Sunil Dutt would have turned 91 today if he was alive. The actor-social worker-politician passed away on May 25, 2005 and it was a dark day for hundreds of fans. People thronged the streets to catch the final glimpse of their beloved star on his funeral day. And 15 years after that, his son actor Sanjay Dutt still misses him sorely.
Speaking of the past, Sunil Dutt and Nargis had an interesting past. Sunil Dutt was born as Balraj Dutt in 1929 in the then British Indian territory of Jhelum in the Punjab Province. At the age of 5, Sunil lost his father and when he was 18, the great India-Pakistan Partition took place. A Muslim family friend helped the Dutt family escape and they resettled at Yamuna Nagar in the now Haryana state. After that, Sunil moved to Lucknow for a few years with his mother and eventually came to Mumbai as an under graduate. He studied at Jai Hind College and also took up a job at Mumbai's local transport bus service BEST.
Sunil's career in media began with his stint as an RJ with a command over Urdu with Radio Ceylon which was the most popular radio channel in South Asia back then. As he became popular, Sunil's dream came true when he got the opportunity to interview his favourite actress Nargis who was at the peak of popularity then. So mesmerised was Sunil by the actress' beauty that he could not even utter a word and the interview had to be cancelled. After almost losing that job, Sunil landed his first film as an actor in 1955 with Railway Platform. And in the following years, a golden opprtunity came knocking on his door when he got a film offered with the actress of his dreams - Nargis. He could not deny the opportunity and along with popularity, the film also brought him the love of his life. While earlier it was just Sunil who admired and was in awe of Nargis, this time, even the actress fell in love with Sunil, who saved her from a deadly fire on the sets of their first film together - Mother India (1957). They then went on to get married in 1958 and later had their three children Sanjay, Priya and Namrata.
During his career, Sunil did some notable films like Sadhna (1958), Sujata (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965) and Padosan (1967), Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965) and Hamraaz (1967). He did his last few big films in 1992 and 1993. In 2003, he appeared in a short role with son Sanjay in Munna Bhai MBBS. This was the first time he ever shared screen space with his son. In 2005, he succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 76.
Apart from his films, Sunil was also appointed as the Sheriff of Mumbai in 1982 for a year. He had been associated with the Congress party and was the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Union Government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh when he passed away. The Padma Shri awardee was a much loved person - as an actor as well as a politician and will always be missed for his warm smile and great work in films and politics.
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