Dharmendra in 2023
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
13 May 2004 – 16 May 2009
Preceded byRameshwar Lal Dudi
Succeeded byArjun Ram Meghwal
Personal details
Dharmendra Kewal Krishan Deol

(1935-12-08) 8 December 1935 (age 88)
Nasrali, Punjab, British India[1]
(present-day Punjab, India)
NationalityBritish Indian (1935–1947)
Indian (1947–present)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
  • Parkash Kaur
    (m. 1954)
  • (m. 1980)
Children6; (including Sunny, Bobby and Esha)
RelativesSee Deol family
Alma materRamgarhia College, Phagwara
Panjab University, Chandigarh
  • Actor
  • politician
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2012)

Dharmendra Kewal Krishan Deol (born 8 December 1935) is an Indian actor, producer, and politician who is primarily known for his work in Hindi films. Nicknamed the "He-Man" of Bollywood, Dharmendra is widely regarded to be amongst the most handsome Indian actors of his time.[2][3][4][5][6] In 2012, he received the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, from the Government of India.[7] Dharmendra has worked in over 300 films in a career spanning over six decades.[8][9] He is considered one of the most successful actors in the history of Hindi cinema.[10][11]

After making his debut in a small film, Dharmendra first gained popularity in the mid-1960s for films, such as Ayee Milan Ki Bela, Kaajal, Phool Aur Patthar among others.[12] He then achieved greater stardom in later years, dubbed India's Garam Dharam for several of his on-screen roles in Hindi films. He consistently starred in top grossing Hindi films since the late 1960s to 1980s, including Ankhen, Shikar, Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke, Jeevan Mrityu, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Seeta Aur Geeta, Raja Jani, Jugnu, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Dost, Sholay, Pratiggya, Charas, Dharam Veer, Chacha Bhatija, Azaad, Ram Balram, Kaatilon Ke Kaatil, Ghulami, Hukumat, Aag Hi Aag, Elaan-E-Jung and Tahalka,[13][14][15] as well as some of his most acclaimed performances, include Anpadh, Bandini, Haqeeqat, Anupama, Mamta, Majhli Didi, Satyakam, Samadhi, Resham Ki Dori, Chupke Chupke, Dillagi and The Burning Train.[16][17]

Beginning in the late 1990s, he appeared in character roles in several successful and acclaimed films, such as Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, Life in a... Metro, Apne, Johnny Gaddaar, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani and Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya.[18][19][20]

In 1997, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Bollywood. He was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India, representing the Bikaner constituency in Rajasthan from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[21]

Early and personal life

Dharmendra with his father

Dharmendra was born as Dharmendra Kewal Krishan Deol[22] in Nasrali, a village in Ludhiana district, Punjab, British India on 8 December 1935. He was born to Kewal Krishan[22] and Satwant Kaur[23] into a Punjabi Jat family.[24][25][26][27] His ancestral village is Dangon, near Pakhowal Tehsil Raikot, Ludhiana.[28][26]

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 headmaster.[29] He did his matriculation in Phagwara in 1952.[30] In those days, schools of Punjab came under Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Dharmendra with his sons, Bobby (on left), Sunny Deol (right hand side)

Dharmendra's first marriage was to Parkash Kaur at the age of 19 in 1954, before he had entered films.[31] He had two sons from this marriage, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol, both successful film actors; and two daughters, Vijeeta and Ajeeta. His nephew Abhay Deol is also an actor.[32]

After moving to Bombay and entering films, Dharmendra married Hema Malini, which caused controversy at the time since he was already married. Rumours began to circulate about Dharmendra and Hema Malini converting to Islam for this marriage.[33][34] He and Malini starred together in a number of movies in the early 1970s, including Sholay.[35][36] The couple has two daughters, Esha Deol (an actress, born in 1981) and Ahana Deol (an assistant director, born in 1985).

His grandson, Bobby Deol's son, is also named "Dharam", after him.[37]

In 2019, Dharmendra's grandson, Sunny Deol's elder son, Karan Deol, made his debut as an actor with Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, which was directed by Sunny Deol.[38] In 2023, Sunny Deol's younger son, Rajveer Deol, made his debut as an actor with Dono, directed by Avnish R. Barjatya, Sooraj R. Barjatya's son.

Dharmendra has a farmhouse in Lonavala. His family resides in Juhu, Mumbai.[39]

In 2023, he expressed that Bollywood neglected his family and never appreciated his family's contribution to cinema.[40]


1960s: Early career and rise to prominence

Signed photograph of Dharmendra in 1965

Dharmendra was the winner of Filmfare magazine's nationally organised new talent award and went to Mumbai from Punjab to work in the movie. However, it was never made. He later made his film debut in 1960 with Arjun Hingorani's romantic drama Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere.[41][42] The film largely went unnoticed and as a result, did not perform that well at the box office.[13] He saw his first commercial success in 1961 with Ramesh Saigal's Shola Aur Shabnam and followed it with hits, such as Mohan Kumar's Anpadh (1962) and Bimal Roy's Bandini (1963), which won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.[43][44][45]

His breakthrough came in 1964 when he co-starred alongside Rajendra Kumar and Saira Banu in Ayee Milan Ki Bela.[46] It went on to become a blockbuster at the box office and despite playing the antagonist, Dharmendra got noticed by audience.[47] The same year, he played the lead in Chetan Anand's war-drama Haqeeqat.[48] Based on the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the film proved to be a major critical and commercial success, eventually emerging a superhit with one of its song "Ab Tumhare Hawaale Watan Saathiyon", a solo by Mohammed Rafi becoming hugely popular among the masses.[49][50] In 1965, he had another superhit in Ram Maheshwari's romantic drama Kaajal.[51] The film also had Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar and Padmini in the lead.[52]

In 1966, Dharmendra reunited with Kumari for O. P. Ralhan's Phool Aur Patthar.[53] The film topped the box office chart in 1966, becoming a blockbuster and making him a saleable star.[54][55] He received his first nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Actor category for the film. The success of Phool Aur Patthar was followed by hits in Mamta, Devar, Anupama and Aaye Din Bahar Ke.[56] He was also given a souvenir at the 14th National Film Awards in recognition of his performance in Anupama.[57] The following year, he worked in moderately successful, but critically acclaimed films like - Dulhan Ek Raat Ki opposite Nutan and Majhli Didi, Chandan Ka Palna, both opposite Kumari.[58][59] Dharmendra hit the big league in 1968 with Atma Ram's mystery thriller Shikar and Ramanand Sagar's spy thriller Ankhen.[60][61] Both the films opened to extremely positive audience response and emerged blockbusters at the box office with the latter being the top grosser of that year.[13]

The year 1969 saw the rise of superstar Rajesh Khanna, who stormed the nation with back-to-back blockbusters in Aradhana and Do Raaste.[62] With his rise, a number of stars went through career decline.[63] During this phase, Dharmendra and Manoj Kumar were the only actors who remained unaffected by Khanna's popularity.[64] That same year, Dharmendra had a huge hit in Raghunath Jhalani's Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke and received immense acclaim for his portrayal of a righteous man in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Satyakam.[65]

1970s: Superstardom

The year 1970 was a notable one for Dharmendra as he delivered four major successes and formed a hit pair with Hema Malini.[41] His first release was Satyen Bose's crime drama Jeevan Mrityu.[66] An adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's novel The Count of Monte Cristo, it proved to be major critical and commercial success, eventually emerging a blockbuster and one of the top earners of 1970.[67] His next two films, Bhappi Sonie's Tum Haseen Main Jawan and Asit Sen's Sharafat, both opposite Malini proved to be superhits at the box office.[56] This was followed by a flop in Ishq Par Zor Nahin alongside Sadhana and a hit in Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan? with Babita.[56] Dharmendra's final release of 1970 was Raj Kapoor's magnum opus Mera Naam Joker, in which he played a supporting role.[68] Although the film was a disaster at the time of release, it attained cult status in later years, with many critics hailing it as one of the best Indian films of all time.[69][70] In 1971, Dharmendra starred in Raj Khosla's action drama Mera Gaon Mera Desh.[71] The film went on to become a historic blockbuster and established his image of an action hero.[72] The large success of this film also made the industry shift to action from romantic films.[13] Dharmendra received his second nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Actor category for his performance in Mera Gaon Mera Desh.[73] His flow of hits continued in the following year with another major blockbuster in Seeta Aur Geeta and superhits in Raja Jani, Samadhi and Do Chor.[74] The mass hysteria created by Mera Gaon Mera Desh in 1971, followed by back-to-back hits with Seeta Aur Geeta, Raja Jani, Samadhi and Do Chor in 1972 took Dharmendra to number 1 position among his contemporaries, thus making him a Superstar.[55][75][76]

1973 proved to be the best year of his career.[13] His first release which was A. Bhimsingh's action crime film Loafer emerged a superhit with its songs, including "Aaj Mausam Bada Be-Imaan", "Main Tere Ishq Mein", "Koi Shehri Babu" becoming immensely popular among the masses and making its soundtrack one of the best selling Hindi film albums of the 1970s.[77][78][79] This was followed by mystery thriller Jheel Ke Us Paar and action drama Jugnu.[80][81] While Jheel Ke Us Paar was a hit, the latter proved to be a blockbuster in India as well as Soviet Union, eventually taking 2nd spot at the box office in 1973.[14] Owing to its huge success, Jugnu was also remade in Tamil and Telugu as Guru (1980).[82] His next two releases were - Ravikant Nagaich's spy thriller Keemat and Adurthi Subba Rao's light-hearted drama film Jwaar Bhata.[83][84] Both the films received critical acclaim and emerged moderately successful.[13] Towards the end of year, Dharmendra appeared in Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Blackmail and Kahani Kismat Ki.[85][86][87] Yaadon Ki Baaraat, directed by Nasir Hussain and written by Salim-Javed is widely identified as the first masala film of Indian cinema and proved to be another blockbuster for the actor as well as the second best selling Hindi film album of the 1970s.[88][13][89] On the other hand, Vijay Anand's romantic thriller Blackmail was an unsuccessful venture critically and commercially, but reception later improved, with many calling it one of Anand's most underrated works.[90] The song "Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas" filmed on Dharmendra and Raakhee was a chartbuster and remains popular till date.[91] His final release of the year, Arjun Hingorani's actioner Kahani Kismat Ki continued his dream run and emerged a superhit at the box office.[92] The following year, Dharmendra added one more blockbuster in his kitty with Dulal Guha's social drama Dost co-starring Shatrughan Sinha and Hema Malini.[93] The huge box office success of Dost was followed by a hit in Patthar Aur Payal and a semi-hit in Resham Ki Dori.[94] For his performance in the latter, Dharmendra received his 4th and final nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Actor category.[95]

The 1975 Emergency had angered the public, and this helped films featuring the lead character revolting against corruption and establishment become successes. The shift from romantic and social movies to action oriented multi-starrers changed the box office. The year saw the rise of another superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, but Dharmendra remained rock-steady and continued to deliver huge hits.[96]

In 1975, Dharmendra appeared alongside Bachchan in two films. The first was Mukherjee's light-hearted comedy Chupke Chupke.[97] It received positive response from critics and went on to become a hit at the box office.[98][99] The second was Ramesh Sippy's actioner Sholay.[100] It released on 15 August 1975, Indian Independence Day, in Bombay. Due to lackluster reviews and a lack of effective visual marketing tools, it saw poor financial returns in its first two weeks. However, from the third week onward, viewership picked up owing to positive word of mouth.[101] During the initial slow period, the director and writer considered re-shooting some scenes so that Amitabh Bachchan's character would not die. When business picked up, they abandoned this idea.[102] After additionally releasing a soundtrack containing dialogue snippets,[103] Sholay soon became an "overnight sensation".[104] The film was then released in other distribution zones such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, and Hyderabad on 11 October 1975.[105] It became the highest-grossing Hindi language film of 1975, and film ranking website Box Office India has given the film a verdict of All Time Blockbuster.[93] Sholay went on to earn a still-standing record of 60 golden jubilees[a] across India,[104] and was the first film in India to celebrate a silver jubilee[b] at over 100 theatres.[104] It was shown continuously at Bombay's Minerva theatre for over five years and also ran in Kolkata's Jyoti Cinema for 103 weeks.[106][107] Sholay was the Indian film with the longest theatrical run until Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) broke its record of 286 weeks in 2001.[108][109] Before the end of year, he delivered another blockbuster in Pratiggya.[110] The film along with its strong action scenes also had a significant comic track in the form of "slapstick" comedy which led to it being referred as a "masterpiece in comedy".[111][112] In 1976, Dharmendra reunited with Ramanand Sagar for the action thriller Charas.[113] Set against the backdrop of the expulsion of Indian community from Uganda by its dictator Idi Amin in 1972, it opened to bumper response all over the nation and emerged a superhit at the box office.[114] His other release of the year, M. A. Thirumugam's family drama film Maa was thrashed by critics, but still went on to become a commercial success.[115] The year 1977 proved to be a big one for Dharmendra with an All Time Blockbuster in Manmohan Desai's action drama film Dharam Veer, a superhit in another of Desai's masala film Chacha Bhatija followed by hits in Arjun Hingorani's mystery thriller Khel Khilari Ka and Pramod Chakravorty's action comedy film Dream Girl.[116] In the United Kingdom, Dharam Veer had 23 shows in 5 cities. Driven by the success of Rafi's songs, the film took a record initial of £50,000 in the UK, equivalent to 438,140 (US$50,001.71).[117] In addition, the film sold 32 million tickets in the Soviet Union.[118]

Post-1977, the quality of Dharmendra's films dropped and so the number of big hits, but his initial draw remained intact, owing to which the flow of successes continued till the early 90s.[13] In 1978, he had a superhit in Azaad and a moderate success in Phandebaaz.[94] He also starred in Indo-US Production Shalimar which was the most expensive film ever made in India at that time.[119][120] Shalimar did not perform well commercially, but its soundtrack composed by R. D. Burman was successful with popular songs, including "Hum Bewafaa Hargiz Na The" sung by Kishore Kumar, "Mera Pyaar Shalimar" and "One Two Cha Cha" sung by Asha Bhosle and Usha Uthup, respectively.[121] The soundtrack was later featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[122] Dharmendra concluded the decade with a hit in Mohan Sehgal's action drama Kartavya which was a remake of Kannada blockbuster Gandhada Gudi (1973).[123] He also appeared in Dil Kaa Heera which ended up as an average fare.[124]

1980s: Continued success, decline and resurgence

In 1980, Dharmendra reunited with Bachchan and Vijay Anand for Ram Balram.[125] It became a hit at the box office and was the third highest-grossing film of 1980.[99] His other notable releases of the year were - The Burning Train and Alibaba Aur 40 Chor.[126][127] The Burning Train did average business, but received positive response from critics for the performances of the cast, action sequences and music. Today, it is widely regarded as a cult classic.[128] Alibaba Aur 40 Chor was a hit in India and a blockbuster in overseas. In the Soviet Union, it was the fifth top-grossing domestic film of 1980, and the 32nd highest-grossing domestic film of all time, with 52.8 million box office admissions.[129] This was equivalent to approximately 13.2 million Rbls[130] ($20.5 million,[131] ₹161.13 million).[132] Worldwide, the film grossed $28.13 million (₹221.13 million). This is equivalent to $104 million (₹7.7 billion) adjusted for inflation in 2023. In terms of footfalls, the film sold an estimated 21 million tickets in India[133][134] and 52.8 million tickets in the Soviet Union,[129] for an estimated total of 74 million tickets sold worldwide. Before the end of year, Dharmendra also made a brief appearance in B.R. Chopra's highly successful revenge drama Insaaf Ka Tarazu.[135] The following year, he scored a superhit with Arjun Hingorani's multi-starrer actioner Kaatilon Ke Kaatil, but his other two releases - Subhash Ghai's action thriller Krodhi and J. Om Prakash's romantic comedy Aas Paas flopped commercially.[136] In 1982, Dharmendra reunited with Jeetendra and Mohan Sehgal for the mega-budget action-adventure film Samraat.[137] It received positive response from critics and emerged a hit at the box office.[138] The success of Samraat was followed by another hit in C.P. Dixit's action comedy film Ghazab opposite Rekha.[139] He also appeared in multi-starrers, Rajput, Teesri Aankh and Baghavat, all three of which took excellent initial, but ended up as average fares.[140]

In 1983, he delivered hits in Naukar Biwi Ka and Qayamat, but the big-budget period drama Razia Sultan flopped miserably and is only remembered for the song "Aye Dil-E-Nadaan" by Lata Mangeshkar.[141][142] This changed in 1984 with couple of successes in films like Jeene Nahi Doonga, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Baazi and Jagir.[143][94] In the Soviet Union, Jagir was the top-grossing Indian film of the year, with 38 million admissions at the Soviet box office.[144] 1985 marked a setback in Dharmendra's career as almost all his releases that year sank without a trace, with J. P. Dutta's action drama film Ghulami co-starring Mithun Chakraborty being the only exception.[145]

The downturn continued in 1986 with two of his hugely anticipated actioners, Main Balwaan and Sultanat, both directed by Mukul S. Anand, proving to be critical and commercial disasters.[146] Following two consecutive unsuccessful years, Dharmendra made a comeback in 1987 by delivering eight successful films in the year.[147] His first two releases, Insaniyat Ke Dushman and Loha proved to be hits, while the next two, Hukumat and Aag Hi Aag emerged superhits, with the former being the highest-earning film of that year.[148] This was followed by four other commercial successes in Watan Ke Rakhwale, Insaaf Ki Pukar, Dadagiri and Jaan Hatheli Pe.[55] His good run continued in 1988 and 1989 with hits in T. Rama Rao's Khatron Ke Khiladi and Anil Sharma's Elaan-E-Jung, respectively.[149][150]

1990s and 2000s: Final works as a lead and shift to character roles

With the beginning of new decade, Dharmendra's star power began to wane. His last hit as a main lead came in 1992 with Anil Sharma's action adventure film Tahalka.[151] The following year, he appeared in J. P. Dutta's ensemble action film Kshatriya co-starring Sunil Dutt, Vinod Khanna, Rakhee Gulzar, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Meenakshi Seshadri, Raveena Tandon and Divya Bharti.[152] Despite enormous expectations and presence of some of the biggest stars of the time, Kshatriya was rejected by the audience.[153] During this phase, he delivered average grossers in Policewala Gunda (1995) and Mafia (1996), but his other releases, including biggies, such as Maidan-E-Jung (1995) and Return of Jewel Thief (1996) proved to be critical and commercial failures.[154][155][156][157]

In 1997, Dharmendra received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. While accepting the award from Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu, he became emotional and remarked that he had never won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor despite having worked in so many successful films and nearly a hundred popular films.[158] 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?".[159]

Since the late 1990s, Dharmendra has appeared in character roles. His first film in such a role was Sohail Khan's Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998).[160] The film received positive reviews from critics and became a superhit at the box office, but his next two notable releases, Kaise Kahoon Ke... Pyaar Hai (2003) and Kis Kis Ki Kismat (2004) were major commercial failures.[161][162][163]

After an absence from big screen for a brief period of time, he returned with three films in 2007. These were - Anurag Basu's drama film Life in a... Metro, Anil Sharma's sports drama Apne and Sriram Raghavan's neo-noir thriller Johnny Gaddaar.[164][165] Both, Life in a... Metro and Apne proved to be critical and commercial successes.[166][167] Johnny Gaddaar, despite failing at the box office, received praise from critics and attained cult status in later years.[19][168] In 2011, Dharmendra starred in Yamla Pagla Deewana and Tell Me O Kkhuda. Tell Me O Kkhuda was a box office disaster,[169] but Yamla Pagla Deewana did well and emerged a hit.[170] He then appeared in sequels to Yamla Pagla Deewana, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 (2013) and Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se (2018), but unlike the first film, both the sequels received poor audience response.[171]

In 2023, he appeared in Karan Johar's ensemble family drama Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.[172] It opened to polarising response from reviewers, but grossed over 3.5 billion (US$42 million) worldwide and proved to be a hit as well as the tenth highest-grossing Indian film of the year.[173][174] The following year, he co-starred alongside Shahid Kapoor and Kriti Sanon in the romantic comedy Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya.[175] The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics, but still did a lifetime business of 1.3 billion (US$16 million) worldwide to emerge a commercial success.[176]

Frequent collaborations

His most successful pairing was with Hema Malini, who went on to become his wife.[41] The couple played together in many films including Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Sharafat, Naya Zamana, Seeta Aur Geeta, Raja Jani, Jugnu, Dost, Patthar Aur Payal, Sholay, Charas, Maa, Chacha Bhatija and Azaad.[177]

He has worked with various directors, each with a different style of film-making.[178] His longest collaboration was with director Arjun Hingorani from 1960 to 1991. 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.[179][180] 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, Jugnu, Dream Girl and Azaad. Anil Sharma worked with him in many films including Hukumat, Elaan-E-Jung, Farishtay, Tahalka and Apne.

Works in other languages

He has periodically appeared in films in his native tongue of Punjabi, starring in Kankan De Ohle (1970), Do Sher (1974), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), Teri Meri Ik Jindri (1975), Putt Jattan De (1982) and Qurbani Jatt Di (1990). He returned to Punjabi cinema after a gap with the 2014 film Double Di Trouble.[181][182]

Other works

Political career

Dharmendra served as a Member of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Bharatiya Janata Party representing Bikaner in Rajasthan from 2004 to 2009. During his election campaign in 2004, he made an offensive remark that he should be elected dictator perpetuo to teach "basic etiquette that democracy requires" for which he was severely criticised.[183] He rarely attended Parliament when the house was in session, preferring to spend time shooting movies or working at his farmhouse, for which he was also widely criticised.[184]

Television career

In 2011, Dharmendra replaced Sajid Khan as the male judge of the third series of popular reality show India's Got Talent.[185] On 29 July 2011, the show aired on Colors TV with Dharmendra as the new judge and surpassed the opening ratings of the previous two seasons.[186]

In 2023, he appeared in his first television acting role as Salim Chisti in the historical series Taj: Divided by Blood which is available on ZEE5.[187]

Producing and presenting films

In 1983, Dharmendra set up a production company known as Vijayta Films. In its maiden venture Betaab, released in 1983, Vijayta Films launched Dharmendra's elder son Sunny Deol as the lead actor.[188] The movie was the second highest-grossing movie of the year. In 1990 he produced the action film Ghayal, also starring Sunny. The film won seven Filmfare Awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film.[189][190][191] It won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Dharmendra then launched the career of his younger son, Bobby, in 1995 with Barsaat, which was again a superhit at the box office.[192][193]

He was the presenter for his films like Satyakam (1969) and Kab Kyun Aur Kahan (1970).


Dharmendra's signed photo
Dharmendra at an event in 2011

Dharmendra is widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in Indian cinema.[194][195] He was considered one of the most handsome men in the world during his early career[196] and is widely known as the "He-Man" of Bollywood. In 2022, he was placed in Outlook India's "75 Best Bollywood Actors" list.[197] Rediff.com placed him 10th in its "Top 10 Bollywood Actors of All Time" list.[198]

His most notable acting performances include Satyakam with Hrishikesh Mukherjee,[199] 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.[200]

When Dilip Kumar was giving Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award to Dharmendra, he 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?".[201] One of the most successful actors of 1970s and 1980s, Dharmendra appeared in Box Office India's "Top Actors" list eighteen times from 1968 to 1984 and 1987. He topped the list four times (1972-1975).[55]


Main article: Dharmendra filmography

Accolades and honours

Dharmendra being awarded in 2017

Civilian award

Main article: Civilian award

National Film Awards

Main article: National Film Awards

Filmfare Awards

Main article: Filmfare Awards

Year Category Film Result
1965 Best Supporting Actor Ayee Milan Ki Bela Nominated
1967 Best Actor Phool Aur Patthar Nominated
1972 Mera Gaon Mera Desh Nominated
1974 Yaadon Ki Baaraat Nominated
1975 Resham Ki Dori Nominated
1984 Best Comedian Naukar Biwi Ka Nominated
Best Film Betaab Nominated
1991 Best Film Ghayal Won
1997 Lifetime Achievement Award Won

Other awards and recognitions

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ A golden jubilee means that a film has completed 50 consecutive weeks of showing in a single theatre.
  2. ^ A silver jubilee means that a film has completed 25 consecutive weeks of showing in a single theatre.


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  14. ^ a b "Blockbusters Of Twenty-Five Years (1973-1997)". 13 October 2023.
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