Sunil Dutt was a famous film actor and politician. Sunil was born on 6 June 1929 in Jhelum district of undivided Punjab. He was educated at Jai Hind College in Mumbai. He started his career as an announcer in Radio Ceylon. Radio Ceylon is the oldest radio station in South Asia. Dutt Saheb became very popular as an announcer. He had a lot of interest in acting. He soon made a mark in this area. His first film was Railway Station which was made in 1955. Made in 1957, the film Mother India was a big hit. This film made him a Bollywood star. He acted in more than 50 films and also produced and directed many films.
The 2003 film Munna Bhai MBBS was his last film as an actor. In this film, he played the role of the father of his own son Sanjay Dutt. Sunil Dutt was also a skilled social worker. The Government of Maharashtra made him Justice of Peace in 1975 and Sheriff in 1981. During the war with China in 1962, he donated one lakh to the National Security Fund.
For the entertainment of the soldiers, formed the Ajanta Art Team. During the war, the soldiers not only boosted their morale but also helped them. Sponsor Nitin Narayan Rao to cross the English Channel. Dutt Saheb established Nargis Smarak Foundation, a cancer hospital.
Sunil Dutt also stepped into the field of filmmaking through the film ‘Yeh Rasta Hai Pyaar Ke’ released in 1963. The film was not very successful at the ticket window. After this film, Sunil Dutt produced the film ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’. The film was based on the life of the bandits. The film proved to be a superhit. He then launched his brother Som Dutt as the lead actor in the film Man Ka Meet. Som Dutt’s film journey was not very successful.
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Sunil Dutt produced and directed his ambitious film ‘Reshma Aur Shera’ in 1971. He also played a role in this film. It was a period and big budget film which was rejected by the audience. Even after becoming a producer and director, Sunil Dutt never shied away from acting for long. Sunil Dutt’s films in the seventies and eighties were liked in his roles in ‘Pran Jae Par Vardan Na Jaaye’ (1974), ‘Naagin’ (1976), ‘Jani Dushman’ (1979) and ‘Shaan’ (1980) . Prominent among them are ‘Man Jeete Jag Jeete’ (1973), ‘Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam’ (1974), ‘Sat Sri Akal’ (1977).
Sunil Dutt entered politics for social service after playing several roles in films and became a member of Lok Sabha with the support of Congress. In 1968, he was honored with the Padma Shri Award. Apart from Hindi films, Sunil Dutt also showed his performance in many Punjabi films. These include super hit films like ‘Man Jeete Jag Jeete’ 1973, ‘Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam’ 1974 and ‘Sat Sri Akal’ 1977.
Public welfare work
Sunil Dutt and Nargis – both husband and wife together formed a cultural institution called “Ajanta Arts Cultural Troup” long ago. Through this institution, he continued to work from film making to public welfare of the nation. After his wife Nargis Dutt died of liver cancer in 1981, Sunil Dutt founded the “Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation”. Not only this, he also started giving “Nargis Award” in his memory every year. Now both these daughters see their daughters and sons together.
Honours and awards
- 1964 – Filmfare Best Actor Award – Let Me Live
- 1966 – Filmfare Best Actor Award – Khandaan
- 1967 – Best Actor Award of Bengal Film Journalist Association – Milan
- 1968 – Padma Shri
- 1982 – Sheriff of Bombay
- 1995 – Lifetime Achievement Award at the Filmfare
- 1997 – Lifetime Achievement Award for Star Screen
- 1998 – Rajiv Gandhi National Goodwill Award [
- 2005 – Phalke Award of Dadasaheb Phalke Academy
- 2005 – India pride honor of IIFS London
- Sunil Dutt started his career as an announcer on Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia. This gained him a lot of popularity.
- His first film was “Railway Station”, made in 1955.
- The film that made him the star of Bollywood, the 1957 film “Mother India”.
- One day in shooting in 1957 film “Mother India”, a fire broke out on the set. Seeing Nargis Dutt surrounded by fire, he scorched himself to save her.
- In the 60s, he had one of his best films, which included Gumrah, Sujatha, Mujhe Jeene Jaane, Padosan, Hamraj, Khandaan, etc.
- After his death, his daughter Priya Dutt won the election from here and became a member of Parliament.
- Actor, producer, director and politician Sunil Dutt was also Sheriff from Mumbai.