On Sunil Dutt’s birth anniversary let us take a look at his personal and professional life.
Sunil Dutt was born on 6 June 1929 Khurd Jhelum Punjab Province, British India (Now in Punjab, Pakistan).
Starting out in radio, with his command over Urdu language, Sunil Dutt was hugely popular on the Hindi Service of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. He moved to act in Hindi films and got introduced to the industry with 1955’s Railway Platform.
He joined Jai Hind College as an undergraduate and took up a job at the city’s BEST Transport division.
Dutt was one of the major stars of Hindi cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s and continued to star in many successful films which included Sadhna (1958), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965) and Padosan (1967). His collaboration with B.R. Chopra proved to be successful in films such as Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965) and Hamraaz (1967)
He launched his son Sanjay’s career with Rocky in 1981 which was a success. Shortly before the film’s release, Nargis died of pancreatic cancer. He founded the Nargis Dutt Foundation in her memory for the curing of cancer patients. He was a sponsor of the India Project, an organization akin to Operation Smile for the treatment of Indian children with facial deformities.
In 1968, he was honored by the Padma Shri by the Government of India
He also starred in a series of Punjabi religious movies in the 1970s: Man Jeete Jag Jeet (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), and Sat Sri Akal (1977). Even in 1980s, he starred in both leading &supporting role in several successful movies like Dard Ka Rishtaa(1982), Badle Ki Aag(1982), Raaj Tilak(1984), Mangal dada(1986)& Watan Ke Rakhwale(1987).
He retired from the film industry in the early 1990s to turn to politics after his last few releases including Yash Chopra’s Parampara (1992) and J.P. Dutta’s Kshatriya (1993). His political career was halted for some years in the early 1990s when he worked to free his son from jail after he was arrested for keeping an AK-56 that he claimed was for the protection of his family after bomb blasts in Mumbai.
In 1995 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry for four decades. He returned to acting shortly before his death in 2003’s Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. in which he shared the screen with son Sanjay for the first time although they had appeared earlier in Rocky and Kshatriya but not in the same scenes together.
Sunil Dutt died of a heart attack on 25 May 2005 at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. At the time of his death, he was the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Union Government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh and was the Member of Parliament from North-west Mumbai.