Dharmendra completes 88

New Delhi: Evergreen Bollywood actor Dharmendra, equally adept in portraying lead roles in romantic and action movies, completed 88 on Friday.

Born on December 8, 1935, in Phagwara, Punjab, Dharmendra was inclined towards films since his childhood, and wanted to become an actor.

In 1958, the magazine Filmfare brought out an advertisement offering new faces work as actors.

Dharmendra was very happy after reading the advertisement and left his job at American Tubewell and came to Mumbai to fulfil his dreams.

During this time, he met producer-director Arjun Hingorani, who recognised his talent and gave him a chance to work as an actor in his film Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere.

The film failed at the box office, but in the next few years Dharmendra got to work in many superhit films, like Anpadh with Mala Sinha, Pooja Ke Phool, Bandini with Nutan, and Kajal with Meena Kumari.

These films were liked by the audience, but credit for their success was given to the actresses instead of Dharmendra.

Finally, after the success of ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ released in 1966, Dharmendra got due appreciation for his strong acting, and bagged a nomination for the Filmfare Best Actor Award.

Producer-director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films like Anupama, Manjali Didi, Guddi and Satyakam have played an important role in bringing Dharmendra the initial successes.

After Phool Aur Patthar, Dharmendra’s image became that of a He-man, which was capitalised upon by film producers and directors in most of his films from then on. Cut movies like Sholay and The Burning Train fall in this category.

The versatile actor’s ability to carry comic roles with superb comic timing was in ample evidence in another Hrishikesh Mukherjee superhit film Chupke Chupke released in 1975. UNI

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