Dharmendra on the set of India's Got Talent
Born Dharam Singh Deol
(1935-12-08) 8 December 1935
Nasrali, Punjab, British India
Residence Phagwara, Punjab, India
Other names Dilawar Kewal Krishn
Occupation Actor, producer, politician
Years active 1960-present
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Religion Sikhism[1]
  • Parkash Kaur
    (m.1954–present); 4 children
    [2]Hema Malini
    (m.1979–present); 2 children
Children Sunny Deol (Ajay Singh Deol)
Bobby Deol (Vijay Singh Deol)
Vijayta Deol
Ajeeta Deol
Esha Deol
Ahana Deol
Awards Padma Bhushan in 2012

Dharmendra (born Dharam Singh Deol;[3] 8 December 1935)[4] is an Indian film actor. In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hindi cinema.

His starring roles in action films earned him nicknames such as "Action King" and "He-Man".[5] One of his most notable roles was in Sholay (1975).[6]

He has been a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India, representing Bikaner constituency in Rajasthan from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2012, he was honoured India's third highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.[7]

Early life

Dharmendra was born Dharam Singh Deol[8] in Nusrali, a village in Ludhiana district, Punjab to Kewal Kishan Singh Deol and Satwant Kaur.[8][9][10] His ancestral village is Dangon, near Pakhowal, Ludhiana.[11]

He spent his early life in the village of Sahnewal and studied at Government Senior Secondary School at Lalton Kalan, Ludhiana, where his father was the village school's headmaster.[12] He did his intermediate from Ramgarhia College, Phagwara in 1952.[13]


Film career

Dharmendra won the Filmfare magazine's new talent award and came to Mumbai from Punjab looking for work. He made his debut with Arjun Hingorani's Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere in 1960.[14][15] He had a supporting role in the film Boy Friend in 1961, and was cast as the romantic interest in several films between 1960-67. He worked with Nutan in Soorat Aur Seerat (1962), Bandini (1963), Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966) and Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967), and with Mala Sinha in Anpadh (1962), Pooja Ke Phool (1964), Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, with Nanda in Akashdeep, with Saira Banu in Shaadi and Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964) and with Meena Kumari in Main Bhi Ladki Hoon (1964), Kaajal (1965), Poornima (1965) and Phool Aur Paththar (1966). He played the romantic interest in several films from 1960-67. He had a solo hero role in Phool Aur Patthar (1966), which was his first action film, and he became established as an action hero in the 1971 film Mera Gaon Mera Desh.

Phool Aur Paththar became the highest-grossing film of 1966 and Dharmendra received his first Filmfare nomination for Best Actor.[16] His performance in Anupama was critically acclaimed.[17] Having played romantic as well as action hero parts, he began to be called a versatile actor by 1975. His comic timing in comedy films like Tum Haseen Main Jawan, Do Chor, Chupke Chupke, Dillagi, Naukar Biwi Ka was appreciated.

His most successful pairing was with Hema Malini, who went on to become his future wife.[14] The couple played together in a many films including Raja Jani, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sharafat, Naya Zamana, Patthar Aur Payal, Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Jugnu, Dost, Charas, Maa, Chacha Bhatija, Azaad, and Sholay. His most notable acting performances include Satyakam with Hrishikesh Mukherjee,[18] and Sholay, which is listed by Indiatimes as one of the "Top 25 must see Bollywood films of all time". In 2005, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare Awards awarded Sholay the special distinction of Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years.

Dharmendra went on to star in a number of action films between 1976-84, including Dharam Veer, Charas, Azaad, Katilon Ke Kaatil, Ghazab, Rajput, Bhagawat, Jaani Dost, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Main Intequam Loonga, Jeene Nahi Doonga, Hukumat, and Raaj Tilak. Along with Rajesh Khanna he made a cameo appearance in the 1986 B film Mohabbat Ki Kasam.[19]

He has worked with various directors, each with a different style of filmmaking.[20] His longest collaboration was with director Arjun Hingorani from 1960-91. Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere was the debut film of Dharmendra as an actor and Arjun's first directorial venture with Dharmendra as the lead hero. They worked together in Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan?, Kahani Kismat Ki, Khel Khilari Ka, Katilon Ke Kaatil and Kaun Kare Kurbanie where Arjun Hingorani was the producer and the director, and Sultanat and Karishma Kudrat Kaa, produced by Arjun Hingorani. He worked with director Pramod Chakravorty in Naya Zamana, Dream Girl, Azaad and Jugnu. Dharmendra has played dual roles in many films such as Yakeen (1969) as both the hero and the villain, Samadhi (1972) as father and son, Ghazab (1982) as twin brothers and Jeeo Shaan Se (1997) in triple roles.

Dharmendra has worked with all members of the Kapoor family except for Prithviraj and Kareena Kapoor. He periodically made films in his native tongue of Punjabi, starring in Kankan De Ole (Special Appearance) (1970), Do Sher (1974), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), Teri Meri Ik Jindri (1975), Putt Jattan De (1982) and Qurbani Jatt Di (1990). Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he continued to appear in many other films in both leading and supporting roles.

In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. While accepting the award from Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu, Dharmendra became emotional and remarked that he had never won any Filmfare award in the Best Actor category despite having worked in so many successful films and nearly a hundred popular movies.[21] Speaking on this occasion Dilip Kumar commented, "Whenever I get to meet with God Almighty I will set before Him my only complaint - why did You not make me as handsome as Dharmendra?".[22]

He experimented with film production; he launched both of his sons in films: Sunny Deol in Betaab (1983) and Bobby Deol in Barsaat (1995) as well as his nephew Abhay Deol in Socha Na Tha (2005).[23] He was the presenter for his films like Satyakam (1969) and Kab Kyun Aur Kahan (1970). In one of her interviews, actress Preity Zinta has been quoted as saying that Dharmendra is her favourite actor. She recommended him to play her father's role in Har Pal (2008).[24]

After a four-year hiatus from acting since 2003, he reappeared in films as a character actor in 2007 in Life in a... Metro and Apne; both films were both critically and commercially successful. In the latter, he appears with both his sons, Sunny and Bobby for the first time.[25] His other release was Johnny Gaddaar, in which he played a villain. In 2011, he starred alongside his sons again in Yamla Pagla Deewana released on 14 January 2011.[26]

A sequel, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, was released in 2013. He appeared with his daughter Esha in his wife (Hema Malini)'s directorial venture, Tell Me O Khuda in 2011. In 2014, he played a double role in the Punjabi film, Double Di Trouble.[27]


In 2011, Dharmendra replaced Sajid Khan as the male judge of the third series of popular reality show India's Got Talent.[28]

On 29 July 2011, India's Got Talent aired on Colors with Dharmendra as the new judge and surpassed the opening ratings of the previous two seasons.[29]


Dharmendra was active in politics. He was elected as a Member of the Parliament in the 2004 general elections, from Bikaner in Rajasthan, on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. During his election campaign, he made an ironic remark that he should be elected Dictator perpetuo to teach "basic etiquette that democracy requires" for which he was severely criticized.[30] He rarely attended Parliament when the house was in session, preferring to spend the time shooting for movies or doing farm-work at his farm house.[31]


In 1983 Deol set up a production company known as Vijayta Films. Its first film was Betaab, released in 1983, starring his son Sunny Deol as the lead actor in his debut movie. The film was a blockbuster. In 1990 he produced the action flick Ghayal, also starring Sunny. The film won seven Filmfare Awards, including the Best Movie Award. It won National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Dharmendra launched the career of his younger son, Bobby, in 1995 in Barsaat.[32]

Personal life

Dharmendra with his sons Bobby Deol and Sunny Deol

Dharmendra's first marriage was to Parkash Kaur at the age of 19 in 1954. From his first marriage, he has two sons, Sunny and Bobby, both successful actors, and two daughters, Vijeeta and Ajeeta. He has four grandsons.

After moving to Mumbai and getting into the film business, Dharmendra wed Hema Malini after converting to Islam to stay married to his previous wife without having to get a divorce,[33] although he later denied any conversion to Islam.[34] He and Malini starred together in a number of movies in the early 1970s including the superhit film, Sholay.[35] She eventually married him in 1980. The couple has two daughters, Esha and Ahana Deol.


Civilian award

National Film Awards

Filmfare Awards


Other awards and recognitions


Latest films

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Metro Amol
Apne Baldev singh
Johnny Gaddaar Sheshadri
Om Shanti Om Himself Himself in song Deewangi Deewangi
2011Yamla Pagla Deewana Dharam Singh
Tell Me O Kkhuda
2013Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 Dharam Singh
2013 Singh Saab The Great Himself Cameo in the song Daaru band kal se
2014 Jatt Pardesi First Punjabi movie as a lead actor
2014 Double Di Trouble Ajiit With Gippy Grewal
2015 Second Hand Husband Ajiit With Gippy Grewal
2015 Ishq De Maare Mehar Sidhu Announced
2015 Cheers - Celebrating Life Arjan Singh Under Production


Year Film Notes
1975 Pratigya
1990 Ghayal National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

Filmfare Award for Best Movie

1995 Barsaat
2001 Indian
2003 23 March 1931: Shaheed
2005 Socha Na Tha
2007 Apne
2013 Yamla Pagla Deewana 2
2016 Ghayal Once Again

See also


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  2. "Hema Malini on 35th wedding anniversary" (Mid-day.com). Mid Day. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. NDTV Movies: Dharam still Garam at 77, ndtv.com; accessed 4 November 2016.
  4. "14th Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha.
  5. "Hema is still my dream girl: Dharmendra". The Times of India. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  6. "Top Box Office Draws of Indian Cinema". Ibosnetwork,com. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  7. "Padma Awards". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Watch In Conversation with The Deols". 13 November 2012. BBC Asian Network. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  9. "thedeols". Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  10. Sumbly, Vimal (4 January 2002). "Dharmendra walks down memory lane". Ludhiana Tribune. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  11. "Dharmendra nostalgic on visiting Dangon". Ludhiana Tribune. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  12. Sumbly, Vimal (2 May 2004). "From Ludhiana to Bikaner in support of Dharmendra". Ludhiana Tribune. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  13. "Affidavit". Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  14. 1 2 "Dharmendra - Action King: Romantic hero". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  15. Ranjana Das Gupta (4 November 2010). "My First Break: Dharmendra". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  16. "Dharmendra charms the Big Apple". Rediff. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  17. "Hema Malini 35th marriage anniversary" (Post.jagran.com). Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  18. Dinesh Raheja. "Satyakam: Dharmendra's best role of his career". rediff.com. Rediff. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  19. "That's Entertainment". The Times of India. 5 September 1986. p. 3.
  20. "Dharmendra - Action King: Comic leanings". The Indian Express. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  21. "The real stars of Bollywood". Rediff. 11 March 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  22. "I was the Salman Khan of my days: Dharmendra". The Financial Express. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  23. "Initial roadblocks were blessing in disguise: Abhay Deol". The Indian Express. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  24. Lambok Nongspung (1 November 2007). "Preity, Dharmendra in Shillong". Rediff. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  25. "'It's good that I did not get any award'". Rediff. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  26. "Yamla Pagla Deewana highlights". One India. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  27. Lalwani, Vickey (9 October 2013). "Dharmendra is all set to play a double role". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  28. "Bollywood's lucky for TV". The Indian Express. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  29. "Dharmendra fetches higher ratings for India's has Got Talent-3". The Times of India. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  30. "Congress makes Dharam garam". Rediff. 23 April 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  31. "Dharmendra - Action King: Political career". The Indian Express. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  32. "Dharmendra (I)". Internet Movie Database profile. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  33. "Celebrities who converted to Islam". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  34. "Dharmendra or "Dilawar Khan?"". Milli Gazette. 30 June 2004. Retrieved 18 June 2016. When his political rivals brought the issue to the notice of election authorities and the general public, he denied his conversion to Islam and change of name.
  35. "Dharmendra – Action King: Personal life". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  36. "Padma Awards2012". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  37. Koimoi.com Team. "Dacoit To Con Man: Dharmendra Posters On His Birthday!". Koimoi.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  38. "Top ten action heroes of Bollywood". filmyworld.com. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  39. Rangaraj, R. (14 March 2007). "FICCI-Frames award for Kamal Haasan". Channai Online. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  40. "Devdas sweeps movie awards". The Statesman. 29 March 2003.
  41. "Hrithik, Urmila win top honours at Zee awards ceremony". Daily Express. 27 February 2004.
  42. "Dharmendra gets an award – Sunday TOI". The Times of India. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  43. 1 2 "'Garam Dharam' still a hit with fans in US, Canada". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  44. "Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor win at 10th M.A.M.I event". IBOS. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  45. "Dharamendra, Asha Parekh get lifetime achievement award". The Indian Express. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  46. Kalyani Prasad Keshri. "Dabangg bags 5 Big Star Entertainment Awards". One India. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  47. "Dadasaheb Phalke awards 2011". breakingnewsonline. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  48. "Amitabh, Dharmendra honoured at Indian Television Awards". New Delhi: Hintustantimes. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  49. "PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2012 Winners". Punjabi Film Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Rameshwar Lal Dudi
Member of Parliament
for Bikaner

Succeeded by
Arjun Ram Meghwal
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