Dara Singh, Wrestling Champion & Bollywood’s Strong Man
India’s favorite Hanuman ji died on 12th July a year ago. The iconic Wrestler and Actor Sardar Dara Singh Randhawa died at the age of 84 after suffering from cardiac respiratory arrest at 7.30 Am. The other iconic actor Amitabh Bachchan tweeted, “Dara Singh ji passed away this morning.A great Indian and one of the finest humans.An entire eras of his celebrated presence gone!”
Born on 19th November 1928 in Punjab, Dara Singh joined Pehalwani due to his physique which measures 6.2 feet and a weight of 132 kgs. He was invited by various princely states to display is wrestling skills. Later he went on to defeat some worldwide names in wrestling from US, which increased his popularity. He defeated American Lou Thesz and then went on to defeat the great Stanislaus Zbyszko.
He wrestled his final tournament in New Delhi (1983) where he announced his retirement. In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
He began his movie career in Bollywood in 1952 with the movie Sangdil, played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry’s film King Kong (1962). He was often paired with Mumtaz. Near the end of 1980’s he was a popular household name after he played the role of Hanuman in TV serial Ramayan. He played Hanuman in movies too. His last Hindi movie was Jab We Met and last Punjabi movie was Dil Apna Punjabi.
Singh owns the Dara Studio at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The Studio is operational from 1980 as a film studio. He produced and even directed films in Hindi and Punjabi. He acted in Tamil, Telegu,Malayam, Gujrati, Marathi,Bhojpuri and Haryanvi too.Overall he acted in more than a 150 films.
Dara Singh became the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha and was in the position from 2003 and 2009. He was also president of the All India Jat Mahasabha.
Dara Singh was married twice. He had a son from his first marriage and from his second marriage he had five children including two sons and three daughters. One of his sons Vindu Dara Singh is a film and television actor.
Dara Singh’s most coveted awards and accomplishments include National Wrestling Alliance: Canadian Open Tag Team Champion, with Yukon Eric; Rustam-e-Hind, 1954; Rustam-e-Punjab, 1966; and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame – Class of 1996.
Dara Singh may have died but his legend lives on.