Fragrance of Yesteryears: Sunil Dutt

An actor, producer, director, and politician, we shed some light on the late Sunil Dutt.

Saturday, August 10, 2013 | 8:09:37 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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This week in the spotlight for Fragrance of Yesteryears, we have a multi-talented and much-loved personality taking the hot seat. An actor, producer, director, and politician, we shed some light on the late Sunil Dutt.

Sunil Dutt was born on June 6th, 1929 in Jhelum, Punjab, British India. After the eventual partition of India and Pakistan, he moved to a small village, Mandoli, and then later to Mumbai to make his dream of becoming an actor come true.

Dutt's career in media began at the long serving Hindi radio station, Radio Ceylon. He then slowly went on to debut on the big screen with Railway Platform in 1955. However, it was not until 1957 when he starred in the evergreen Mother India alongside the ethereal Nargis that he managed to successfully secure his name and fame within the Indian film industry. Rumor has it that during the shooting of Mother India, a fire erupted on the sets where Dutt saved Nargis, thereby winning her love and marrying her the next year on March 11, 1958. The couple have a son, Sanjay Dutt, also a successful Bollywood actor, and two daughters, Priya and Namrata Dutt.

During the 50s and 60s, Dutt appeared in numerous movies such as Sadhna (1958), Sujatha (1959), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Khandan (1965), and Padosan (1967). His first film production was the 1968 Mann ka Meet, introducing his brother Som Dutt into the film arena. A few years later, in 1971, Sunil Dutt produced and directed the self-starrer, Reshma Aur Shera, which did not perform well at the box office. Dutt then continued to star in hit films such as Nagin (1976), Jaani Dushman (1979), and Shaan (1980).

Sunil Dutt has also bagged many prestigious accolades at various award functions such as the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor in Mujhe Jeene Do and Khandan, 1963 and 1965, respectively. He has also won the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Filmfare Awards in 1995, Star Screen Awards in 1998, and Zee Cine Awards in 2001. 

Starting the 90s, Dutt retired from acting, only appearing alongside his son in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. in 2003. He shifted his focus to politics full-time, having previous brief experience in the early 80s. He was appointed as the cabinet minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in 2004. However, the position only lasted for a year due to his demise as a result of a cardiac arrest during his sleep on May 25th, 2005. 

Did you know?
  • Sunil Dutt has starred in multiple Punjabi religious movies including Man Jeete Jag Jeet (1973), Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam (1974) and Sat Sri Akal (1977). 
  • His birth name was Balraj Dutt.
  • After the death of his wife, Dutt set up a foundation in her memory called the Nargis Dutt Foundation which serves cancer patients.
  • Although they appeared in Rocky (1981) and Kshatriya (1993), Sunil and Sanjay Dutt did not appear in any scenes together until Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Writer: Fariha L.
Editors: Saraa K. & Jenifer Y.
Graphics: Saraa K.

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Posted on: 11 August 2013 at 1:47am
amazing actor sunil duttt may god bless him

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Posted on: 10 August 2013 at 6:32pm
Sunil Dutt was a living legend, an inspiration to many people.. He raised the issues, the power hungry politicians would never even dare to mention. I wish they made more like him. God bless his soul!

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