Beautiful memories woven in gold, These are the treasures I tenderly hold, Deep in my heart your memory is kept, To love and to cherish and never forget
Biography of Darasingh Suratsingh Randhawa
Dara Singh (19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012) was an Indian wrestler-turned-actor from Indian Punjab. He started acting in 1952 and was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha by Bhartiya Janata Party during August 2003 – August 2009.He has also worked as Hindi and Punjabi film producer, director and writer in his career. He has also been an Indian television actor. Actor Akshay Kumar remarked him as "Hanuman for every kid and the God of all wrestlers, the original action hero who truly inspired me."
Dara Singh was born as Deedar Singh Randhawa to father Surat Singh and mother Balwant Kaur, on 19 November 1928 in Dharmuchak village (now falls under Amritsar district) in British Punjab.
As an adult he stood 6' 2" tall, weighed 130Kg and had a chest measurement of 50 inches. Due to his massive physique, he was encouraged in Pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling, in the milked sand wrestling pits called akhada. He wrestled on invitation of kings of Indian princely states and wrestled frequently in haats and melas (fairs and carnivals). Singh won the titles of 'Rustam-E-Punjab' and 'Rustam-E-Hind' for his wrestling prowess. 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.As a wrestler, he fought more than 500 professional bouts and remained undefeated in all of them.Dara Singh returned to India in 1952, became the Indian Champion and won the title Rustam-E-Hind in 1954.
Dara Singh mentioned as the World Cup Holder in a poster of the World Cup for Wrestling
All India Jat Mahasabha Centenary Celebrations 2007, Seen in the image are Dharmendra, Dara Singh (sitting in center bearing turban) and Kamal Patel His last tournament where he announced his retirement was held in Delhi in 1983, inaugrated by Rajiv Gandhi and the winning trophy was presented by Giani Zail Singh. In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
Films and television
He started his career as an actor in 1952 with Sangdil. He is known as the first Action King of Bollywood and was successful as action hero in the 1960-69 in Hindi Films and in Punjabi films from 1970-82. He was first Indian hero who started the trend of hero having a eight pack abs and taking the shirt off. He appeared in 121 Hindi feature films and in 21 Punjabi films. He made guest appearances in one Telugu and one Malayalam film. Of the 144 films he did, 58 had him play the main lead. In 70's and 80's, his Punjabi films with him in the lead were more successful and in the 70's in Hindi films, he achieved success more in mythological hits like Tulsi Vivah, Har Har Mahadev, Bajrangbali, Bhakti Mein Shakti. He took up supporting roles in Hindi Films from 1980's till 2012. He turned a producer, director and writer when he made Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar in 1970. 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. He tasted commercial success as a hero from the film King Kong in 1962. His commercially successful Hindi films in sixties were Awara Abdulla , The Thief of Baghdad, Aay Toofan, Dara Singh The Ironman,
Rustom-E-Baghdad and with Mumtaz films like Faulad, Veer Bhimsen, Samson , Hercules, Tarzan Comes to Delhi, Sikandar E Azam, Rustom-E-Hind, Raaka, Boxer, Daku Mangal Singh were successful. In each film opposite Mumtaz, his remuneration was 4.5 lakh per film and Mumtaz earned 2.5 lakh for each film they did together. He then went on to do television in the late 1980s, where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan.He was liked more in the role of 'Bheem Sen' in films like 'Veer Bheem Sen' and 'Mahabharat' and in role of 'Hanuman' both in films and TV serial. He worked with Prathviraj Kapoor' in 'Sikander-e-Aazam', 'Khakaan', 'Lootera', 'Daku Mangalsingh' and 'Insaaf'. He also played the 'Alexender' with great comfort in 'Sikander-e- Aazam'.He worked in some television serial shows, including Had Kar Di which was aired on Zee TV and Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa for Starone. His last memorable Hindi movie was Jab We Met and last Punjabi movie released before his illness is Dil Apna Punjabi. He acted in National Award winning film Main Maa Punjab Dee (Director Balwant Singh Dullat).He directed 7 Punjabi films of which Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun,Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar, Dhyanu Bhagat, Rab Dian Rakhan were commercial hits and directed two films in Hindi Bhakti Mein Shakti and Rustom (1982).His directorial venture Bhakti Mein Shakti, a mythological film completed a record run at Delhi's Imperial Cinema in 1978.He produced 8 films and wrote the story for 7 films.
Singh was also the owner of Dara Studio at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The Studio is operational from 1980 as film studio.
He was admitted in Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 7 July 2012 following a cardiac arrest.He was released from hospital on 11 July in deference to the wishes of his family. He died on 12 July 2012 at his home in Mumbai. He was cremated at Juhu crematorium.
Dara Singh married twice, he has a son Parduman Singh Randhawa from his first marriage and from his second marriage he has five children: two sons and three daughters including Vindu Dara Singh, who is a film and television actor.