Danny Denzongpa is an Indian actor, singer and director who works predominantly in the Hindi film industry, though he has featured in Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films as well. He began his acting career in 1971 with the Hindi movies Zaroorat and Mere Apne, and from then onwards he has starred in around 170 movies. Apart from that, he has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he appeared alongside Brad Pitt.
Danny is best known for playing villainous roles like in movies Dhund, 36 Ghante, Bandish, Jeeo Aur Jeene Do, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Agneepath. Some of his positive roles were in movies Fakira, Chor Machaye Shor, Devata, Kalicharan, Bulundi, and Adhikar. He made his directorial debut in 1980 with the movie Phir Wahi Raat, a horror film starring late actor Rajesh Khanna. His latest on-screen appearance was in the 2019 movie Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which starred actress Kangana Ranaut as Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi.
Danny Denzongpa was born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa on February 25, 1948 in Gangtok, Sikkim and is of Bhutia and Nepalese descent. He did his schooling from Birla Vidya Mandir in Nainital and then completed his college from St Joseph's College, Darjeeling. He is married to Gawa Denzongpa and has two children with her. Apart from acting, Danny is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor. Before taking up acting, he had wanted to join the Indian Army, and as per media reports, he had qualified for the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune but he opted for the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
Danny is an accomplished singer and had sung with music industry stalwarts like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. He was given a chance to sing by SD Burman in the film Yeh Gulistan Hamara in 1972, in which he sang a duet with Lata. Apart from Hindi songs, he has also released Nepalese songs and sung for Nepalese movies.
Danny won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award in 1992 for the movie Sanam Bewafa, and again in 1993 for Khuda Gawah. He was awarded the Padma Shree, which is India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in 2013.