Sunil Dutt
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.

His 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.

Sadhna, 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.

Death 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.

He 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.

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