(Pic courtesy: Dharmendra Deol/ Twitter)
The living legend of Bollywood and our desi âHe-Man*, Dharmendra is celebrating his 87th birthday today. The veteran actor, who began his acting career with âDil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere* in 1960, has acted in more than 300 movies. The Padma Bhushan awardee who has delivered blockbuster hits like âSholay*, âChupke Chupke*, âHaqeeqat*, âGuddi*, âThe Burning Train*, âDharam Veer* and so onâ¦ Dharmendra still has a strong prominence in Bollywood. The action hero and a handsome hunk from the good ol* days of Bollywood, the self-made superstar has been an inspiration for various actors. On the occasion of Dharam paaji*s 87th birthday, let*s unravel some lesser-known facts about the greatest actor of all time.
Dharam paaji hated going to school
It is believed when Dharam paaji was a kid, he hated going to school and he used to request his mother not to send him to school. While his father was a school teacher, little Dharam hated going to the school because his father used to scold him more than other children.
The big dream
A born superstar, Dharmendra always dreamed of becoming an actor. His mother who always supported his dreams, used to suggest that he should write a letter requesting to act in films, and his mother*s idea somehow worked! Young Dharam sent an application to Filmfare*s new talent hunt with his pictures. While Dharmendra bagged the prestigious National New Talent award, being the award winner, the actor was promised that he will get to work in a movie and hence he was called from Punjab to Mumbai, but unfortunately, the movie was never made.
The funny story behind hugging Hema Malini
Dharmendra and Hema Malini, the all-time hit Jodi of Bollywood have reportedly acted together in 28 films. The duo first met on the sets of âTum Haseen Main Jawan* in 1970 and eventually fell in love. As per a report on IMDb, on the sets of âSholay*, Dharam paaji used to pay Rs 20 to light-boys to purposely disturb the couple when they would shoot for the iconic scene where Dharam is teaching Hema how to shoot with a revolver. Just to keep hugging Hema, the actor ended up spending Rs 2000 at that time.
Converted to Islam
Since Dharmendra was already married to Prakash Kaur and had four kids, Hema turned down his marriage proposal initially. However, Dharmendra secretly got converted to Islam and changed his name to Dilawar Khan, since second marriage was legal as per the Islamic laws. It is believed that along with Dharam, Hema too got converted to Islam and the couple got married in an Iyengar style wedding. The whole marriage was kept a secret affair and it was revealed much later.
Link ups with Meena Kumari and Saira Banu
Before falling for the âDream Girl* of Bollywood, Dharam paaji was linked up with other leading ladies of his time, namely Meena Kumari and Saira Banu. It is believed that Meena Kumari played a big role in shaping up Dharam*s acting career back in the 60s who was just a newbie star. She used to recommend his name to top filmmakers of that time so that Dharmendra could get some movies.
Superstar for a reason
The He-Man of Bollywood, Dharmendra remains the only Bollywood actor to have delivered seven clean hits at the box office in a single year, having achieved the feat in 1987.