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Dara Singh
Dara Singh
Singh at Pran's birthday party in February 2010
Deedar Singh Randhawa

(1928-11-19)19 November 1928
Died12 July 2012(2012-07-12) (aged 83)
NationalityBritish Indian (1928-1947)
Indian (1947-2012; his death)
OccupationProfessional wrestler, actor, politician
Years active1947–1983 (wrestler)
1950–2012 (actor)
2003–2009 (politician)
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Bachno Kaur (m. 1942–1952)

Surjit Kaur (m. 1961)
Children6 including;
Vindu Dara Singh
FamilySee Randhawa family
Ring name(s)Dara Singh
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight127 kg (280 lb)
Billed fromPunjab, India
Trained byHarnam Singh

Dara Singh Randhawa (born Deedar Singh Randhawa; 19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012) was an Indian professional wrestler, actor and politician. He started acting in 1952 and was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India. He worked as Hindi and Punjabi film producer, director and writer, and he acted in films and television. He is known for his undefeated worldwide streak in wrestling and later being a successful movie star. His role of Hanuman in film Bajrangi (1976) and in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan made him popular.

Early life

Randhawa was born in a Jat Sikh family as Deedar Singh Randhawa on 19 November 1928[3][4] in the village of Dharmuchak in the Majha area of the Punjab region of India. At the time, it was still under British Raj colonial rule.[5][6]


Professional wrestling

Singh wrestling King Kong at JWA in 1955
Singh wrestling King Kong at JWA in 1955

He came to Singapore in 1947, where he worked in a drum-manufacturing mill and began his wrestling training under Harnam Singh in the Great World Stadium.[7] As an adult he was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall,[2] weighed 127 kilograms (280 lb) and had a chest measurement of 53 inches (130 cm). Due to his physique, he was encouraged to take up pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling. After switching to professional wrestling, he competed around the world with opponents such as Bill Verna, Firpo Zbyszko, John Da Silva, Rikidōzan, Danny Lynch and Ski Hi Lee His flooring of King Kong is still remembered.[8]

In 1954 Dara competed in the Rustam-e-Hind (Champion of India) tournament where he won the final by defeating Tiger Joginder Singh and received a silver cup from Maharaja Hari Singh.[9] In 1959, he won the Commonwealth Championship by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta. On 29 May 1968 in Bombay, his victory over Lou Thesz earned him the World championship.[10][11] His last tournament, where he announced his retirement, was held in Delhi in June 1983.[12] In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. On 7 April 2018 WWE inducted him in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy class of 2018.[13]

Films and television

Singh left his village for Singapore in 1948.[6] He started his career as an actor in 1952 with Sangdil.[14] He was a stunt film actor for many years and played his first lead role in Babubhai Mistry's film King Kong (1962).[15] From around 1963 he partnered often with Mumtaz, with whom he performed in 16 Hindi films. The couple became the highest-paid B-grade actors, with Singh receiving nearly four lakh rupees per film.[16]

He then went on to do television in the late 1980s, where he played the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan.[17] He also had roles in numerous films, such as Veer Bheem Sen and Ramayan, and in other television serials. He starred as Bhima in various Mahabharata movies, besides also playing balram, he also starred as Shiva in various mythological movies.

His last Hindi movie was Jab We Met and the last Punjabi movie released before his illness was Dil Apna Punjabi. He acted in National Award-winning film Main Maa Punjab Dee directed by Balwant Singh Dullat. He directed seven Punjabi films including Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun, Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar, Dhyanu Bhagat and Rab Dian Rakhan. He also directed two films in Hindi; Bhakti Mein Shakti and Rustom (1982), which were produced and directed under the banner "Dara Film" which he set up in 1970.[15]

Dara Studio

Singh was the owner of Dara Studio[18] at Mohali, District Mohali, Punjab. Dara Film Studio was founded in 1978. The studio was operational from 1980 as a film studio.


Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in January 1998.[19] He became the first sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha — the upper house of the Parliament of India. He served in that role between 2003 and 2009. He was also president of the Jat Mahasabha.[14][20]


The son of Dara Singh, Vindu Dara Singh, launched first comic book The Epic Journey of the Great Dara Singh at Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi in February 2019.[21]

Personal life

Dara Singh Randhawa married twice. He had three sons and three daughters, including Parduman Randhawa and Vindu Dara Singh.[1] His brother Randhawa was also a wrestler and actor.


Dara Singh was admitted into Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 7 July 2012 following a massive heart attack. Two days later, it was confirmed that he had brain damage due to the lack of blood flow.[22] He was discharged from hospital on 11 July 2012 and died the next day at his home in Mumbai.[23] He was cremated at Juhu crematorium.[24][25]


As actor

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1952 Sangdil[14]
1954 Pehli Jhalak[15] Wrestler Dara Singh
1960 Engal Selvi Tamil film [26]
1962 King Kong[15] Jingu / King Kong
1963 Faulad[15] Faulad Singh
1963 Rustom-E-Baghdad[14] Dara/Rustom-E-Baghdad
1963 Awara Abdulla[17] Abdulla
1964 Samson[15] Samson
1964 Aaya Toofan Deepu
1964 Jagga Jagga Daku
1964 Aandhi Aur Toofan[17]
1964 Darasingh: Ironman[17] Dara Singh
1965 Rustom-E-Hind[15]
1965 Boxer[17]
1965 Sher Dil[14]
1965 Raaka[14]
1965 Sikandar-E-Azam[14][15] Alexander
1965 Lootera[17]
1966 Naujawan[15]
1966 Veer Bajrang[15]
1966 Dada
1966 Daku Mangal Singh[17] Daku Mangal Singh/ Kumar
1966 Jawan Mard
1967 Chand Par Chadayee
1967 Do Dushman
1967 Watan Se Door[14]
1967 Nasihat
1968 Jung Aur Aman[17]
1968 Balram Shri Krishna Balram
1969 Thief of Baghdad[15]
1969 Faulad Ki Aulad
1969 Toofan Badal
1970 Choron Ka Chor Ashok
1970 Ilzaam Raju/Kishan
1970 Mera Naam Joker[14][15] Sher Singh
1970 Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar[17] Kartar Singh Punjabi film
1971 Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon[17]
1971 Ramu Ustad Ramu
1971 Tulsi Vivah Bhagwan Shiv
1971 Anand[15] Pahalwan Guest appearance
1972 Aankhon Aankhon Mein[17] Pahelwan
1972 Hari Darshan Bhagwan Shiv
1972 Lalkaar
1972 'Mele Mitran De Punjabi film
1972 Sultana Daku
1975 Warrant[17] Pyaara Singh
1973 Hum Sab Chor Hain
1973 Mera Desh Mera Dharam
1974 Kuwara Baap[15]
1974 Bhagat Dhanna Jatt Dhanna Jatt
1974 Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam Daku Daulay Khan
1974 Har Har Mahadev[17] Bhagwan Shiv
1974 Kisan Aur Bhagwan Dhanna
1974 Zehreela Insaan
1975 Dharam Karam[14] Ustaad ji
1975 Dharmatma Pahelwan
1976 Bajrangbali[15][17] Hanuman
1976 Lambhardarni Lambardar/Dharma Punjabi film
1976 Raakhi Aur Rifle Ganga Singh
1976 Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun Kartar Singh Punjabi film
1976 Apna Khoon Apna Dushman
1977 Jai Bolo Chakradhari
1977 Ram Bharose Sardar Vikram Singh
1978 Bhakti Mein Shakti Dyanu Bhakt
1978 Dhyanu Bhagat Dhyanu Bhagat Punjabi film
1978 Nalayak[15] Pahelwan
1978 Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke Haath Nihalchand
1978 Giddha Bhalwaan Dulla ji
1979 Chambal Ki Raani
1981 Guru Suleman Chela Pahelwan
1981 Khel Muqaddar Ka
1982 Main Intequam Loonga[15] Ajay Kumar
1982 Rustom Rustom Mangal Singh
1983 Babul Da Vehra Punjabi film
1983 Unkhili Muttiar Mechanic Punjabi film
1984 Aan Aur Shaan
1985 Mutharamkunnu P.O.[27] Himself Malayalam film
1985 Mard[14][15] Raja Azaad Singh
1986 Karma[15][17] Dharma
1986 Bulekha
1986 Krishna-Krishna Bhagwan Shri Balram
1986 Ramayan[14] Hanuman TV Series
1986 Sajna Sath Nibhana Joseph
1986 Maaveeran[28] Tamil film adaptation of Mard.[28]
1988 Maula Jatt Maula Jatt & Dharma
1988 Paanch Fauladi Ustadji (Fauladi #1)
1988 Mahaveera Delar Singh
1988 Mahabharat[17] Hanuman TV Series
1989 Shehzaade Jailor
1989 Elaan-E-Jung[17] Bheema
1989 Gharana Vijay Singh Pahelwan
1990 Tera Mera Pyar[17] Preet's father
1990 Naaka Bandi[15][17] Dharam Singh
1990 Pratiggya Daku Delavar Singh
1990 Sheran De Putt Sher Subedaar
1991 Dharam Sankat Dara (the dacoit)
1991 Ajooba[15] Maharaja Karan Singh
1991 Maut Ki Sazaa Pyara Singh
1992 Prem Deewane Loha Singh
1993 Bechain
1993 Anmol Dara Shamsher, Zafar's father
1994 Karan
1995 Ram Shastra[15] Police Commissioner
1997 Lav Kush[15] Hanuman
1997 Main Maa Punjab Dee Punjabi film
1998 Guru Gobind Singh
1998 Auto Driver[29] Telugu film
1998 Qahar Guest appearance
1999 Dillagi[15][17] Veer Singh
1999 Zulmi Baba Thakur
1999 Door Nahin Nankana Bhakhtawar Singh
1999 Hudd Kar Di Devender Singh Dhanwa/Papaji TV series
2000 Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge[15][17] Sapna's grandfather Guest appearance
2001 Farz Tayaji
2002 Shararat[30] Mr. Gujral
2003 Kal Ho Naa Ho[17] Chaddha's uncle
2003 Border Hindustan Ka Jamail Singh
2004 Family Business TV series
2006 Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa[31] Amardeep Sehgal (Dadaji) TV series
2006 Dil Apna Punjabi[32] Hardam Singh
2007 Jab We Met[14] Geet's grandfather
2012 Ata Pata Lapata Guest appearance

As director

Year Title Notes Ref
1970 Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar
1973 Mera Desh Mera Dharam [15]
1974 Bhagat Dhanna Jatt
1976 Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun
1978 Dhyanu Bhagat
1978 Bhakti Mein Shakti Also produced [15][33]
1982 Rustom [15]

As producer

Year Title Notes Ref
1978 Bhakti Mein Shakti Also directed the film [33]
1994 Karan

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b "Dara Singh Passes Away". The Times of India. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Wrestler Finds Acting Easy, Is Idol Of India's Morie Fans, p.2". Bombay: The Milwaukee Journal. 9 May 1966.
  3. ^ "OBITUARY: Dara Singh - the champion loses his final fight". Hindustan Times. IANS. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  4. ^ Kahol, Vikas (13 July 2012). "People at ancestral village remember legendary wrestler and film actor Dara Singh". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  5. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012. McFarland & Company. p. 266. ISBN 978-0786470631. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b Rana, Yudhvir (13 July 2012). "Little Dara holds ray of hope in wrestler's village". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  7. ^ ""Meri Atmakatha" (Autobiography)". Dara Singh. 1989.
  8. ^ "When Rustam-e-Hind lifted King Kong off his feet and flung him". Times of India. 13 July 2012.
  9. ^ "FREE-STYLE WRESTLING: DARA SINGH CROWNED CHAMPION OF BHARAT". Bombay: The New Indian Express. 13 June 1954.
  10. ^ "Dara Singh, Wrestler and Bollywood Action Hero, Dies at 83". The New York Times. 14 July 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Dara Singh: India's 'first all-action hero'". Mumbai: BBC News. 12 July 2012.
  12. ^ Molinaro, John F. (2002). Marek, Jeff; Meltzer, Dave (eds.). The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time. Winding Stair Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-55366-305-8.
  13. ^ "Dara Singh inducted in WWE Hall of Fame Legacy". Times of India. 8 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Dara Singh taken home". The Times of India. Mumbai. TNN. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 629. ISBN 8179910660. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Mumtaz: Dara Singh's kindness got me my first role". The Times of India. TNN. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Dara Singh: Bollywood's first macho man". India Today. New Delhi. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  18. ^ "Dara Studio". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Dara Singh joins BJP". 31 January 1998. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Hema garam, won't canvass for Dharam". The Times of India. TNN. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Vindu Dara Singh launches comic book - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Dara Singh suffers brain damage, doctors say 'less chance' of recovery". 10 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Dara Singh taken home, doctors say less chance of recovery". 10 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Hundreds attend Dara Singh's funeral in Mumbai". Yahoo India news. 12 July 2012.
  25. ^ Legendary Indian Wrestler Dara Singh Passes Away, WWE Stars Comment
  26. ^ MANMADHAN, PREMA. "The time when KING KONG almost hit him". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  27. ^ "How Dara Singh floored Mukesh ..." The Hindu. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Bollywood's first He-man". The Hindu Businessline. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  29. ^ "Auto Driver (1998)". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  30. ^ Reuters (12 July 2012). "Dara Singh dies at 83". Mumbai Mirror. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Eijaz Khan talks about Dara Singh". Mumbai: Mid Day. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  32. ^ Jaspreet Pandohar (20 August 2006). "Dil Apna Punjabi (My Heart Is Punjabi) Review". BBC. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Bhakti Mein Shakti Cast & Crew- Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ "Obituary: Dara Singh — Bollywood's original muscle man". The Hindu. 12 July 2012.
  36. ^ "MLG, Varsity, & The Singh's". Maple Leaf Wrestling. 24 January 2010.
  37. ^ "Ten things you didn't know about Dara Singh". NDTV. 12 July 2012.
  38. ^ "Congratulations to the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy inductees". WWE. 7 April 2018.


External links

This page was last edited on 2 October 2019, at 08:09
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