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Sunil Dutt (6 June 1928 – 25 May 2005), born as Balraj Dutt, was an Indian movie actor, producer, director and politician. He was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Manmohan Singh government (2004–2005). His son, Sanjay Dutt, is also an actor, while his daughter Priya Dutt, is a former Member of Parliament.[3]

Sunil Dutt
Sunil Dutt cropped face.jpg
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
In office
22 May 2004 – 25 May 2005
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Succeeded by Mani Shankar Aiyar
Constituency Mumbai North West
Member of Parliament
for Mumbai North West
In office
Preceded by Ram Jethmalani
Succeeded by Madhukar Sarpotdar
In office
Preceded by Madhukar Sarpotdar
Succeeded by Priya Dutt
Personal details
Born Balraj Dutt
(1928-06-06)6 June 1928
Jhelum, Punjab, British India
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)[1][2]
Died 25 May 2005(2005-05-25) (aged 76)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Cause of death Heart attack
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Nargis (m. 1958–1981; her death)
Children Sanjay Dutt
Priya Dutt
Namrata Dutt
Relatives See Dutt family
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor, Producer, Director, Politician
Awards Padma Shri (1968)

In 1968, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 1984 he joined the Indian National Congress party and was elected to the Parliament of India for five terms from the constituency of Mumbai North West.


Early lifeEdit

Sunil Dutt was born in a Punjabi family on 6 June 1928[4] in Khurd village, Jhelum district, Punjab Province, British India (Now in Punjab, Pakistan).[1][2] When he was five years old, Dutt's father, Diwan Raghunath Dutt, died. When he was 18, the Partition of India began inciting Hindu-Muslim violence across the country. A Muslim named Yakub, who had been friends with Dutt's father, saved their entire family.[5] The family resettled in the small village of Mandauli on the bank of the river Yamuna located in Yamuna Nagar, Punjab, which is now a district of Haryana. Later he moved to Lucknow with his mother, Kulwantidevi Dutt, and spent a long time in Aminabad Galli during graduation. He then moved to Mumbai, where he joined Jai Hind College as an undergraduate and took up a job at the city's BEST Transport division.[6]


Starting out in radio, Sunil Dutt was hugely popular on the Hindi service of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. He moved to acting in Hindi films and got introduced to the industry with 1955's Railway Platform.

He shot to stardom in the 1957 film Mother India in which he co-starred with Nargis as her short-tempered, angry son. During the making of this film a fire happened on the set. It is believed that Dutt braved the raging fire to save Nargis and thereby won her love. They went on to marry in 1958. They had one son Sanjay Dutt, also a successful film actor and two daughters, Priya Dutt and Namrata Dutt. His daughter Namrata married Kumar Gaurav, son of Rajendra Kumar. The two fathers were co-stars in Mother India.

Dutt was one of the major stars of Hindi cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s and continued to star in many successful films which included Sadhna (1958), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965) and Padosan (1967). His collaboration with B.R. Chopra proved to be successful in films such as Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965) and Hamraaz (1967). One of his favourite writers and friends was Aghajani Kashmeri. Dutt created a record of sorts by directing and starring in the unique film Yaadein (1964) in which he was the only actor in the cast. He later turned producer of the 1968 film Man Ka Meet which introduced his brother Som Dutt who was unsuccessful in films. In 1971, he produced, directed and starred in Reshma Aur Shera (1971) which was a huge failure at the box office. He continued to star in hits that included Heera (1973), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974), Nagin (1976) and Jaani Dushman (1979). He also starred in a series of Punjabi religious movies in the 1970s: Man Jeete Jag Jeet (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974), and Sat Sri Akal (1977).[7]

He launched his son Sanjay's career with Rocky in 1981 which was a success. Shortly before the film's release, Nargis died of pancreatic cancer. He founded the Nargis Dutt Foundation in her memory for the curing of cancer patients.[8] He was a sponsor of the India Project, an organisation akin to Operation Smile for the treatment of Indian children with facial deformities.[9]

In 1982 he was appointed as the Sheriff of Mumbai, an apolitical titular position bestowed on him by the Maharashtra government for a year.[10]

He retired from the film industry in the early 1990s to turn to politics after his last few releases including Yash Chopra's Parampara (1992) and J.P. Dutta's Kshatriya (1993). His political career was halted for some years in the early 1990s when he worked to free his son from jail after he was arrested for keeping an AK-56, a Pistol and hand grenades that he claimed was for protection of his family after bomb blasts in Mumbai.[11]

In 1995 he won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry for four decades. He returned to acting shortly before his death in 2003's Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. in which he shared the screen with son Sanjay for the first time although they had appeared earlier in Rocky (1981) and Kshatriya (1993) but not in the same scenes together.


Sunil Dutt died of a heart attack on 25 May 2005 at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai.[12] At the time of his death, he was the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Union Government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh and was the Member of Parliament from North-west Mumbai. He was cremated with full state honours at Santacruz Crematorium in Mumbai. He was succeeded as Minister by Mani Shankar Aiyar. His seat in the Parliament was contested by his daughter, Priya Dutt, who won it and was a Member of Parliament until May 2014.

In popular cultureEdit

Paresh Rawal will play Sunil Dutt in upcoming biopic titled Sanju.[13]

Awards and honoursEdit

Selected filmographyEdit

Acting Filmography
Film Role Notes
Railway Platform (1955) Ram
Kundan (1955) Amrit
Ek Hi Raasta (1956) Amar
Kismet Ka Khel (1956) Pratap
Mother India (1957) Birju
Sadhna (1958) Mohan
Sujata (1959) Adhir
Didi (1959) Teacher
Insaan Jaag Utha (1959) Ranjeet
Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960) Sanjeev
Hum Hindustani (1960) Surendra Nath
Chhaya (1961) Arun / Rahee
Main Chup Rahoongi (1962) Kamal Kumar
Gumraah (1963) Rajendra
Mujhe Jeene Do (1963) Thakur Jarnail Singh Also Producer[18]

Filmfare Best Actor Award [18]

Nominated, Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival[19]

1964 Cannes Film Festival: Official selection, in competition for awards[20]

Nartaki (1963) Professor Nirmal Kumar
Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke (1963) Anilkumar G. Sahni
Aaj Aur Kal (1963) Dr. Sanjay
Beti Bete (1964) Ramu
Yaadein (1964) Anil Also Director & Producer[21]

Guinness Book of World Records in the category Fewest actors in a narrative film.[22][23]

National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi[24]

Gazal (1964) Ejaz
Khandan (1965) Govind Filmfare Best Actor Award[25]
Waqt (1965) Ravi
Mera Saaya (1966) Thakur Rakesh Singh
Amrapali (film) (1966) Ajatshatru
Hamraaz (1967) Kumar
Meherbaan (1967)
Milan (1967) Gopi BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi)[26]

Nominated, Filmfare Best Actor Award[27]

Padosan (1968) Bhola
Gauri (1968) Sunil
Chirag (1969) Ajay Singh
Jwala (1971) (This was Madhubala's last movie)
Reshma Aur Shera (1971) Shera Also Director & Producer[28]
Zameen Aasmaan (1972) Ravi
Zindagi Zindagi(1972) Dr. Sunil
Heera (1973) Heera
Geeta Mera Naam (1974) Johnny
36 Ghante (1974) Himmat
Zakhmee (1975)
Nagin (1976) Professor Vijay
Darinda (1977)
Paapi (1977) Raj Kumar
Kala Aadmi (1978) Birjoo
Daaku Aur Jawaan (1978)
Jaani Dushman (1979) Lakhan
Ahimsa (1979) Birju
Shaan (1980) Inspector Shiv Kumar
Rocky (1981) Rocky's Father (Guest Appearance) Also Director[29]
Badle Ki Aag (1982) Lakhan
Dard Ka Rishta (1982) Dr Ravi Also Director & Producer[30]
Raaj Tilak (1984) Jai Singh
Faasle (1985) Vikram
Dharam Yudh (1989)
Kurbaan (1991) Prithvi Singh
Yeh Aag Kab Bhujegi (1991)
Parampara (1992) Thakur Bhavani Singh
Phool (1993) Balram Choudhary
Kshatriya (1993) Maharajah Bhavani Singh
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) Hariprasad Sharma
Om Shanti Om (2007) Cameo

Recreated Via CGI and a body double during the song "Dhoom Tana"

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kumar, Shiv (25 May 2005). "Sunil Dutt is no more". The Tribune. Retrieved 2016-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Bollywood legend Sunil Dutt dies". BBC News. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 2016-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Current Lok Sabha Members Biographical Sketch". Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Zee Premiere- The Triumph of Spirit". May 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2001. 
  5. ^ "We all are one, whichever religion we belong to". May 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2005. 
  6. ^ "Sunil Dutt: The Man Stardom Never Dared to Change". The Quint. Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  7. ^ "A towering personality". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  8. ^ "NDMCT - Nargis Dutt Memorial Charatiable Trust". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  9. ^ "Remembering Sunil Dutt on his 77th Birthday... Contd". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  10. ^ "Sunil Dutt appointed new sheriff of Bombay : Signposts - India Today". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  11. ^ "Sanjay Dutt convicted in 1993 Bombay blasts case, gets 5 years in jail". Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  12. ^ "Bollywood legend Sunil Dutt dies". BBC News. 25 May 2005. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ [1] Archived 13 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Sunil Dutt – film star, peace activist, secularist, politician extraordinary". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 26 May 2005. 
  16. ^ "Phalke award for B.R. Chopra : Happenings News". ApunKaChoice.Com. 3 April 2008. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Tribute to a son of the soil". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 25 May 2007. 
  18. ^ a b "Mujhe Jeene Do". Wikipedia. 2018-02-07. 
  19. ^ "Moni Bhattacharjee". Wikipedia. 2017-12-07. 
  20. ^ " Retrieved 2009-02-28". 
  21. ^ "Yaadein (1964 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-01-06. 
  22. ^ bggru. "The Hindu : Karnataka News : Kannada film in Guinness". Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  23. ^ "Yaadein (1964 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-01-06. 
  24. ^ "National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi". Wikipedia. 2018-02-13. 
  25. ^ "Khandan (1965 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-01-15. 
  26. ^ "Milan (1967 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-04-07. 
  27. ^ "Milan (1967 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-04-08. 
  28. ^ "Reshma Aur Shera". Wikipedia. 2018-02-14. 
  29. ^ "Rocky (1981 film)". Wikipedia. 2018-03-10. 
  30. ^ "Dard Ka Rishta". Wikipedia. 2018-03-14. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit