He won the Filmfare new talent award and went to Mumbai from Punjab to try his hand in films. Having made his debut with Dil Bhi Tera, Hum Bhi Tere (1960), Dharmendra started his Bollywood career. He worked in several romantic black and white films in the early 1960s, hitting solo hero stardom with Phool Aur Patthar (1966).

He established himself as a successful solo romantic hero with hits like Izzat, Mere Hamdam Mere Dost, Ankhen, Pyar Hi Pyar, Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke and multi-star Shikar, Aadmi Aur Insaan.

Though Dharmendra gave several Bollywood super hits, he still loved and remembered most as ‘Veeru’ for Ramesh Sippy’s Sholey.
Starring Amitabh Bachchan as ‘Jay’ and Dharmendra as ‘Veeru’, Sholey became the highest grosser of that year. Dharmendra’s chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan  in Sholey earned accolades.

In spite of being married and father of two sons, Dharmendra fell in love with Dream-Girl Hema Malini. Even Hema could not resist herself from falling in love with the then most handsome star in Bollywood.

The Dharam-Hema pair resulted in seven straight successes -- Sharafat, Tum Haseen Main Jawan, Naya Zamana, Raja Rani, Seeta Aur Geeta, Jugnu and Dost.
Rumours of their off-screen love affair fuelled their on-screen chemistry. Their enchantment quotient touched its zenith when Sholay happened. They eventually got married in 1980.

Known as the original ‘He-man’ of Bollywood, Dharmendra, even at the age of 78, is unstoppable. Pairing up with his two sons Sunny and Bobby, he has given hit like Yamla Pagla Deewana. His personality and screen presence are so magnificent that audience can’t stop themselves from admiring him. His trademark styles of dialogue delivery used to leave the audience spell bounded. Dharmendra still continues to make appearances in movies every once in a while.
Wish Dharmpaji aka Dharmendra a healthy and hearty birthday.

Trivia:

1. For his debut film, Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960), he was offered a sum of Rs 51 and a daily breakfast of tea and toast at a local restaurant.

2. In 1979, he converted to Islam, changed his name to Dilawar Khan, got married to actress Hema Malini, as his first wife, Prakash Kaur, refused to divorce him.
In 1983, his son Sunny debuted with the movie Betaab. In the same year, Dharmendra was featured in a lead role in Nauker Biwi Ka. It was a rare occasion of father and son scoring hits in the same year while playing lead roles.

(JPN)

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