Standing tall with rippling muscles,
wrestler-actor Dara Singh was a name to reckon with in the
world of wrestling who ventured into an unusual territory --
films.The 83-year-old will always be remembered for his variety
of roles in cinema and on the small screen, the most memorable
being that of Hanuman in the iconic show 'Ramayan'. Apart from
making a name for himself in professional wrestling, Singh
also acted in a number of Punjabi and Hindi films.
Born in a Jat Sikh family to Balwant Kaur and Surat Singh
Randhawa in November 1928 in the village Dharmuchak of
Amritsar district in Punjab, Singh was trained in an Indian
style of wrestling, Pehlwani.Apart from wrestling in tournaments, he wrestled on
invitation of kings of Indian princely states in fairs and
In the world of wrestling, he competed against some of
the greatest names like King Kong (Australia), George
Gordienko (Canada), John Desilva (New Zealand) and others.
Singh won the title of 'Rustam-E-Punjab' and
'Rustam-e-Hind' for his wrestling prowess.
Also, he became the
Commonwealth Champion in 1959 and in 1996 he was inducted into
the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
Singh included over 500 professional fights to his credit,
After his retirement from wrestling in 1983, the
Commonwealth wrestling champion then turned towards showbiz in
1952 with "Sangdil".
He went on to star in many films later on, including "King
Kong (1962)", "Faulad (1963)", "Darasingh: Ironman" (1964),
"Daku Mangal Singh (1966)" and "Warrant" (1975).Even though most of his films were relegated to a B-grade
category, Singh made special appearances in mainstream films
like "Mera Naam Joker" (1970), "Ajooba" (1991), "Dillagi" (1999) and "Kal Ho Naa Ho" (2003). He was last seen playing
Kareena Kapoor's grandfather in "Jab We Met" (2007).
But it was the iconic TV series 'Ramayan' (1986) which
made Dara Singh a household name. He worked in some television
shows, including 'Had Kar Di' which was aired on Zee TV and
'Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka' on Star Plus.
Filmmaker Manmohan Desai paid Singh an unusual compliment
when he signed him for "Mard"."Amitabh Bachchan is playing the title role of Mard. I
was wondering who could be his father... If Amitabh plays
"Mard", then his father can be Dara Singh only. This is why I
took Dara Singh in the film," Desai had said.
One of his notable friends was actress Mumtaz, with whom
he starred in 16 Hindi films including "Faulad" (1963), "Veer
Bhimsen" (1964), "Hercules" (1964), "Aandhi Aur Toofan" (1964), "Tarzan Comes to Delhi", "Tarzan and King Kong" (1965), "Sikandar-e-Azam" (1965), "Rustom-E-Hind" (1965).
Besides acting, he produced and directed Punjabi films.
He was a member of Rajya Sabha from Bhartiya Janata Party
during August 2003 to August 2009.
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 Vidhu