Sunny Deol, the actor, director, producer in Bollywood, needs no introduction. After giving more than three decades to the industry, Sunny has etched a special place in the hearts of his fans. His journey in the world of showbiz has been exceptional. (All photos/mid-day archives and Instagram)
In picture: Sunny Deol with his co-actor Dimple Kapadia.
Born as Ajay Deol on October 19, 1956, into a Jat Sikh family in the village of Sahnewal in Punjab, India, to Bollywood actor Dharmendra and Parkash Kaur. Sunny Deol also has a younger brother Bobby Deol and two sisters Vijayta and Ajeeta who are settled in California. We all know how Dharmendra fell head over heels with the dream girl of Bollywood, Hema Malini. The actor is a step-son to Hema Malini, through whom he has two paternal half-sisters, actress Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. His cousin Abhay Deol is also an actor.
In picture: Sunny Deol and Madhuri Dixit at a famous awards function.
Sunny Deol made his Bollywood debut with Betaab, opposite Amrita Singh in 1983. Directed by Rahul Rawail and produced by Bikram Singh Dahal, the music was composed by Rahul Dev Burman. The film which was the biggest hit of the year was also remade as Telugu film Samrat (1987) with Ramesh Babu and Sonam. Ever since then, there has been no turning back for Sunny Deol. His career sky-rocketed like no one else's in Bollywood.
In picture: Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla in a movie still.
Sunny Deol went on to star in numerous successful films in the 1980s and 1990s. He made his debut as a director and producer with Dillagi, in which he starred alongside his brother Bobby and Urmila Matondkar. Though the film was a box office flop, Deol's first attempt at directing was appreciated by one and all.
In picture: Sunny Deol with the late Divya Bharti.
Sunny Deol, who tasted fame much early than any other Bollywood actor, was critically recognised for his work including Manzil Manzil (1984), Saveray Wali Gaadi (1986), Sultanat (1986), Dacait (1987), Yateem (1988), Veerta (1993), Imtihaan (1994), Salaakhen (1998) and Farz (2001). The actor left no stone unturned to make his audience laugh, cry, and feel proud with his acting in each and every film.
In picture: Sunny Deol and Farha Naaz.
In 1990, Sunny Deol acted in a Rajkumar Santoshi film, Ghayal, where he portrayed the role of an amateur boxer wrongly accused of his brother's murder. The film ended up bagging seven Filmfare Awards. Not only this, Sunny Deol's performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the National Film Award – Special Jury Award/Special Mention (Feature Film).
If someone is a true-blue Sunny Deol fan, he must have not missed Sunny Deol's best performance as a lawyer in Damini (1993). This film, which also starred biggies like Rishi Kapoor and Meenakshi Sheshadri, allowed Sunny to not only rule hearts but also awards nominations. He won several accolades including the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In picture: Sunny Deol in a still from Damini, which is considered among his best performances.
After reaching the peak of his career in the early '90s, Sunny Deol brought in the new century with Anil Sharma's Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001). The actor portrayed the role of a truck driver who falls in love with a Muslim girl. Gadar, which also starred Ameesha Patel in the main lead, was the highest-grossing Bollywood film ever at the time of its release. Sunny Deol's next few successful films include The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003), Apne (2007), Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011), Ghayal Once Again (2016) to name a few.
In picture: Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla.
On the personal front, post the success of Betaab, rumour mills started running about Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh's love life. But it is also said that the duo broke up when Sunny Deol's marriage news started hitting the headlines. Not only this, Sunny Deol and Dimple Kapadia were allegedly dating each other was the next most talked-about affair.
In 1984, Sunny Deol married Pooja Deol in a secret ceremony, and the actor is a proud parent to two sons - Karan Deol and Rajvir Deol. Karan was an assistant director on Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 and has even rapped in a song sung by Diljit Dosanjh in the film. Karan Deol recently made his Bollywood debut with Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, that was helmed by Sunny.
Talking about his son's big Bollywood debut, Sunny Deol said in an interview with PTI: "My father did not direct me. It is a huge task since it is Karan's first film. I am a bit conscious as I am launching him. I don't give him any advice. He has to be honest to his profession and craft of acting, work hard and enjoy what he does."
In picture: Sunny Deol with the cast of Vishwatma.
Talking about his debut experience, Sunny Deol also added: "When I came into the industry I was mentally prepared. I am sure he is coming in his own way the way I came in. Rest is up to him how he portrays himself, the subjects he chooses, how he does the job and that is all up to him. As a father, I am always there with him. But I can't go and work for him or select things for him. It is up to us what we become as individuals."
The film's name was based on Dharmendra's iconic film Blackmail's song, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas. The Karan Deol-starrer is a romantic film, which also starred debutante Sahher Bambba.
In picture: Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Seshadri.
Despite having the image of a macho man, Sunny Deol is an adorable father. In an interview with mid-day, the actor said: "I still cannot see eye to eye with my father, Dharmendra. His fear will always remain. Even now, if I'm doing anything wrong, the thought of dad getting its knowledge scares me."
In picture: Sunny Deol with Chunky Panday.
Further talking about Karan, daddy dearest also revealed that Karan is as shy as him. He further says that being shy is in their blood. "Even if I want to, Karan and I can't be friends. He shares his secrets with me but maintains a distance. You can call it his reservation or respect towards me," said Sunny Deol.
The action-king also mentioned, recently, "Despite being the new generation boy, Karan maintains a distance. Daddy keeps asking us why don't you'll come downstairs and talk to me. Whenever we sit together, we talk for a few moments and then there's nothing to talk about. What to talk, just can't understand."
Sunny Deol didn't shy away by showing off how similar his son is to him! Pointing out similarities between himself and Karan, Sunny quipped, "Karan is also like me. He'll sit with me and then after a while, we fall short of conversations. Whereas on the film's set he treated me like a director only. He's very professional."
In picture: Sunny Deol receiving an award from Rekha.
Talking about the possibility of the audience drawing parallels between Karan Deol and his father or grandfather, Sunny Deol expressed: "I don't think about it. There is no solution to it. I can't stop them (the audience) from doing so. This is the reality and he (Karan) has to face it. He has to go through it. If he can create his space with his talent, they will stop identifying him only as Sunny Deol's son."
In picture: Dilip Kumar packs a punch on Sunny Deol' cheek, making the duo laugh out loud.
Sunny Deol mentioned how difficult it is to still maintain the pace as an actor. The actor said: "There is a void now somewhere and I hope things turn positive. I am not someone who would capitalise on something. I rather go by the subject and the role. I have not been getting roles that will take me notches higher as an actor. I haven't come across something like that. I am always hunting for good subjects to do rather than waiting for subjects to come to you."
In picture: Dharmendra with Bobby Deol in his arms, and Sunny Deol. Picture courtesy/Sunny Deol's Instagram account.
We wish the actor who gave us the iconic 'dhaai kilo ka haath' dialogue a very happy birthday!
As Sunny Deol turns a year older on October 19, we bring you pictures from an era when the actor was among the leading heroes in Bollywood. Have you seen these images before? Well, if not, then this will surely make you nostalgic. Take a look
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