Dharmendra turns 85 today. The veteran actor made his debut with Arjun Hingorani’s Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere in 1960 and has been entertaining us ever since. On his 85th birthday today, here are some lesser known facts.
1. While his father was a school teacher, Dharmendra hated school. He used to urge his mother not to send him to school as his father scolded him more than other children.
2. Dharmendra always dreamed of becoming an actor and used to express his aspirations to his mother.
3. His mother suggested that he should write a letter requesting to act in films, something which worked in his favour. Dharmendra sent an application to Filmfare’s new talent hunt with his pictures. Dharmendra was declared the winner of Filmfare magazine’s National New Talent award. Being the award winner, he was called to Mumbai from Punjab to work in the movie promised, but the movie was never made.
4. During his struggling days, Dharmendra befriended Manoj Kumar.
5. Before falling in love with Hema Malini, Dharmendra was linked with other top leading ladies of his day, including Meena Kumari and Saira Banu. In fact, it was Meena Kumari who had a big hand to play in the early days of his acting career as being a much bigger star than him in the 60s (when he was just starting out), she would recommend him to several top filmmakers. Not many know that Dharmendra also tried his level best to rid the actress of her drinking problem.
6. Dharmendra remains the only Bollywood actor to have delivered seven clean hits at the box office in a single year, having achieved the feat in 1987.
7. In the year 1980, Dharmendra wed Hema Malini. Both converted to Islam so that they could get married since his first wife refused to grant him a divorce.
The actor won’t be celebrating his birthday this year. He told Hindustan Times, “Earlier, I used to celebrate my birthday but later, I felt it was too artificial, kyun industry mein dikhawa zyaada hota hai. Log janamdin ko promotion ke liye use karte hain. Moreover, this year has been quite sad with the farmers suffering and the ongoing pandemic – it doesn’t make one feel happy. You can’t enjoy. Also, since losing my mum years ago, I don’t really enjoy celebrating birthdays. She would be so excited about it.”
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