Danny Denzongpa

  • Actor, Director, Singer

Feb 25, 1948  in Gangtok, Sikkim, India

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From essaying Kaancha Cheena in Agneepath (1990) to Bakhtawar in Hum (1991), Danny Denzongpa was the stylish and suave villain of the 80s and 90s. Always picky about the kind of roles he was to portray, Danny, in a career span of more than 40 years, only did around a 150 films. Some of his most memorable anti-hero roles were seen in movies like 36 Ghante (1974), Dharmatma (1975), Kalicharan (1976), Naya Daur (1978), Bhagwan Dada (1986), Jung Baaz (1989), Sanam Bewafa (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), 1942: A Love Story (1993), and China Gate (1998). He not only gained popularity in Bollywood, but also portrayed some memorable characters in Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films. For his immense contribution in the world of Hindi and regional cinema, the talented actor has also been awarded India`s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2003.

Early Life
Danny Denzongpa was born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa in Gangtok, Sikkim, India. He went to school in Sikkim and completed his education from the prestigious Birla Vidya Mandir situated in Nainital, Uttarakhand in the year 1965. In his childhood, Danny dreamed of joining the Indian Army and the West Bengal Government gave him the Best Cadet Award. He was selected by the Armed Forces Medical College situated in Pune but he chose to enroll himself in the prestigious Film and Television Institute (FTII) in Pune instead.

Movie Career
As an Actor
He got his first major role of Thakur Ranjit Singh, a crippled husband to a wife, in B. R. Chopra`s Dhund (1973), starring Sanjay Khan, Zeenat Aman and Ashok Kumar. In the year 1979 he starred in Mahesh Bhatts Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Vinod Khanna, Shabana Azmi and Helen. Here Danny played the role of a diver by the name of Suraj and his performance was greatly appreciated by all. The film was a success and he started getting offers for more important and well-etched roles. Throughout the 80s and 90s, he mostly played the negative role in films. Some of these include Andar Baahar (1984), Andhi Toofan (1986), Bhagwan Dada (1986), Agneepath (1990), Hum (1992), Krantiveer (1994), Ghatak (1996) and Pukar (2000).

Amidst appearing in hit Bollywood movies, Danny became a Nepalese sensation with the blockbuster Nepali drama film Saino. The film`s success led to its remake of a Hindi film Bandhu in 1992. A TV serial titled Ajnabee was also made that was based on Saino. Apart from starring it, Danny also wrote the story of the film.

In the year 1992, he won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Saawan Kumar Tak`s magnum opus Sanam Bewafa, starring Salman Khan and Pran. He won the same award for the movie Khuda Gawah (1993). Danny starred an international project, a film titled Seven Years in Tibet (1996) directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, where he shared the screen with Brad Pitt, David Thwelis, B.D. Wong, Mako and Victor Wong.

Over the last decade, he gave some stupendous performances in films like Asoka (2001) and 16 December (2002). He also starred alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajinikanth in Shankars Tamil movie Enthiran (2010) also known as Robot in the Hindi version. This film was a commercial success and his performance in the film was very well appreciated by the audience as well as the critics. In 2015, Danny essayed Firoz Ali Khan in the Akshay Kumar starrer spy film Baby. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, the film opened to critical and commercial success.

In 2017, the actor reprised his role as special task force chief Feroze Ali Khan in Naam Shabana (2017), a spin-off and prequel to Baby (2015). In the following year, Danny portrayed the titular role in the critically acclaimed drama film Bioscopewala (2018), which followed the story of a unique relationship between a young girl and a bioscope operator. Among the actor`s other significant projects in recent times is the historical drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019), where he essayed the role of Ghulam Ghouse Khan.