Dara Singh Randhawa, Hindi cinema’s first ‘he-man’ was born to Surat Singh and Shrimati Balwant Kaur in Amritsar. He was a world-famous wrestler, much before he got introduced to the Hindi film industry. Dara Singh is best remembered for his portrayal of Hanuman in Ramayana. He was trained in Pehlwani, a type of wrestling; and has taken on popular wrestlers like Stanislaus Zbyszko and Lou Thesz. In 1947, he won the wrestling Championship in Malaysia and there was no looking back for him after that. Dara Singh was married to Surjit Kaur Randhawa and the couple had five children. He announced his retirement from wrestling in his last tournament in Delhi in 1983.
Dara Singh began his career in acting in the early 1950’s with the movie Sangdil. He acted in several films like Sher Dil in 1965, Toofan in 1969, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge in 2000 and Jab We Met in 2007. During his lifetime he won several titles like Rustam - E - Punjab, Rustam - E - Hind and Rustam - E - Zaman. Dara Singh breathed his last on 12th July 2012 following a cardiac arrest.
Dara Singh was born on 19th of November in the year 1928 in Dharmuchak village, Amritsar (British India) to Surat Singh and Shrimati Balwant Kaur. Dara Singh married twice has a son named Parduman Singh Randhawa from his first marriage, who is an actor. He married Surjit Kaur Randhawa in the year 1961 and the couple had five children Vindhu Dara Singh, Amrik Singh Randhawa, Kamal Singh, Deepa Singh and Loveleen Singh.
Dara Singh, due to his huge physique, was encouraged to take up wrestling (pehlwani). He began wrestling frequently in carnivals and fairs. In 1947 he won the wrestling Championship in Malaysia and there after he participated in various wrestling competitions all over the world. He announced his retirement from wrestling in his last tournament in Delhi in 1983. He won his last completion and received the winning trophy from Giani Zail Singh. Dara Singh was admitted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.
TV and Acting Career:
Dara Singh started his career as an actor with the movie Sangdil in 1952. For many years, he played a stunt film actor and his first movie in a lead role was Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong in 1962. He acted with Mumtaz in 16 films and the couple became the highest-paid B-grade actors in Hindi film industry. He acted in over 148 films and some of his films include Pehli Jhalak (1954), Boxer (1965), Daku Mangal (1966), Jawan Mard (1966), Dharam Karam (1975), Ajooba (1991), Dillagi (1999), Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), Farz (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and Jab We Met (2007) which was his last Hindi movie while his last Punjabi movie was Dil Apna Punjabi. He worked in the National Award winning film Main Maa Punjab Dee which was directed by Balwant Singh Dullat.
Dara Singh has also done a few television serials in the late 1980s and his role of Hanuman in the series Ramayan was very much praised by the audience. He also worked with Prathviraj Kapoor in Khakaan, Daku Mangalsingh, Sikander-e-Aazam, Insaaf and Lootera. He acted in some television serial shows like Had Kar Di and Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa.
Dara Singh also directed seven Punjabi films like Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar, Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Rab Dian Rakhan, Dhyanu Bhagat etc. Hindi films which included Rustom in 1982 and Bhakti Mein Shakti were also directed by him. He wrote stories for a few films and also produced many under the banner "Dara Film”. He established his own studio ‘Dara Film Studio’ in Mohali in 1978.
Dara Singh was also the first sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha and he served as the Member of Parliament from 2003 to 2009. He also served as the president of the Jat Mahasabha, Bombay Jat Samaj and Cine Artist Association.
Ill Health and Death:
Dara Singh was admitted in Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital following a cardiac arrest on 7 July 2012. He breathed his last on 12 July 2012 at his residence in Mumbai. His last rites were performed in Juhu crematorium.
Words and Wishes:
“Dara Singh ji passed away this morning. A great Indian and one of the finest humans..An entire era of his celebrated presence gone”!
Shah Rukh Khan
“Wrestlers r made of sweat, determination & a hard to find alloy called guts...most apt for Dara Singhji our very own Superman. Will miss u sir”.
“Dara Singh passes away! Memories of this warm 'pehlwan' turned actor flicker in my memory.When childhood heroes die the world looks desolate”.
“Dara ji passes away. Had the honour of working with him in Shararat. The most gentle and kind man. Really looked up to him. Will miss him. He was always so loving and gave the best hugs. Remember meeting him for the 1st time while dad was shooting Mard. Was convinced that he truly was the only human who could not be pulled apart by even airplanes”.
“DARA SINGH.....have the most heartfelt memories.....”.
“Dara Singh ji was LARGER than life but never made anyone feel dwarfed with his presence. The strongest and the humblest. A Hero All The Way”.
“The gentlest giant is no more.Dara uncle the 1st ever action hero of our country,rest in peace”.
Awards and Recognition:
Dara Singh won the Professional Indian Wrestling Championship in the year 1953 and the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship by defeating Canadian Champion George Godianko in 1959. He also won the World Wrestling Championship by defeating Lou Theze of America in 1968. Dara Singh was honored with Rustam-e-Hind title in 1954 and also won the National Wrestling Alliance Canadian Open Tag Team Championship, with Yukon Ericin 1958. In 1966 he was honored with the Rustam-e-Punjab title. Dara Singh was admitted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996. The Government of India awarded him the Best Actor Award for the film Jagga.
Wife: Surjit Kaur Randhawa
Son: Vindu Dara Singh, Parduman Randhawa and Amrik Singh Randhawa
Daughter-in-law: Dina Umarova
Daughter: Deepa Singh, Kamal Singh and Loveleen Singh
Grandchildren: Fateh Randhawa and Amelia Randhawa
(FAN OF Mr. DARA SINGH)
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