Deedar Singh Randhawa popularly known as Dara Singh was a wrestler turned actor who excelled in both fields and made the nation proud. With his unparalleled wrestling skills, Dara Singh had managed to beat world famous wrestlers in 500 matches. People were in awe of his struggle, and they used to go and watch his matches from distant lands.
Apart from his wrestling career, Dara Singh had also worked in several movies. He had made his Bollywood debut with the film, Sangdiland later appeared in countless other films like Pehli Jhalak, Engal Selvi, Rustom-E-Baghdad, Jagga, Aandhi Aur Toofan, Saat Samundar Paar, and others. In the 1990s, he gave back-to-back blockbuster films like Main Maa Punjab Dee, Guru Gobind Singh, Qahar, Zulmi, Hudd Kar Di, Kal Ho Naa Ho and others.
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The Ironman of Indian cinema, Dara Singh
Born on November 19, 1928 in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, Dara Singh had a difficult childhood. Also known as the Ironman of Indian cinema, he was considered a tough and tough personality. However, there was a soft and warm side to his well-built physique that only a few people are aware of. The master of wrestling and tough-looking Dara Singh was head over heels in love. The actor’s name had been linked with well-known Bollywood actress, Mumtaz. The two had met when the producers of Singh’s second film, Fauladwere looking for an actress for the film.
The love story of Dara Singh and Mumtaz
Earlier, Dara Singh’s film, King Kong, performed well at the box office and received much appreciation. But despite this, he had been slow to find an actress for his next film. All the other actresses had refused to do films with him, saying they wouldn’t work with a wrestler. However, fate had different plans, and Dara and Mumtaz finally met. And so, Singh had found his heroine in Mumtaz, who was then doing small roles.
It turns out that when Dara Singh was looking for an actress for her next film, Mumtaz arrived on the sets with her sister. And as soon as Dara had seen her, he had chosen her to be the heroine of his film. Hence, Dara Singh signed Mumtaz for her film and thus, they became a couple. Dara Singh and Mumtaz had worked together in the film, Fauladwhich hit the box office in 1963. And ever since they had started working in the film, there had been rumors that they were in love.
During the filming of the film, Dara and Mumtaz had shared some memorable moments with each other. They had both become the talk of the town, and people couldn’t get enough of the lovebirds. However, with the release of their film, Mumtaz had risen to fame and made her mark in Bollywood. She had become a well-known Bollywood actress and had become very busy with her work. She was so busy filming that she couldn’t make time to meet Dara Singh. This had created differences between the two, and after that they were never seen together.
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After her unsuccessful romance with Mumtaz, Dara Singh was left broken. According to reports, Dara Singh once said, “Bollywood ripped Mumtaz from me.” However, that didn’t mean he would stop looking for love and give up everything. For the uninitiated, Dara Singh had been married twice.
Married life of Dara Singh
By the age of 14, Dara Singh’s family had arranged her first marriage. In 1937 he married Bachno Kaur, who was much older than him. Not only that, but he also became a father when he was just a minor. However, after ten years of marriage, the two had separated. Later, in 1961, Dara Singh married Surjit Kaur for the second time. At that time, he was working as a caretaker. The two had a happy married life and had three sons and three daughters, one of whom is actor, Vindu Dara Singh.
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Dara Singh’s love for wrestling
Dara Singh’s parents had taken him out of school to work on the farms at a very young age. However, without proper education, Singh had developed an inclination for wrestling. And he often participated in non-professional wrestling events in his village. In 1947, Dara Singh traveled to Singapore and did odd jobs in a drum manufacturing factory. However, the turning point in Singh’s life came when he met his mentor, Harnam Singh, who introduced the 6-foot-2 youngster to wrestling.
At that time, Dara Singh maintained her body by consuming a healthy diet that included milk, homemade butter, almonds, and chicken soup. His dedication and determination have led him to win several distinctions. In 1954, Singh won the Rustam-e-Hind title after defeating wrestler Tiger Joginder Singh and also won the Commonwealth Championship in 1959. After that, Dara Singh switched to professional wrestling. During his career, Singh had won many championships and defeated many international wrestlers such as famous Australian wrestler, King Kong in 1956 and American world champion wrestler, Lou Thesz in 1968.
Dara Singh as an actor
Due to his muscular physique and popularity, Dara Singh had taken a break from Bollywood. The wrestler had portrayed the role of the first action hero and became India’s first He-Man. He began his acting career with a supporting role in the 1952 film, Sangdilwith Dilip Kumar and Madhubala.
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Dara Singh’s acting career
For the first twenty years of her Bollywood career, Dara Singh had played the roles of action heroes. Of Rustam-E-Baghdad (1963) to Faulad (1963), and Hercules (1964) at Boxer (1965), Singh had shown his splendid acting skills and won millions of hearts. After starring in countless B-grade movies, Singh tried to shift the gears a bit. In 1970, he tried to reinvent himself as he had directed and played in the Nanak Dukhya Sub Sansara film that revolved around the tragedy of the partition of India.
Apart from this, Singh had also acted in TV shows like Had Kar Di and Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka. However, the television role that made him a sensation was the character of Lord Hanuman in The Ramayan of Ramanand Sagar, in 1987-88 on Doordarshan. Moreover, Singh has also made special appearances in various Bollywood movies like that of Raj Kapoor. Mera Naam Joker (1970), Ajooba (1991), Dillagi (1999) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). His last Bollywood film was the 2006 blockbuster, Jab we metwhere he had acted as Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather.
Dara Singh as Politician
Wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh had also been involved in politics. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1998 and became the first person in the sports category to be appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha. He remained MP for Rajya Sabha from 2003 to 2009. He had also served as Chairman of All India Jat Samaj and Bombay Jat Samaj.
Ten years after the death of Dara Singh
Dara Singh believed in continuing to work; otherwise, you are getting old. He was happy to have done just about everything. However, Dara Singh had announced his retirement from wrestling in 1983. In 2012, the wrestler-turned-actor-turned-politician died of a heart attack. And after six years of his death, Dara Singh was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2018.
Dara Singh’s streak in world wrestling is impeccable and no one could break it.
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