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.
Singh at Pran's birthday party in February 2010
Deedar Singh Randhawa
19 November 1928
|Died||12 July 2012 83) (aged|
|Nationality||British Indian (1928-1947)|
Indian (1947-2012; his death)
|Occupation||Professional wrestler, actor, politician|
|Years active||1947–1983 (wrestler) |
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Bachno Kaur (m. 1942–1952)
Surjit Kaur (m. 1961)
Vindu Dara Singh
|Family||See Randhawa family|
|Ring name(s)||Dara Singh|
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||127 kg (280 lb)|
|Billed from||Punjab, India|
|Trained by||Harnam Singh|
Randhawa was born in a Jat Sikh family as Deedar Singh Randhawa on 19 November 1928 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.
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. As an adult he was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall, 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.
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. 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. His last tournament, where he announced his retirement, was held in Delhi in June 1983. 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.
Films and television
Singh left his village for Singapore in 1948. He started his career as an actor in 1952 with Sangdil. He was a stunt film actor for many years and played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong (1962). 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.
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. 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.
Singh was the owner of Dara Studio at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The studio was operational from 1980 as a film studio.
Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in January 1998. 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.
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. He was discharged from hospital on 11 July 2012 and died the next day at his home in Mumbai. He was cremated at Juhu crematorium.
|1954||Pehli Jhalak||Wrestler Dara Singh|
|1960||Engal Selvi||Tamil film|
|1962||King Kong||Jingu / King Kong|
|1964||Aandhi Aur Toofan|
|1964||Darasingh: Ironman||Dara Singh|
|1966||Daku Mangal Singh||Daku Mangal Singh/ Kumar|
|1967||Chand Par Chadayee|
|1967||Watan Se Door|
|1968||Jung Aur Aman|
|1968||Balram Shri Krishna||Balram|
|1969||Thief of Baghdad|
|1969||Faulad Ki Aulad|
|1970||Choron Ka Chor||Ashok|
|1970||Mera Naam Joker||Sher Singh|
|1970||Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar||Kartar Singh||Punjabi film|
|1971||Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon|
|1971||Tulsi Vivah||Bhagwan Shiv|
|1972||Aankhon Aankhon Mein||Pahelwan|
|1972||Hari Darshan||Bhagwan Shiv|
|1972||'Mele Mitran De||Punjabi film|
|1973||Hum Sab Chor Hain|
|1973||Mera Desh Mera Dharam|
|1974||Bhagat Dhanna Jatt||Dhanna Jatt|
|1974||Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam||Daku Daulay Khan|
|1974||Har Har Mahadev||Bhagwan Shiv|
|1974||Kisan Aur Bhagwan||Dhanna|
|1975||Dharam Karam||Ustaad ji|
|1976||Raakhi Aur Rifle||Ganga Singh|
|1976||Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun||Kartar Singh||Punjabi film|
|1976||Apna Khoon Apna Dushman|
|1977||Jai Bolo Chakradhari|
|1977||Ram Bharose||Sardar Vikram Singh|
|1978||Bhakti Mein Shakti||Dyanu Bhakt|
|1978||Dhyanu Bhagat||Dhyanu Bhagat||Punjabi film|
|1978||Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke Haath||Nihalchand|
|1978||Giddha||Bhalwaan Dulla ji|
|1979||Chambal Ki Raani|
|1981||Guru Suleman Chela Pahelwan|
|1981||Khel Muqaddar Ka|
|1982||Main Intequam Loonga||Ajay Kumar|
|1982||Rustom||Rustom Mangal Singh|
|1983||Babul Da Vehra||Punjabi film|
|1983||Unkhili Muttiar||Mechanic||Punjabi film|
|1984||Aan Aur Shaan|
|1985||Mutharamkunnu P.O.||Himself||Malayalam film|
|1985||Mard||Raja Azaad Singh|
|1986||Krishna-Krishna||Bhagwan Shri Balram|
|1986||Sajna Sath Nibhana||Joseph|
|1986||Maaveeran||Tamil film adaptation of Mard.|
|1988||Maula Jatt||Maula Jatt & Dharma|
|1988||Paanch Fauladi||Ustadji (Fauladi #1)|
|1989||Gharana||Vijay Singh Pahelwan|
|1990||Tera Mera Pyar||Preet's father|
|1990||Naaka Bandi||Dharam Singh|
|1990||Pratiggya||Daku Delavar Singh|
|1990||Sheran De Putt Sher||Subedaar|
|1991||Dharam Sankat||Dara (the dacoit)|
|1991||Ajooba||Maharaja Karan Singh|
|1991||Maut Ki Sazaa||Pyara Singh|
|1992||Prem Deewane||Loha Singh|
|1993||Anmol||Dara Shamsher, Zafar's father|
|1995||Ram Shastra||Police Commissioner|
|1997||Main Maa Punjab Dee||Punjabi film|
|1998||Guru Gobind Singh|
|1998||Auto Driver||Telugu film|
|1999||Door Nahin Nankana||Bhakhtawar Singh|
|1999||Hudd Kar Di||Devender Singh Dhanwa/Papaji||TV series|
|2000||Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge||Sapna's grandfather||Guest appearance|
|2003||Kal Ho Naa Ho||Chaddha's uncle|
|2003||Border Hindustan Ka||Jamail Singh|
|2004||Family Business||TV series|
|2006||Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa||Amardeep Sehgal (Dadaji)||TV series|
|2006||Dil Apna Punjabi||Hardam Singh|
|2007||Jab We Met||Geet's grandfather|
|2012||Ata Pata Lapata||Guest appearance|
|1970||Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar|
|1973||Mera Desh Mera Dharam|
|1974||Bhagat Dhanna Jatt|
|1976||Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun|
|1978||Bhakti Mein Shakti||Also produced|
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wide Wrestling Association
- WWWA World Heavyweight Championship
- Maple Leaf Wrestling
- Indian promotions
- Commonwealth Championship
- World Wrestling Championship
- Champion of Malaysia (1951)
- Rustam-e-Hind (1954)
- Rustam-e-Punjab (1966)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Dara Singh Passes Away". The Times of India. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Wrestler Finds Acting Easy, Is Idol Of India's Morie Fans, p.2". Bombay: The Milwaukee Journal. 9 May 1966.
- "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.
- Kahol, Vikas (13 July 2012). "People at ancestral village remember legendary wrestler and film actor Dara Singh". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- Lentz, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012. McFarland & Company. p. 266. ISBN 978-0786470631. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- Rana, Yudhvir (13 July 2012). "Little Dara holds ray of hope in wrestler's village". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- ""Meri Atmakatha" (Autobiography)". Dara Singh. 1989.
- "When Rustam-e-Hind lifted King Kong off his feet and flung him". Times of India. 13 July 2012.
- "FREE-STYLE WRESTLING: DARA SINGH CROWNED CHAMPION OF BHARAT". Bombay: The New Indian Express. 13 June 1954.
- "Dara Singh, Wrestler and Bollywood Action Hero, Dies at 83". The New York Times. 14 July 2012.
- "Dara Singh: India's 'first all-action hero'". Mumbai: BBC News. 12 July 2012.
- 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.
- "Dara Singh inducted in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy". Times of India. 8 April 2018.
- "Dara Singh taken home". The Times of India. Mumbai. TNN. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 629. ISBN 8179910660. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Mumtaz: Dara Singh's kindness got me my first role". The Times of India. TNN. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Dara Singh: Bollywood's first macho man". India Today. New Delhi. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Dara Studio". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Dara Singh joins BJP". Rediff.com. 31 January 1998. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Hema garam, won't canvass for Dharam". The Times of India. TNN. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Vindu Dara Singh launches comic book - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- "Dara Singh suffers brain damage, doctors say 'less chance' of recovery". 10 July 2012.
- "Dara Singh taken home, doctors say less chance of recovery". 10 July 2012.
- "Hundreds attend Dara Singh's funeral in Mumbai". Yahoo India news. 12 July 2012.
- Legendary Indian Wrestler Dara Singh Passes Away, WWE Stars Comment
- MANMADHAN, PREMA. "The time when KING KONG almost hit him". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- "How Dara Singh floored Mukesh ..." The Hindu. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Bollywood's first He-man". The Hindu Businessline. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Auto Driver (1998)". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Dara Singh dies at 83". Mumbai Mirror. Reuters. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Eijaz Khan talks about Dara Singh". Mumbai: Mid Day. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Jaspreet Pandohar (20 August 2006). "Dil Apna Punjabi (My Heart Is Punjabi) Review". BBC. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Bhakti Mein Shakti Cast & Crew- Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Obituary: Dara Singh — Bollywood's original muscle man". The Hindu. 12 July 2012.
- "MLG, Varsity, & The Singh's". Maple Leaf Wrestling. 24 January 2010.
- "Ten things you didn't know about Dara Singh". NDTV. 12 July 2012.
- "Congratulations to the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy inductees". WWE. 7 April 2018.
- Dara Singh Meri Atmkatha (en. My Autobiography by Dara Singh) 1993 Praveen Prakashan