Actor / Producer / Director Hindi
Sunil Dutt Biography
Born : 06 June 1929, in Jhelum, Pakistaan
Death : 25 May 2005, in Bandra, Mumbai,India
He came into the public eye through radio, where he was a popular RJ on Radio Ceylon, one of the oldest stations in South Asia. From there, he was noticed by director Ramesh Saigal, who was impressed by his strong presence, which led to his entry into films, starting off with Railway Platform (1955). But his first major hit was Mother India (1957), where he acted alongside the well-known Bollywood actress Nargis, whom he later went on to marry.
The 1960s were his most prolific years where he starred in many major films such as Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960), Hum Hindustani (1960), Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965), Humraaz (1967), Padosan (1968), and Chirag (1969). He acted in a number of popular films in the 1970s as well, with hits like Jwala (1971), Geeta Mera Naam (1974), Nagin (1976), and Jaani Dushman (1979). As a director, he was not as successful, however, his movie Rocky (1981), where he launched his son Sanjay Dutt to fame, was well-loved by audiences.
Apart from mainstream Bollywood, Dutt undertook a number of unique film projects, such as being cast as the sole actor in the film Yaadein (1964), and a series of Punjabi devotional films like Man Jeete Jag Jeet (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), and Sat Sri Akal (1977).
Sunil Dutt’s final movie was Munnabhai MBBS (2003) where he performed a cameo role as the father of the protagonist, Sanjay Dutt, who is also his actual, biological son.
Dutt won a number of awards during his time, including the Padma Shri in 1968. Apart from that, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Awards for Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), and Khandan (1965), as well as the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. He also won the National Film Award for Yaadein (1964) as the Best Feature Film. Internationally, he was also acclaimed and given the Glory of India Award in London by the IIFS.
The death of his wife, Nargis in 1981, due to pancreatic cancer, deeply affected him. It led to his founding the Nargis Dutt Foundation and also his sponsorship of the India Project, which was involved with promoting treatment for patients of cancer. His family grew on to become prominent names within the film industry and politics, with Sanjay Dutt as a renowned actor, and Priya Dutt as a politician and one of his strongest supports during Sunil Dutt’s stint as a member of the Parliament. His daughters Priya Dutt and Namrata Dutt Kumar also co-authored a book titled Mr. and Mrs. Dutt: Memories of our Parents in 2007, that detailed the experiences of the Dutt family.
Sunil Dutt died on 25 May 2005 due to a heart attack at the age of 74. His political responsibilities were taken up by his daughter Priya Dutt. Dutt remains one of the most important figured in Indian film history due to his immense talent and social involvement outside of the industry.
- Nargis (1958 - 1981)