Born Dara Singh Randhawa on November 19, 1928 in the village of Dharmuchak, British-Indian Punjab, he was an Indian professional wrestler and a Bollywood actor. A seasoned and robust wrestler, Dara Singh introduced India into the modern world of wrestling. He is not only known to have represented but also brought laurels to India in many international wrestling championships. Throughout his career, Dara Singh has posed tough competition to many sturdies like Bill Verna, John Da Silva, Rikidōzan, King Kong etc.
Some facts on Dara Singh’s life:
- Initially, Dara Singh went to Singapore in 1947 to work in a drum-manufacturing unit. There he was spotted by Harnam Singh, and was trained by him in the Great World Stadium of Singapore.
- In 1959, Dara Singh won the Commonwealth Championship, defeating George Gordienko.
Dara Singh at 1959 Commonwealth Championship
- He won the World Wrestling Championship in 1968 against Lou Thesz of US.
- Dara Singh had debuted in Bollywood with 1952 film Sangdil, as a co-star of Dilip Kumar and Madhubala.
Dara Singh in Sangdil (1952)
- Amazingly, Dara Singh began his career as a lead-hero in a film named after one of his opponents. The film King Kong, produced by Babubhai Mistry was released in 1962.
Dara Singh and King Kong
- He was the highest paid stunt-actor in the era of ‘60s, receiving 4 lakh rupees per film.
- Singh began his own banner film-banner Dara Films in 1970 and the Dara Film Studio in 1978. There he produced two Hindi Films Bhakti Mein Shakti (1978) and Rustom (1982). Besides he has directed 7 Punjabi films.
- This He-man of Bollywood has earned other titles like Rustom-e-Hind, Iron Man of Indian Cinema, Sikander-e-Azam
- Dara Singh is known in the industry for his exceptional devotional roles. To name some films, we have Balram-Shrikrishna (1968), Hari-Darshan(1972), HarHar-Mahadev(1974), Bajrangbali(1976) and Bhakti Mein Shakti(1978). Apart from that he’s famous for his role of Hanuman in TV-series Ramayan (1986) and Mahabharat (1988).
- His only historic role was of Alexander, the great in Sikander-e-Azam (1965).
- Dara Singh has married twice. He married Bachno Kaur in 1937 and Surjit Kaur in 1961.
- Dara Singh is the first Indian sportsman to be nominated in Rajya Sabha. He has served that position from 2003-09.