Dara Singh

Dara Singh Randhawa (born Deedar Singh Randhawa; 19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012) was an Indian professional wrestler, actor and politician. He started acting in 1952 and was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India. He worked as Hindi and Punjabi film producer, director and writer, and he acted in films and television. He is known for his undefeated worldwide streak in wrestling and later being a successful movie star. His role of Hanuman in film Bajrangi (1976) and in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan made him popular.

Dara Singh
Singh at Pran's birthday party in February 2010
Born
Deedar Singh Randhawa

(1928-11-19)19 November 1928
Died12 July 2012(2012-07-12) (aged 83)
NationalityBritish Indian (1928-1947)
Indian (1947-2012; his death)
OccupationProfessional wrestler, actor, politician
Years active1947–1983 (wrestler)
1950–2012 (actor)
2003–2009 (politician)
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
TitleRustam-e-Hind
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)
Bachno Kaur (m. 19421952)

Surjit Kaur (m. 1961)
Children6 including;
Vindu Dara Singh
FamilySee Randhawa family
Ring name(s)Dara Singh
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight127 kg (280 lb)
Billed fromPunjab, India
Trained byHarnam Singh
Debut1948
Retired1983
Websitedara-singh.com

Early life

Randhawa was born in a Jat Sikh family as Deedar Singh Randhawa on 19 November 1928[3][4] in the village of Dharmuchak in the Majha area of the Punjab region of India. At the time, it was still under British Raj colonial rule.[5][6]

Career

Professional wrestling

He came to Singapore in 1947, where he worked in a drum-manufacturing mill and began his wrestling training under Harnam Singh in the Great World Stadium.[7] As an adult he was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall,[2] weighed 127 kilograms (280 lb) and had a chest measurement of 53 inches (130 cm). Due to his physique, he was encouraged to take up pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling. After switching to professional wrestling, he competed around the world with opponents such as Bill Verna, Firpo Zbyszko, John Da Silva, Rikidōzan, Danny Lynch and Ski Hi Lee His flooring of King Kong is still remembered.[8]

In 1954 Dara competed in the Rustam-e-Hind (Champion of India) tournament where he won the final by defeating Tiger Joginder Singh and received a silver cup from Maharaja Hari Singh.[9] In 1959, he won the Commonwealth Championship by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta. On 29 May 1968 in Bombay, his victory over Lou Thesz earned him the World championship.[10][11] His last tournament, where he announced his retirement, was held in Delhi in June 1983.[12] In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. On 7 April 2018 WWE inducted him in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy class of 2018.[13]

Films and television

Singh left his village for Singapore in 1948.[6] He started his career as an actor in 1952 with Sangdil.[14] He was a stunt film actor for many years and played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong (1962).[15] From around 1963 he partnered often with Mumtaz, with whom he performed in 16 Hindi films. The couple became the highest-paid B-grade actors, with Singh receiving nearly four lakh rupees per film.[16]

He then went on to do television in the late 1980s, where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan.[17] He also had roles in numerous films, such as Veer Bheem Sen and Ramayan, and in other television serials. He starred as Bhima in various Mahabharata movies, besides also playing balram, he also starred as Shiva in various mythological movies.

His last Hindi movie was Jab We Met and the last Punjabi movie released before his illness was Dil Apna Punjabi. He acted in National Award-winning film Main Maa Punjab Dee directed by Balwant Singh Dullat. He directed seven Punjabi films including Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar, Dhyanu Bhagat and Rab Dian Rakhan. He also directed two films in Hindi; Bhakti Mein Shakti and Rustom (1982), which were produced and directed under the banner "Dara Film" which he set up in 1970.[15]

Dara Studio

Singh was the owner of Dara Studio[18] at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The studio was operational from 1980 as a film studio.

Politics

Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in January 1998.[19] He became the first sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha — the upper house of the Parliament of India. He served in that role between 2003 and 2009. He was also president of the Jat Mahasabha.[14][20]

Comics

The son of Dara Singh, Vindu Dara Singh, launched first comic book The Epic Journey of the Great Dara Singh at Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in February 2019.[21]

Personal life

Dara Singh Randhawa married twice. He had three sons and three daughters, including Parduman Randhawa and Vindu Dara Singh.[1] His brother Randhawa was also a wrestler and actor.

Death

Dara Singh was admitted into Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 7 July 2012 following a massive heart attack. Two days later, it was confirmed that he had brain damage due to the lack of blood flow.[22] He was discharged from hospital on 11 July 2012 and died the next day at his home in Mumbai.[23] He was cremated at Juhu crematorium.[24][25]

Filmography

As actor

YearTitleRoleNotes Ref.
1952Sangdil[14]
1954Pehli Jhalak[15]Wrestler Dara Singh
1960 Engal Selvi Tamil film [26]
1962King Kong[15]Jingu / King Kong
1963Faulad[15]Faulad Singh
1963Rustom-E-Baghdad[14]Dara/Rustom-E-Baghdad
1963Awara Abdulla[17]Abdulla
1964Samson[15]Samson
1964Aaya ToofanDeepu
1964JaggaJagga Daku
1964Aandhi Aur Toofan[17]
1964Darasingh: Ironman[17]Dara Singh
1965Rustom-E-Hind[15]
1965Boxer[17]
1965Sher Dil[14]
1965Raaka[14]
1965Sikandar-E-Azam[14][15]Alexander
1965Lootera[17]
1966Naujawan[15]
1966Veer Bajrang[15]
1966Dada
1966Daku Mangal Singh[17]Daku Mangal Singh/ Kumar
1966Jawan Mard
1967Chand Par Chadayee
1967Do Dushman
1967Watan Se Door[14]
1967Nasihat
1968Jung Aur Aman[17]
1968Balram Shri KrishnaBalram
1969Thief of Baghdad[15]
1969Faulad Ki Aulad
1969ToofanBadal
1970Choron Ka ChorAshok
1970IlzaamRaju/Kishan
1970Mera Naam Joker[14][15]Sher Singh
1970Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar[17]Kartar SinghPunjabi film
1971Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon[17]
1971Ramu UstadRamu
1971Tulsi VivahBhagwan Shiv
1971Anand[15]PahalwanGuest appearance
1972Aankhon Aankhon Mein[17]Pahelwan
1972Hari DarshanBhagwan Shiv
1972Lalkaar
1972'Mele Mitran De Punjabi film
1972Sultana Daku
1975Warrant[17]Pyaara Singh
1973Hum Sab Chor Hain
1973Mera Desh Mera Dharam
1974Kuwara Baap[15]
1974Bhagat Dhanna JattDhanna Jatt
1974Dukh Bhanjan Tera NaamDaku Daulay Khan
1974Har Har Mahadev[17]Bhagwan Shiv
1974Kisan Aur BhagwanDhanna
1974Zehreela Insaan
1975Dharam Karam[14]Ustaad ji
1975DharmatmaPahelwan
1976Bajrangbali[15][17]Hanuman
1976LambhardarniLambardar/DharmaPunjabi film
1976Raakhi Aur RifleGanga Singh
1976Sawa Lakh Se Ek LadaunKartar SinghPunjabi film
1976Apna Khoon Apna Dushman
1977Jai Bolo Chakradhari
1977Ram BharoseSardar Vikram Singh
1978Bhakti Mein ShaktiDyanu Bhakt
1978Dhyanu BhagatDhyanu BhagatPunjabi film
1978Nalayak[15]Pahelwan
1978Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke HaathNihalchand
1978GiddhaBhalwaan Dulla ji
1979Chambal Ki Raani
1981Guru Suleman Chela Pahelwan
1981Khel Muqaddar Ka
1982Main Intequam Loonga[15]Ajay Kumar
1982RustomRustom Mangal Singh
1983Babul Da VehraPunjabi film
1983Unkhili MuttiarMechanicPunjabi film
1984Aan Aur Shaan
1985Mutharamkunnu P.O.[27]HimselfMalayalam film
1985Mard[14][15]Raja Azaad Singh
1986Karma[15][17]Dharma
1986Bulekha
1986Krishna-KrishnaBhagwan Shri Balram
1986Ramayan[14]HanumanTV Series
1986Sajna Sath NibhanaJoseph
1986Maaveeran[28]Tamil film adaptation of Mard.[28]
1988Maula JattMaula Jatt & Dharma
1988Paanch FauladiUstadji (Fauladi #1)
1988MahaveeraDelar Singh
1988Mahabharat[17]HanumanTV Series
1989ShehzaadeJailor
1989Elaan-E-Jung[17]Bheema
1989GharanaVijay Singh Pahelwan
1990Tera Mera Pyar[17]Preet's father
1990Naaka Bandi[15][17]Dharam Singh
1990PratiggyaDaku Delavar Singh
1990Sheran De Putt SherSubedaar
1991Dharam SankatDara (the dacoit)
1991Ajooba[15]Maharaja Karan Singh
1991Maut Ki SazaaPyara Singh
1992Prem DeewaneLoha Singh
1993Bechain
1993AnmolDara Shamsher, Zafar's father
1994Karan
1995Ram Shastra[15]Police Commissioner
1997Lav Kush[15]Hanuman
1997Main Maa Punjab DeePunjabi film
1998Guru Gobind Singh
1998Auto Driver[29]Telugu film
1998QaharGuest appearance
1999Dillagi[15][17]Veer Singh
1999ZulmiBaba Thakur
1999Door Nahin NankanaBhakhtawar Singh
1999Hudd Kar DiDevender Singh Dhanwa/PapajiTV series
2000Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge[15][17]Sapna's grandfatherGuest appearance
2001FarzTayaji
2002Shararat[30]Mr. Gujral
2003Kal Ho Naa Ho[17]Chaddha's uncle
2003Border Hindustan KaJamail Singh
2004Family BusinessTV series
2006Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa[31]Amardeep Sehgal (Dadaji)TV series
2006Dil Apna Punjabi[32]Hardam Singh
2007Jab We Met[14]Geet's grandfather
2012Ata Pata LapataGuest appearance

As director

YearTitleNotesRef
1970Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar
1973Mera Desh Mera Dharam[15]
1974Bhagat Dhanna Jatt
1976Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun
1978Dhyanu Bhagat
1978Bhakti Mein ShaktiAlso produced[15][33]
1982Rustom[15]

As producer

YearTitleNotesRef
1978Bhakti Mein ShaktiAlso directed the film[33]
1994Karan

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. "Dara Singh Passes Away". The Times of India. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  2. "Wrestler Finds Acting Easy, Is Idol Of India's Morie Fans, p.2". Bombay: The Milwaukee Journal. 9 May 1966.
  3. "OBITUARY: Dara Singh - the champion loses his final fight". Hindustan Times. IANS. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  4. Kahol, Vikas (13 July 2012). "People at ancestral village remember legendary wrestler and film actor Dara Singh". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  5. Lentz, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012. McFarland & Company. p. 266. ISBN 978-0786470631. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. Rana, Yudhvir (13 July 2012). "Little Dara holds ray of hope in wrestler's village". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  7. ""Meri Atmakatha" (Autobiography)". Dara Singh. 1989.
  8. "When Rustam-e-Hind lifted King Kong off his feet and flung him". Times of India. 13 July 2012.
  9. "FREE-STYLE WRESTLING: DARA SINGH CROWNED CHAMPION OF BHARAT". Bombay: The New Indian Express. 13 June 1954.
  10. "Dara Singh, Wrestler and Bollywood Action Hero, Dies at 83". The New York Times. 14 July 2012.
  11. "Dara Singh: India's 'first all-action hero'". Mumbai: BBC News. 12 July 2012.
  12. Molinaro, John F. (2002). Marek, Jeff; Meltzer, Dave (eds.). The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time. Winding Stair Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-55366-305-8.
  13. "Dara Singh inducted in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy". Times of India. 8 April 2018.
  14. "Dara Singh taken home". The Times of India. Mumbai. TNN. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  15. Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 629. ISBN 8179910660. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  16. "Mumtaz: Dara Singh's kindness got me my first role". The Times of India. TNN. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  17. "Dara Singh: Bollywood's first macho man". India Today. New Delhi. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  18. "Dara Studio". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  19. "Dara Singh joins BJP". Rediff.com. 31 January 1998. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  20. "Hema garam, won't canvass for Dharam". The Times of India. TNN. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  21. "Vindu Dara Singh launches comic book - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  22. "Dara Singh suffers brain damage, doctors say 'less chance' of recovery". 10 July 2012.
  23. "Dara Singh taken home, doctors say less chance of recovery". 10 July 2012.
  24. "Hundreds attend Dara Singh's funeral in Mumbai". Yahoo India news. 12 July 2012.
  25. Legendary Indian Wrestler Dara Singh Passes Away, WWE Stars Comment
  26. MANMADHAN, PREMA. "The time when KING KONG almost hit him". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  27. "How Dara Singh floored Mukesh ..." The Hindu. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  28. "Bollywood's first He-man". The Hindu Businessline. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  29. "Auto Driver (1998)". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  30. "Dara Singh dies at 83". Mumbai Mirror. Reuters. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  31. "Eijaz Khan talks about Dara Singh". Mumbai: Mid Day. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  32. Jaspreet Pandohar (20 August 2006). "Dil Apna Punjabi (My Heart Is Punjabi) Review". BBC. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  33. "Bhakti Mein Shakti Cast & Crew- Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  34. "Obituary: Dara Singh — Bollywood's original muscle man". The Hindu. 12 July 2012.
  35. "MLG, Varsity, & The Singh's". Maple Leaf Wrestling. 24 January 2010.
  36. "Ten things you didn't know about Dara Singh". NDTV. 12 July 2012.
  37. "Congratulations to the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy inductees". WWE. 7 April 2018.

Autobiography

  • Dara Singh Meri Atmkatha (en. My Autobiography by Dara Singh) 1993 Praveen Prakashan
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