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Danny Denzongpa (born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa; 25 February 1948) is a Nepalese film actor, singer and film director. He has mainly worked in Bollywood films, though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films.[2] He has acted in about 190 Hindi films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth-highest civilian honour.[3] His film career spans more than 4 decades.

Danny Denzongpa
Denzongpa in February 2010
Tshering Phintso Denzongpa

(1948-02-25) 25 February 1948 (age 71)[1]
OccupationActor, singer, businessman
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)Gawa Denzongpa
ChildrenRinzing Denzongpa,
Pema Denzongpa

He has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he appeared alongside Brad Pitt. His best known villainous roles are in Dhund, 36 Ghante, Bandish (1980), Jeeo Aur Jeene Do, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Agneepath whereas his best known positive roles were in Fakira, Chor Machaye Shor, Devata, Kalicharan, Bulundi and Adhikar. His directorial venture Phir Wahi Raat was considered among the top five best horror suspense films of Hindi Cinema.[4]

Early life and educationEdit

Denzongpa was born to a Buddhist family in Gangtok, Sikkim[5] and is of Bhutia and Nepalese descent.[6] He did his schooling in Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital and thereafter completed college coursework at St Joseph's College, Darjeeling, in 1964.[5][7] Denzongpa's love of horses and horse-riding began at an early age, as his family was into horse breeding. He is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor.

He had an ambition to join the Indian Army and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and participated in the Republic Day parade. In an interview to The Times of India newspaper, he said that he had qualified for the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, but withdrew admission to join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.[8] He decided to change his name to a simpler sounding "Danny", on recommendation from his then-classmate Jaya Bachchan, as his original name of Tshering Phintso Denzongpa was considered difficult for some to pronounce.[9][10]

Acting careerEdit

He started out with B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971 (released in 1972), which was his debut film. He got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne (1971), where he had a positive role. He had his first played an antagonist in B.R.Chopra's Dhundh (1973), where he played the role of a crippled and frustrated husband.

He played the second lead hero and had more positive roles in commercially successful critically acclaimed films in the seventies, such as Chor Machaye Shor, 36 Ghante, Fakira, Sangram (1976), Kalicharan, Kaala Sona and Devata. After his performance in the film Devata, he started getting more significant lengthy roles. He was simultaneously part of big budget films such as Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Paapi, Bandish, The Burning Train and Chunoti in negative roles.

In the early 1980s period, he had thought of quitting films. He said in an interview, when asked why he decided to direct a film, "I remember in 80′s I was so fed up of the films I was doing. Those days every villain was a dacoit and I remember going on the sets where an actor called Tiwari was my henchmen and my den was a cave with lanterns. Next day I went on another set and I saw Tiwari again as my henchman, and the same lanterns. I asked myself what was I doing? I left Mumbai. I did lot of trekking and did not do films for a couple of years. I told NN Sippy about a script that I had in mind. and he asked me to direct. I made Phir Wohi Raat with Rajesh Khanna and my then girlfriend Kim."[11] After the success of his directorial debut, he received offers to act as the hero again in the films such as Bulundi and Hum Se Badkar Kaun in 1981, which became successful. He played a double role in the film Bulundi. However, most subsequent films between 1981-83 were not successful. He was disappointed with the failure of his recently released film Abhi Toh Jee Ley, which had popular songs such as "Tu Laali Hai Saveriwali". Hence, Danny started accepting supporting roles, often playing a character quite older than his real age. He played Kumar Gaurav's father-in-law in Love Story (1981) and Mithun Chakraborty's father in Boxer (1984).

He started getting more frequent offers to play the negative character in Hindi films, after the success of the films Phir Wahi Raat, Jeeo Aur Jeene Do and Dharm Aur Qanoon. He then went on to play the role of villain many times since 1984. From 1984 and through the 1990s, Danny mainly was featured as the lead negative character opposite all the leading actors of that time such as Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol. He stated in an interview; "Had it not been that I had not done the four special negative roles - with Rajesh Khanna, in the lead - Phir Wohi Raat, Dharm Aur Qanoon, Bandish and Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, people would not have considered me for villainous roles. In Adhikar I had positive role. He holds special place in my heart as he recognized and stood by me in my tough times which was early eighties."

His most applauded negative characters are in Bandish (1980) as Kapil Kumar, Phir Wahi Raat as "Ashok", Dharm Aur Qanoon (1984), as SP "Kader", Kanoon Kya Karega (1984), as "Raghuvir Singh", Andar Baahar (1984), as "Shera", Oonche Log (1985), as "Thakur Maan Singh", Aandhi Toofan (1986), as "Balbir" Bhagwaan Dada (1986), as "Gangwaa", Agneepath (1990), as "Kancha Cheena", Hum (1991), as "Bakhtawar", Ghatak: Lethal, as "Kaatya", Krantiveer (1994), as "Chatur Singh", Pukar, (2000) as "Abhrush" and Indian, as "Shankar Singhania". He was pitted against Pran in the film Sanam Bewafa, Paap Ki Duniya, Gurudev and 1942: A Love Story. His command over the Urdu language came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar's Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand's Khuda Gawah.

At one time, when he was increasingly doing negative lead roles, Rajkumar Santoshi cast him as the positive role in China Gate. In the early 2000s, Denzongpa appeared in films such as Asoka and 16 December. Some of the antihero roles he played included an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and stingy landlord. He has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet, where he appeared. He did positive roles in Lahu Ke Do Rang, Bulundi, Boxer, Humse Badkar Kaun, Khudah Gawah, 16 December and China Gate.

In early 2003 Denzongpa decided to take a break from films as he wanted to do different but strong roles, even if it was a negative character. He appeared in only 10 films between 2003 and 2009.

He then made a strong comeback as the villain with his role in Enthiran. He made his debut in Tamil films with Enthiran, co-starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the leads. Denzongpa played the antagonist role of Bohra, a prominent scientist who transforms "Chitti", (played by Rajinikanth) into an evil robot. He then started playing villains in big budget movies such as Jai Ho (2014), co-starring Salman Khan and Bang Bang (2014), co-starring Hrithik Roshan.

He has recently played the role of a coordinator, "Feroz Khan" in the 2015 hit Baby co-starring Akshay Kumar. He reprised his role of "Feroz Khan" in the film's spin-off prequel Naam Shabana

Singing and Businessman careerEdit

He is an accomplished singer, having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, the stalwarts of Indian music. He was first given a chance to sing by S.D. Burman in the film Yeh Gulistan Hamara in 1972. Denzongpa sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar.

Danny Denzongpa has quoted on S.D. Burman, "My dream to be a playback singer in films came with the number, 'Mera Naam Aao' in 'Yeh Gulistan Hamara' (1972). The maestro that he was, S.D. Burman recognised my singing abilities and conducted the daring experiment of making me sing my first duet with Lata Mangeshkar. He advised me to produce a comic effect yet maintain melody whilst singing. The song was a raging hit." This was told to Ranjan Das Gupta in 'The Hindu' on January 8, 2012.

He has released Nepalese songs, and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs recorded in the 1970s but still popular are "Chiso Chiso Hawama" ("In the cool air") and "Manko kura lai bandhi narakha... ("Do not keep the words of the heart tied").

He sang the duet "Suno Suno Kasam Se" in Kaala Sona with Asha Bhosle and sang the duets "Mujhe Dostaon Tum Gale Lagalo" with Mohammed Rafi and the duet "Botal Khali Hone Toh Do" with Kishore Kumar in the 1978 film Naya Daur - all of which were composed by R.D. Burman.

"Hiun vanda chiso, Aago vanda taato..." ("Colder than snow, hotter than fire..."), "Naachana hoi maichyan hau nachana", ("Dance o lovely girl"), "Jhimkai deu pareli manma bajchha mitho murali...", ("Please blink your eyes and sweet sound of flute plays in the heart), "Raatko rani phulay jhain sanjhama", "Pani Hai Paryo Jhyaure" etc. are some of his few hit numbers. He gained popularity as a singer in the period 1975-1990 especially in Nepal and parts of India like Darjeeling, Sikkim and Assam.

He has sung a Nepali duet with Asha Bhosle, "Aage aage topai ko gola pachhi pachhi machinegun barara" in 1976. This song was shown by Danny to Rajesh Khanna who liked the song tremendously. Then Rajesh Khanna requested R.D. Burman to compose the song - "Sang Mere Nikle The Sajan" from the 1981 film Phir Wohi Raat, which was directed by Danny himself - after getting inspired by the melody of the Nepali folk song sung by Danny - "Aage Aage Topaiko Gola". R. D. Burman changed the interludes and tunes of stanzas but retained the tune at the beginning.

Danny wrote and acted in the Nepali film Saino. His nephew Ugyen Chhopel directed it. He has sung its title song and a duet with Deepa Narayan, wife of Udit Narayan. Later, this film was made in Hindi as Ajnabi as a telefilm for Doordarshan.


Year From Award Won/Honoured
2003 Government of India Padma Shri Won


Year From Award Film Result
1979 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Devata Nominated
1985 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Kanoon Kya Karega Nominated
1990 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Agneepath Nominated
1992 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Sanam Bewafa Won
1992 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Hum Nominated
1993 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Khuda Gawah Won
1995 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Krantiveer Nominated
1995 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Vijaypath Nominated
1996 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Barsaat Nominated
1997 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Ghatak Nominated

As directorEdit

Year Film Director
2005 Phir Wahi Raat Yes
Unknown Ram Yes


Year Film Role/Notes
2019 Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi Ghulam Ghaus Khan
2018 Bioscopewala Bioscopewala
2017 Naam Shabana Feroz Ali Khan
2015 Baby Firoz Ali Khan
2014 Bang Bang! Omar Zafar
2014 Jai Ho Home Minister Dashrat Singh
2013 Boss Big Boss
2010 Enthiran Professor Bohra
2009 Acid Factory Om
2009 Luck Lakhan Tamang
2008 Karzzzz Kabira
2008 Chamku Baba
2007 Big Brother Police Commissioner Kulkarni
2007 Hattrick David Anna
2007 Frozen Karma
2004 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo Colonel Ashfaque Khan
2004 Shikaar Darshan Damania
2003 Sandhya
2003 Ek Hindustani Special Appearance
2002 Soch Nautiyal
2002 Ab Ke Baras CBI Officer Sikander Baksh
2002 16 December Major General Vir Vijay Singh
2002 Yeh Mohabbat Hai Aman Khan
2001 Moksha Bachelor Simon
2001 Indian Shankar Singhania
2001 Lajja Gajendra
2001 Aśoka Virat
2000 Pukar Abhrush
2001 Officer Pratap Rai/Dushyant Singh
2000 Tune Mera Dil Le Liya
1999 Silsila Hai Pyar Ka Jabbar Khargoshi
1999 Dahek: A Burning Passion Jabbar Bahkshi
1999 Kohram Minister Virbhadra Singh
1998 Zulm O Situm Sikander
1998 Vinashak - Destroyer Jailer Lankeshwar
1998 China Gate Maj. Ranjir Singh Gurung
1997 Udaan Mr. Rana
1997 Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law Advocate Diwan
1997 Himalay Putra Rana
1997 Seven Years in Tibet Regent
1996 Ghatak: Lethal Katya
1996 Rajkumar Ali
1996 Army Naagraj
1996 Shastra Babu
1995 Barsaat ACP Neghi
1995 Sarhad: The Border of Crime
1994 Vijaypath Dilawar Singh
1994 Chauraha Baba Bhatti
1994 Krantiveer Chatursingh
1994 Mohabbat Ki Arzoo Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada
1994 Ajnabi(TV serial) Captain
1993 1942: A Love Story Major Bisht
1993 Dhartiputra
1993 Gurudev Khakan
1993 Prateeksha Dinesh Khanna
1993 Sangram Madhu's father
1993 Tahqiqaat Bhanu Pratap
1992 Drohi
J.P. Sethi
1992 Bandhu (1992 film) Bandhu
1992 Balwaan Bhaiji
1992 Khule-Aam Insp. Uday Singh/Insp. Ranvir Singh Rathod
1992 Khuda Gawah Khuda Baksh
1991 Lakshmanrekha Birju
1991 Vishnu-Devaa Thakur Shamsher Singh/Samppat
1991 Hum Bakhtawar
1991 Bahadur Bahadur (Bengali)
1991 Sanam Bewafa Sher Khan
1991 First Love Letter Thakur Ajit Singh
1991 Yodha Daaga/Justice Dharmesh Agnihotri
1990 Agneepath Kancha Cheena
1990 Pyar Ke Naam Qurbaan Prince Yeshwant Singh
1990 Chingariyan
2001 Jagira
1990 Shandaar Dhaga
1990 Shesh Naag
1989 Shehzaade (uncredited) Thakur Roshan Singh
1989 Jung Baaz Mahakal
1989 Kasam Suhaag Ki
1989 Galiyon Ka Badshah Inspector Vijay
1989 Khoj
1989 Saaya Rakesh
1989 Ustad
1988 Commando Ninja
1988 Zalzala Sona Singh
1988 Shoorveer Shankar
1988 Ek Hi Maqsad Inspector. Deepak
1988 Mardon Wali Baat Raja Sunder Singh
1988 Gunahon Ka Faisla Dacoit
1988 Janam Janam
1988 Jeete Hain Shaan Se J.P.
1988 Mera Shikar
1988 Paap Ki Duniya Pasha
1988 Yateem Girivar Prasad Mathur
1987 Saino (Nepali Film)
1987 Itihaas Alexander
1987 Faqir Badshah
1987 Aag Hi Aag Daulat Singh/Choudhury
1987 Deewana Tere Naam Ka Shambhu
1986 Chambal Ka Badshah Sultan
1986 Bhagwaan Dada Shambu Dada
1986 Allah Rakha
1985 Maha Shaktiman aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)
1985 Yudh Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy
1985 Jawaab Seth. Jagmohan
1985 Aandhi Toofan Balbir
1985 Aitbaar Inspector Barua
1985 Zulm Ka Badla Shamvu
1985 Oonche Log Thakur Maan Singh
1985 Patthar Dil Jung Bahadur
1985 Pyar Jhukta Nahin
1984 Andar Baahar Shera
1984 Farishta
1984 Boxer Dharma
1984 Jagir Danny
1984 Kanoon Kya Karega
1984 Karishmaa
1984 Manzil Manzil Gautam (Pahadi Baba)
1984 Meraa Dost Meraa Dushman Shaitan Singh
1984 Pyar Jhukta Nahin Bhanu Pratap
1983 Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye Dayashankar Ray
1983 Lovers David
1983 Ganga Meri Maa Malan
1983 Andha Kanoon Akhbar Ali
1982 Raj Mahal
1982 Kachche Heere Arjun
1982 Prahari (Bengali)
1981 Hum Se Badkar Kaun Raju/Johny
1981 Love Story Ram Dogra
1980 Chunaoti
1980 Kali Ghata Kishore
1980 Abdullah Khaleel
1980 Bandish Kapil Kumar
1980 Bulundi Lobo
1980 The Burning Train Randhir
1980 Choron Ki Baraat
1980 Phir Wahi Raat Ashok
1979 Griha Pravesh Danny
1979 Aaj Ki Dhara Danny
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang Suraj
1978 Lal Kuthi (Bengali)
1978 Devata Inspector Lawrence
1978 Naya Daur Mark
1977 Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka Vikram (Jamunadas' son)
1977 Abhi To Jee Lein Danny
1977 Chandi Sona
1977 Khel Khilari Ka
1977 Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale
1977 Paapi Abdul
1976 Fakira Munna/Ajay/Toofan
1976 Kalicharan Shaaka
1976 Laila Majnu Prince Bahksh
1976 Sangram Salim/Altaf
1975 Aakhri Dao Robert
1975 Apne Rang Hazaar
1975 Dharmatma Jangoora
1975 Kala Sona Shera
1975 Ponga Pandit Rocky
1975 Raftaar Pramod Kumar
1975 Rani Aur Lalpari Himself (Special appearance)
1975 Zorro
1974 Chor Machaye Shor Raju Ustad
1974 36 Ghante Dilawar Khan
1974 Khote Sikkay Danny
1973 Dhund Thakur Ranjit Singh (crippled husband)
1973 Khoon Khoon remake of Dirty Harry (English)
1972 Milap Raju
1972 Rakhi Aur Hathkadi Raja
1972 Yeh Gulistan Hamara
1971 Mere Apne Sanju
1971 Zaroorat Mohinder

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Star birthdays in February". MSN. 31 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Danny Denzongpa Height, Weight, Age, Biography, Wiki, Wife, Family". Bollysuperstar. Bollysuperstar. 25 December 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ "15 Must Watch Bollywood Horror Films". DESIblitz. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b Denzongpa, Danny. "Short biography". Celebrity Kick. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Remembering Bollywood Baddie Danny As He Turns 68". The Quint. The Quint. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  7. ^ Denzongpa, Danny. "(Talk about your background) Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  8. ^ Somaaya, Bhawana (26 September 2003). "1984 DANNY DENZONGPA". Screen magazine.
  9. ^ "Danny Denzongpa to play negative role in Shuddhi". Hindustan Times. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  10. ^ "When Danny Denzongpa sang ghazals". 14 March 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Canindia News – Canada's favorite south asian newspaper!". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2014-12-20.

External linksEdit