), Nagin (1976) and Jaani Dushman (1979). He also starred in a series of Punjabi religious movies in the 1970s: Man Jeete Jag Jeete (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), and Sat Sri Akal (1977).

•He launched his son Sanjay's career with Rocky (1981) which was a success. Shortly before the film's release, Nargis dies of pancreatic cancer. Sunil Dutt founded the Nargis Dutt Foundation in her memory for the treatment of cancer patients. He was also a sponsor of an organisation for the treatment of Indian children with facial deformities.

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

•He retired from the film industry in the early 1990s to turn to politics after his last few releases and returned shortly before his death in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) in which he shared the screen with Sanjay.

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