Birthday Exclusive: Dharmendra
Named as 'the most handsome man' during the beginning of his B'town career, he reigned through the '70s and '80s, eventually appearing in more than 250 movies.
He was born to a Sikh Jat family in Punjab where he lived throughout his childhood and then moved to Mumbai to look for work.
He made his debut in 1960 beside the late Balraj Sahni and Kum Kum in 'Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere'.
He began getting noticed after his performance in the movie 'Phool Aur Patthar' in 1966 and bagged the title of the new action hero in town. He shared the screen with Meena Kumari and Shashikala.
His next hit was his much loved role in 'Anupama', starring Sharmila Tagore and Shashikala. The movie was nominated for seven awards at the Filmfare that year.
In 1969, he was seen in the pre independence era based movie 'Satyakam' beside Sanjeev Kumar, Sharmila Tagore and Ashok Kumar. His complex role was critically acclaimed and is even considered to be his finest roles till date.
But the cherry on the cake belongs to the ground breaking hit 'Sholay' in which Dharmendra etched his role onto the most unforgettable performances in Indian cinema.
During his reign, he was most noted for his performances in action oriented movies, including 'Dharam Veer', 'Bhagawat', 'Jaani Dost', 'Charas' and 'Azaad'.
But after the 90's, he was seen in fewer number of movies, probably giving way to his sons to take his position in Bollywood. His last few hits include 'Metro', 'Johnny Gaddaar' and shaking a leg in 'Om Shanti Om'.
He has his own home production that he established with his family known as Vijayta Films. He produced the 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' series, 'Apne', 'Socha Na Tha' and '23 March 1931: Shaheed'. All his produced movies have his sons in the lead except
In 1954, when he was just 19, he married Prakash Kaur.
Dharam had four children from his marriage to Prakash Kaur - Sunny, Bobby, Vijayta and Ajeeta Deol. He even acted as his sons 'reel' fathers in their home production movies.
A very married Dharmendra fell in love with 'Dream Girl' Hema Malini on the sets of ‘Sholay’. Before he wed Hema, he converted to Islam, since his first wife was unwilling to give him a divorce. This way he could have both women in his life.
Hema and Dharam have been married for over 30 years and have two daughters - Esha and Ahana Deol.
He played father to real-life daughter Esha Deol for the movie 'Tell Me O Kkhuda', which was directed by Hema Malini.
He received the Padma Bhushan in 2012 and won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
He tried his luck with politics and became a Member of the Parliament in 2004.
He is currently a judge on popular reality show 'India's Got Talent' beside Sonali Bendre and Kirron Kher.
Here's wishing this once upon a time Action King, a very happy birthday!