Born on 6th June, 1929, in village Khurd, (now in Pakistan) in
district Jhelum, Sunil Dutt and his family were a victim of Partition
and had to leave their house and property and come to India. They
were allotted a small piece of land in district Ambala, Haryana,
in lieu of what they had left behind in Pakistan. Sunil Dutt came
to Mumbai to pursue education and took admission in Jai Hind College
as an undergraduate and took up a job as well. He worked with
Keymers, a flourishing British advertisement company and there
he got introduced to the cream of film industry. He was attracted
towards the glamour, name and fame of the film industry and was
also offered a few roles. But all this had to wait since his mother
wanted him to complete his graduation.
debut film was Railway Platform directed by Ramesh Sehgal, with
Johnny Walker and Nalini Jaywant as co-stars. Success came his
way with B R Chopra’s, Ek hi Raasta, 1956 which was an
instant hit. But it was Mehboob Khan’s greatest work,
Mother India, 1956 which catapulted him to stardom and helped
him to tie the nuptial knot with Nargis.
1958, Sujata, 1959 and Main Chup Rahungi, 1962 followed. Dutt
hit the peak of his career in the sixties with films like Yeh
Raastein Hain Pyar Ke, 1963, Mujhe Jeene Do, 1963, Yaadein,
1964 and B R Chopra productions Gumraah, 1963, Waqt, 1965 and
Humraaz. He gave three successful hits in 1967 with Meherban,
Milan and Humraaz. Seventies was not a very successful year
for Sunil but films like Zaakhmee, 1975, Paapi, 1976 and Jaani
Dushman, 1978 opposite the likes of Rekha and Reena Roy, kept
him going through the seventies. He had tough competition with
actors like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendera, Amitabh and Shashi Kapoor.
of his beloved wife Nargis in the year 1981 was the end of his
career in films. He completely withdrew from the film industry
and started devoting his time in social work and politics. He
set up the Nargis Dutt Foundation for the cure of cancer patients.
He has brought medical equipment worth three million dollars
into various hospitals of the country. He helped raise 1-lac
pounds for the Imran Khan’s cancer charity fund and three
million shillings for a cancer Hospital in Kenya.
became a member of the parliament and did a lot of social good
but tendered his resignation in protest against the mishandling
of communal riots of Mumbai riots in 1993. Life was not a joyride
for Sunil Dutt and he faced many problems in life but didn’t
give up. He was the epitome of bravery and optimism when his
son was bogged down in the quagmire of drugs in the eighties
and was arrested for having relationships with the underworld
during the nineties. Off late, on the special request of his
long time friend, Vidhu Vinod Chopra he acted in Munna Bhai
M.B.B.S. alongwith his son Sanjay.