The actor played the role of Veeru in the 1975 blockbuster film, 'Sholay'.
"Basanti, inn kuttonkesaamne mat nachna...!!"
If you are a Bollywood fan, chances are that the mere mention of this iconic dialogue from 'Sholay' would send an adrenaline shot in your heart. Well, the man behind the dialogue, Dharmendra, celebrates his 88th birthday today. The veteran actor, who was last seen in 'Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani', has his name etched onto the canvas of Hindi cinema, and stands tall as one of the stalwarts from the industry's golden era.
Born on December 8, 1935, Dharmendra dominated the silver screen just like a king from the 1960s to the 1980s. Hailed as the "He-Man of Bollywood", his on-screen image at that time was a perfect blend of infectious charm and magnetic machismo, making all the women go weak in the knees. From a suave lover boy in romantic comedies to the rugged man in timeless action blockbusters; he did everything with the utmost conviction, leaving an indelible mark on our popular culture. Even today, his charisma hasn't diminished even a little.
Some of Dharmendra's most notable works are 'Aankhen', 'Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke', 'Tum Haseen Main Jawan', 'Seeta Aur Geeta', 'Mera Gaon Mera Desh', 'Yaadon Ki Baaraat', 'Kahani Kismat Ki', 'Aag Hi Aag', and 'Insaniyat Ke Dushman' among others. However, it goes without saying that his most celebrated work is the 1975 blockbuster, 'Sholay', where he played the role of Veeru effortlessly and captivated the hearts of fans worldwide.
(Credit: NH Studioz)
As the legendary actor turns one year wiser today, we share an interesting anecdote about him from 'Sholay'.
In 'Sholay', Dharmendra was paired with Hemaalini (who later became his wife). They were dating each other for a whilewhen Dharmendra was already married to Prakash Kaur and had 4 children.
While shooting romantic scenes in 'Sholay', Dharmendra often paid the spot boys to spoil his shot, so that he would get more time with her. Especially, during the shooting of the scene where Veeru teaches Basanti how to use a revolver, the actor used to pay the light boys Rs 20 every time they would make a mistake, allowing him to hug Hema Malini for more time. Well, he ended up paying Rs 2000 in doing so.
Notably, Hema Malini came to know about this later and was very impressed.
It is worth noting that the couple first met each other while shooting for their 1970 film 'Tum Haseen Main Jawan'. They went on to star together in many films including 'Raja Jani', 'Seeta Aur Geeta', 'Sharafat', 'Naya Zamana, 'Tum Haseen Main Jawaan', 'Jugnu', 'Chacha Bhatija', 'Azaad', and 'Sholay' among others.
It was Dharmendra's mother who suggested him to send an application to Filmfare's new talent hunt with his pictures. He won the competition and then came to Mumbai to step into showbiz.
Dharmendra is regarded as one of the best action heroes of all time in Bollywood. Well, it was the 1966 release 'Phool Aur Patthar' that first showcased his action skills.
The actor actually wanted to play the role of Thakur Baldev Singh in 'Sholay', which was eventually played by Sanjeev Kapoor.
Unlike most of his contemporaries, he starred in several female-oriented films while staying at the peak of his career. The list includes 'Soorat Aur Seerat', 'Bandini', etc.
There is a Dharmendra-themeddhaba named 'Garam Dharam' in the Sonipat district of Haryana. The dhaba's walls are decorated with posters of the superstar's films.