Sanjay Dutt was born on July 29, 1959, to two of the greatest actors of Hindi cinema - Sunil Dutt and Nargis. Hailing from a family belonging to film background, it wasn't surprising that Sanju baba (as he is fondly called) got an early dose of fame. As a child actor, he made a brief appearance as a qawwali singer alongside his father in the 1972 film Reshma Aur Shera. Sanjay Dutt was only 13 then. (All photos/mid-day archives and Trishala Dutt's Instagram account)
Sanjay Dutt's first big setback came when his mother Nargis passed away just a few days before the premiere of his debut film Rocky. His debut vehicle, which released in 1981, went on to become a blockbuster, but Dutt couldn't enjoy the success since he was grieving his mother's death.
The troubled times continued for Dutt as depression caused the youngster to turn to drugs. Sanjay Dutt spent his youth being high on substance, while his mother Nargis Dutt was away battling cancer in the US.
Nargis Dutt during her illness would take time to record tapes for her son. However, under the influence of substance abuse, Sanjay Dutt would not hear the tape-recorded messages. It was only after Nargis Dutt's demise when Sanjay regained sobriety that he heard the tapes. The actor had an emotional meltdown on listening to his mother's words.
Sanjay Dutt even spent a few months in jail in 1982 over illegal drug possession. A worried Sunil Dutt sent him to a rehabilitation centre in Texas, United States.
A few years after his rehab, Sanjay Dutt revived his then sinking career with a much-admired performance in Mahesh Bhatt's critically-acclaimed Naam (1986), which starred Nutan, Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt, Poonam Dhillon, Amrita Singh and Paresh Rawal. Naam is regarded as a milestone in the careers of Mahesh Bhatt, Paresh Rawal and Sanjay Dutt.
On the personal front as well, things brightened for Sanjay Dutt. He found love in actress Richa Sharma and the two tied the knot in 1987.
Pictured: Richa Sharma and Sanjay Dutt.
A year after their marriage, Sanjay Dutt and Richa Sharma were blessed with a daughter, who was named Trishala. All seemed well for a while, but tragedy was to strike Sanjay Dutt's life again though.
Pictured: Little Trishala Dutt with her father Sanjay Dutt.
Sanjay Dutt's wife Richa Sharma was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and she passed away a few years later. This picture was taken in the hospital when Sharma was being treated, as mentioned by Trishala Dutt in one of her Instagram posts.
In 1993, Sanjay Dutt's life took a turn for the worse when he was arrested for illegal possession of weapons in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bombings. The then Mumbai police commissioner, late A.S. Samra ordered his arrest in 1993 for illegally keeping an AK-47 assault rifle.
Sanjay Dutt had to spend 18 months behind bars as an undertrial before he was granted bail. Sunil Dutt ran from pillar to post to get him out of jail. Ironically, as Dutt spent time behind bars, his film Khalnayak (1993), in which he played a criminal, went on to become a massive box-office success. The song 'Nayak Nahin, Khalnayak Hoon Main' became a huge hit.
Sanjay Dutt was finally granted bail in 1995 and walked out of jail looking a pale shadow of his original self.
If reports are to be believed, Dutt was then in a relationship with Madhuri Dixit. However, the latter reportedly distanced herself from the controversial actor following his arrest.
Post his prison stint, Sanjay Dutt gave another shot at bringing his professional career back on track, but his movies failed to do well.
In the meantime, he married model Rhea Pillai in 1998. Rhea was married to a US national named Michael Vaz in 1984 and got divorced in 1994.
Sanjay Dutt's on-screen luck changed soon after marriage. Vaastav (1999), in which Dutt portrayed an underworld don with great conviction, proved to be a turning point in his career.
Things got even better for Dutt when four years later he starred in Munna Bhai MBBS (2003), as the affectionate goon who wants to become a doctor! Dutt's portrayal in the Rajkumar Hirani film led to a 360-degree change in his on-screen persona. He had gone from being the bad boy to an adorable and charming guy.
Sanjay Dutt reprised his role in Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), and the acclaim this time was only higher. This was the peak phase of his career.
Pictured: Sanjay Dutt, choreographer Saroj Khan and Shah Rukh Khan at an award function.
But, things weren't as smooth on his personal front. Sanjay Dutt's marriage with Rhea Pillai hit the rocks and the two separated in 2005 and divorced in 2008.
His past also came back to haunt him as Dutt was sentenced to six years' rigorous imprisonment in July 2007 in connection with the 1993 case. He spent a few days in jail before being granted temporary freedom (bail).
Sanjay Dutt fell in love for the third time and married small-time actress Dilnawaz Sheikh, now known as Maanayata, in 2008. In October 2010, the couple was blessed with twins - son Shahraan and daughter Iqra.
Things finally seemed to be on the way up for Dutt. He also tasted success at the box office with movies like Double Dhamaal (2011), Agneepath (2012) and Son of Sardaar (2012).
As always though, with Dutt, the good times did not last long. In March 2013, the Supreme Court sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. Dutt surrendered on May 2013 and served his prison sentence at Yerwada Jail in Pune.
It was in February 2016 that Sanjay walked out of jail completing his prison-term for illegal possession of arms. Recounting the moment, he said, "The day I was released after the final verdict, it was the happiest moment of my life. I was missing my father (Sunil Dutt). I wish he was alive to see me free... he would have been the happiest person. We should never forget our family, they are the pillar of strength always."
Pictured: Sanjay Dutt with Rajiv Kapoor.
Sanjay Dutt now believes that spending days in prison broke his ego but made him a better person. "My confinement days have been nothing less than a roller coaster ride. To look at the positive side, it has taught me a lot and made me a better individual," he said.
"Staying away from my family and my loved ones was a challenge. During those days, I learnt how to keep my body in perfect shape, used trash cans and mud pots in place of weights and dumbbells. We also used to have a cultural function every six months in jail where I taught convicts serving out life sentences to mouth dialogues, sing, dance and express themselves through skits. These people became my family during the hard times and came to encourage me when I was giving up," he added.
During his jail term, Sanjay Dutt said his wife Maanayata suffered more than him. "I think she was suffering more as she had to be at home...bring up kids..look after them, take decisions. I was in jail," he said.
Sanjay Dutt is now content in his life and is leading a happy life and this picture is proof enough! Pictured: Sanjay Dutt with his daughter Trishala, wife Maanayata Dutt and kids Shahraan and Iqra.
Here's wishing all the very best to Sanjay Dutt for his film Prassthanam!
As Sanjay Dutt's Prassthanam hit theatres today - September 20, we take a look at some of the candid pictures of the actor from his personal album.
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