Dharmendra Biography


Birthday: December 8, 1935 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Ludhiana, Punjab

Dharmendra is an Indian film actor best known for his role in the Hindi blockbuster movie ‘Sholay’ (1975). One of the most respected veteran actors in Indian film industry, Dharmendra is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to Hindi cinema. He was also honored with India's third-highest civilian honor ‘Padma Bhushan’ by the Government of India in 2012. At the peak of his career, he was considered to be among the most handsome actors in India with a huge female fan following. Born into a middle-class family in Punjab, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) as a young man looking for work. Good-looking and talented, he ventured into acting and landed leading roles in several romantic films during the 1960s. Eventually, he got noticed for his well-built physique and was promoted as an ‘action-hero’ as well. His action movies too proved to be very successful. Soon, he got the opportunity to share screen space with some of the best known names in Hindi film industry. He was catapulted to superstardom following the success of ‘Sholay.’ After establishing himself as a successful actor, he went on to produce films as well. He also launched his sons Sunny and Bobby who went on to become successful actors in their own rights. He also has political interests and was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India as part of the ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ (BJP).

Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Dharam Singh Deol

Age: 88 Years, 88 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Hema Malini, Prakash Kaur

father: Kewal Kishan Singh Deol

mother: Satwant Kaur

siblings: Ajit Deol

children: Ahana Deol, Ajeita Deol, Bobby Deol, Esha Deol, Sunny Deol, Vijeta Deol

Born Country: India

Actors Indian Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

More Facts

education: Ramgarhia College, Phagwara

awards: Padma Bhushan (2012)

  • 1

    What are some popular movies of Dharmendra?

    Some popular movies of Dharmendra include Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, and Seeta Aur Geeta.
  • 2

    What is Dharmendra's contribution to Indian cinema?

    Dharmendra is known for his versatile acting skills and has been a prominent figure in Indian cinema for several decades, contributing to various genres of films.
  • 3

    How did Dharmendra establish himself as a successful actor?

    Dharmendra established himself as a successful actor through his talent, dedication, and hard work, which earned him a huge fan following and critical acclaim.
  • 4

    Has Dharmendra worked with any popular actresses in his career?

    Yes, Dharmendra has worked with several popular actresses such as Hema Malini, Saira Banu, Zeenat Aman, and Rekha in numerous successful films.
  • 5

    What is Dharmendra's impact on the Bollywood industry?

    Dharmendra's charismatic screen presence and versatile acting have left a lasting impact on the Bollywood industry, inspiring many new actors and filmmakers.
Childhood & Early Life

Dharmendra was born Dharam Singh Deol on 8 December 1935, in Nasrali, a village in Ludhiana district, Punjab, British India, to Kewal Kishan Singh Deol and Satwant Kaur. His father was a school headmaster in the village of Lalton Kalan, Ludhiana.

His early years were spent in the village of Sahnewal and he received his education from ‘Government Senior Secondary School’ in Lalton Kalan. He completed his intermediate education from ‘Ramgarhia College,’ Phagwara, in 1952.

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Young, well-built, and good-looking, Dharmendra developed an interest in the show business and won the ‘Filmfare’ magazine's new talent award. Following this, he decided to pursue an acting career and moved to Mumbai in search of better prospects.

He made his debut with Arjun Hingorani's ‘Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere’ in 1960. Soon, other opportunities followed and he landed romantic roles in several films between 1960 and 1967. These films include: ‘Soorat Aur Seerat’ (1962), ‘Anpadh’ (1962), ‘Bandini’ (1963), ‘Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya’ (1966), and ‘Dulhan Ek Raat Ki’ (1967).

The 1960s also marked his emergence as an action hero. The 1966 movie ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ was his first action film. He established himself as an action hero following the success of the 1971 film ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh.’ By the mid-1970s, he had delivered hit films in both romance and action genre.

Dharmendra made a very successful on-screen pairing with actress Hema Malini whom he would eventually marry. The couple starred together in many films, including ‘Raja Jani,’ ‘Seeta Aur Geeta,’ ‘Sharafat,’ ‘Naya Zamana,’ and ‘Sholay.’ His role as ‘Veeru’ in ‘Sholay’ is considered one of his best performances.

His success streak continued throughout the 1970s. By the 1980s, he was ready to venture into film production as well. He set up a production company called ‘Vijayta Films’ in 1983 and launched his son Sunny Deol in the movie ‘Betaab.’ He also produced the movie ‘Ghayal,’ also starring Sunny in 1990.

In 1995, Dharmendra launched his younger son Bobby Deol in ‘Barsaat,’ which also starred Twinkle Khanna, daughter of veteran Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna, in her debut film role. The movie was a hit and helped establish Bobby as a successful actor in the Hindi film industry.

After taking a hiatus from acting for a while, Dharmendra returned to the big screen in 2007, playing supporting roles. Some of his movies that released in 2010s are ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ (2011), ‘Singh Saab The Great’ (2013), ‘Double Di Trouble’ (2014), ‘Second Hand Husband’ (2015), and ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se’ (2018).

He is also active in politics and was elected as a Member of the Parliament on a ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ ticket in the 2004 general elections from Bikaner constituency in Rajasthan.

Major Works

Dharmendra played the role of ‘Veeru’ in the epic action-adventure film ‘Sholay,’ which also had Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, and Sanjeev Kumar in pivotal roles. In 2005, the judges of the 50th ‘Annual Filmfare Awards’ named ‘Sholay’ the ‘Best Film of 50 Years.’ The film was also included in CNN-IBN's list of ‘100 greatest Indian films of all time’ in 2013.

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His production ‘Ghayal,’ starring his son Sunny, was a blockbuster. The film won seven ‘Filmfare Awards,’ including the ‘Best Movie’ award. The resounding success of the movie led to several remakes in regional languages, such as Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

Awards & Achievements

In 1991, as the producer of ‘Ghayal,’ he won the ‘National Film Award’ for ‘Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.’

In 1997, Dharmendra received the ‘Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to Hindi cinema.

In 2005, he received the ‘Zee Cine Award’ for ‘Lifetime Achievement.’ In 2007, he was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the ‘Pune International Film Festival’ (PIFF).

He was honored with India's third-highest civilian honor ‘Padma Bhushan’ by the Government of India in 2012.

Personal Life & Legacy

Dharmendra married Parkash Kaur at the age of 19 in 1954. This marriage produced four children, including Sunny and Bobby who are successful film actors.

He fell in love with Hema Malini, his co-star in several films, and wanted to marry her. Since he did not want to divorce his first wife, he converted to Islam in 1979 and changed his name to Dilawar Khan. He then married Hema Malini in 1980. The couple has two daughters, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol.

He has seven grandchildren. His grandson from his son Bobby Deol is named after him.

Facts About Dharmendra
Dharmendra is known to be a great animal lover, and he has a farm where he spends a lot of his time taking care of his animals.
In addition to being a successful actor, Dharmendra is also a proficient painter and has showcased his artwork at various exhibitions.
Dharmendra holds a black belt in martial arts and has showcased his skills in several of his action-packed films.
Despite his tough on-screen persona, Dharmendra is known among his colleagues for his warm and friendly personality on set.

See the events in life of Dharmendra in Chronological Order

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