Veteran Indian wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh passed away today due to a cardiac arrest. He was 83 years old.
Dara Singh was born as Deedar Singh Randhawa in a Sikh Jat family on 19 November 1928 in Dharmuchak village (now falls under Amritsar district) in British Punjab. He started to get into pehlwani an Indian style of wrestling and performed internationally. Singh went to Singapore in 1947 and became the Champion of Malaysia (Indian style wrestling) by defeating Tarlok Singh in Kuala Lumpur. He has toured almost all far-east countries as a professional wrestler. Dara Singh returned to India in 1952, became the Indian Champion and won the title Rustam-E-Hind in 1954.
He made his film debut in 1952 with Sangdil and was successful as action hero in the 1960-69 in Hindi Films and is believed to have started the trend of hero taking the shirt off. He appeared in 119 Hindi feature films and in 21 Punjabi films. Of the 140 films he did, 58 had him play the main lead. He also did 6 TV serials. One of his notable friends was the actress Mumtaz with whom he had performed in 16 Hindi films and had 10 of them as box office hits. His famous Hindi films in sixties were Awara Abdulla , Rustom-E-Baghdad and with Mumtaz films like Faulad, Veer Bhimsen, Tarzan Comes to Delhi. He then went on to television in the 1980s and 1990s where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan. He also played in the super hit Mard as Amitabh Bachchan.
From his first marriage, he has a son Parduman Singh Randhawa and from his second marriage he has five children: two sons and three daughters including TV and film actor Vindu Dara Singh.
Dara Singh (19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012)