If there is an actor who has aced the art of balancing two diverse acting genres – action and romance – then it has to be Dharmendra. Fondly called the ‘He-Man’ of Bollywood, Dharmendra has given the audience several memorable performances. Be it the action-packed role in Sholay, comic role in Chupke Chupke or the romantic hero role in Dream Girl, Dharmendra plays his role to perfection. And the audience has loved ‘Dharam paji’ in every avatar. Today, the legendary actor turns a year older, and we decided to revisit some of his most memorable films on his birthday.
Dharmendra, who turns 83 today, was born on December 8, 1935, in Nasrali, Punjab. He made his debut with Arjun Hingorani’s Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere in 1960. Over the next few decades, he regaled the audience with several hit performances. His heavy voice, charming looks and well-built physique had women all across the country falling in love with him. Besides his acting chops, Dharmendra was also known for his epic dialogues. It was often said in jest that a Dharmendra film is incomplete without him mentioning the word ‘kutte’ (dog) once. Be it ‘In kutton ke samne mat nachna’ or ‘Kutte! Kamine! Main tera khoon pijaunga’, the dialogues have been etched in the heart of his fans forever.
So here is a look at some of Dharmendra’s most memorable performances:
Yaadon Ki Baraat:
This film is regarded as one of Dharmendra’s best performances. The story revolves around three brothers who are separated after their parents are murdered by a gangster. Years later, they find their paths intertwined through a family song. The actor gets into the skin of the character that is trying to seek revenge and puts forth a brilliant performance. The highlight of the film is possibly the scene where he realises he has seen his real brothers towards the end of the film.
Sholay is a film that perhaps shows Dharmendra express a diverse spectrum of emotions. From fun and carelessness to friendship and romance to, of course, action. Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru’s (Dharmendra) friendship gave people some serious #friendshipgoals. And who can forget the iconic water tank scene where a drunk Veeru professes his love for Basanti (Hema Malini). How Jai and Veeru, small-time crooks, help Ramgarh get rid of the menace of Gabbar Singh is what Sholay is all about.
Phool Aur Patthar:
The story is about a widowed Shanti who is left to die by cruel in-laws. She and Shaka form a unique relationship based on support and kindness, but destiny has a different plan. Dharmendra essays the role of the ruffian Shaka perfectly. The drunk scenes are surely among Dharmendra’s best.
This 1975 comedy-drama film is a light-hearted entertainer starring Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore in lead roles. Dharmendra essays the role of a botany professor with a flair for comedy. Not just the movie, but also the songs of this film were hugely popular. This is one of Bollywood’s best comedy films till date and is sure to tickle your funny bone no matter how many times you watch it.
Dharmendra essays the role of a common villager striving for vengeance of his father’s death. From the drunk scenes to the emotional outburst in the end, Dharmendra delivers a brilliant performance in this film.
In this film, Dharmendra is cast opposite his real life dream girl Hema Malini. She plays the role of Sapna, a beautiful young woman who cons rich people to fund her orphanage for children. Dharmendra falls in love with her and is not aware of her true identity. Dharmendra’s chocolate boy looks in this film were loved and appreciated as much a Hema Malini’s gorgeous beauty.
The veteran actor, who has completed more than five decades in the industry, has been conferred with several awards and prestigious titles. He continues to entertain the audience with films like Yamla Pagla Deewana and Apne and occasional public appearances. So here’s wishing Dharmendra a very happy birthday! Thank you for giving us so many memorable performances.