Born as Ajay Singh Deol on 19 October 1956, Sunny Deol has always been known for his larger than life macho persona that he has very accurately portrayed on screen.
Taking to celluloid, Dharmendra like many others launched his son in Bollywood in the early 80s. Garam Dharam’s son Sunny entered the film circuit with the film ‘Betaab’ (1983).
Modelling himself on greats like Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo, Sunny worked on his body and gave Hindi cinema several memorable hits.
With a physique different from the ruling Khans of Bollywood, he would also be fondly called the Arnold of India.
In a career spanning over 35 years and a filmography of over 100 films, Sunny Deol inspires youngsters for his down to earth persona and polished ways.
As an average student in his school days, he actively took to sports and games.
With an obsession in driving, legend has it that not only did he go on long drives with his family but at the ripe age of 12, he once stole a vehicle and drove around in it. Trained in acting at Birmingham, he studied theatre at the Old World Theatre.
Sunny’s real hero however was his father whose jeans worn in ‘Sholay’ would give him reason to pompously flaunt his dad’s legacy.
A boy who still fears speaking in front of his father, he still hasn’t got over Dharmendra’s classic hit from ‘Blackmail’ ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas’.
Taking the silver screen by storm with Betaab, his string of flops were quite a few, but life changed with movies like Arjun, Dacoit, Yatim where appreciation came aplenty.
Successful ventures like Paap Ki Duniya (1988) and then those like Tridev (1989) and Vardi (1989) gave Sunny a reason to walk with his head held high.
In Sunny filmography, ‘Ghayal’ in 1990 changed the game completely in Sunny’s career. Winning the Special Jury Award (National Film Award) and the Filmfare Best Actor Award he proved his class.
Rajkumar Santoshi and Sunny worked together in three films ‘Ghayal’, ‘Ghatak’ and ‘Damini’. All three are considered to be the finest films of Sunny’s career.
Once considered arch rivals in the industry, Anil Kapoor along with Sunny Deol and Jackie Shroff ruled hearts at more or less the same time.
From the Dilip Kumar, Devanand and Raj Kapoor trio to Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff and then the Khans, Bollywood has seen several eras. Sunny’s Dhai Kilo Ka Haath era undoubtedly stood apart.
Shot in the serene Lucknow city, ‘Gadar – Ek Prem Katha’ released in 2001 saw Sunny Deol’s careers biggest high point.
A story goes not only did Pakistani women swoon over Sunny , for them he was the only ‘male’ hero in India.
Sunny’s associations with Rahul Rawail, Rajkumar Santoshi, Anil Sharma and JP Dutta bore fruit.
Married to his girlfriend, Pooja Deol, Sunny Deol has associated with Amrita Singh, Sridevi, Dimple Kapadia and Raveena Tandon.
Enjoying a fantastic rapport with Sanjay Dutt, Shilpa Shetty, Tabu and Amrita Singh, Sunny Deol twice got National Award for Ghayal and Damini. He also received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for Ghayal and Damini.
Sunny Deol has directed two films in his entire career. The first film is 1999’s romantic film Dillagi and second film he directed was 2016’s Ghayal Once Again.
As the next generation of stars take over the mantle, Sunny Deol and his likes continue to guide fresh talent on what should be the correct way to steer ahead.