A teacher’s son from the hinterlands of Punjab, who dreamt of doing what Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor did on the screen, and expecting to own ‘a fiat and a fiat’ consequently, has emerged as one of the most loved icons of Hindi cinema.
This ever-humble Jat attributes his hand-earned superstardom and global following to parental blessings, the Power Above, and the love of the people. It’s been over fifty-five years of blockbusters like Phool aur Patthar, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Sholay, Yaadon Ki Baarat, Paratiggya, Chupke Chupke and Dharam-Veer with fabulous performances in many of these and notable productions including Satyakam, Betaab and Ghayal.
What’s more, this Padma Bhushan awardee has also dabbled awardee has also dabble sincerely albeit fruitlessly in politics and writes poetry that comes straight from his heart. There may be a million stars, but there can be only one Dharmendra.
Rajiv M.Vijayakar has been an entertainment journalist for over twenty-six years, and has twice been National Film Awards Jury member. He is also a consultant at India’s first music-based museum in Bangalore. An authority on Indian films, he is the author of The History of Indian Film Music.
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