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First action man of Bollywood, Dara Singh, dies at 83

Published Jul 12, 2012 06:18am


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Bollywood's “first action hero” Dara Singh. - YouTube video grab.

MUMBAI: Bollywood's “first action hero” Dara Singh, an Indian champion wrestler-turned-actor whose film and television career spanned over half a century, died on Thursday aged 83.

The star's health deteriorated a few days ago and he passed away after suffering from a heart attack, his doctor R.K. Agarwal told reporters outside Singh's Mumbai residence, sparking tributes from across the country.

“It was his and his family's wish that he should spend his last moments at home,” Agarwal said.

Born in Punjab in 1928, Singh trained in the Indian “Pehlwani” wrestling style before joining the sport professionally, going on to become commonwealth wrestling champion in 1959 and world wrestling champion in 1968.

He took up acting in the 1950s, carving his niche with tough man roles in Bollywood films such as “King Kong”, “Hercules”, “Samson” and “Tarzan comes to Delhi”.

His popularity peaked in the 1980s when he played the monkey god Hanuman in the popular television series of “Ramayan”, an adaptation of the Hindu epic, and he appeared in more than 140 films.

His last movie appearance was in “Jab We Met” in 2007, playing the role of grandfather to leading Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the tributes, expressing his sadness at Singh's death and describing him as a “noted film personality and an internationally acclaimed wrestler”.

Veteran Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, writing on Twitter, described Singh as “a great Indian and one of the finest humans. An entire era of his celebrated presence gone!”

Indian industrialist Anand Mahindra recalled how during his school days, any strong guy was a “Dara Singh”. Director and actress Farah Khan paid tribute to “the first ever action hero of our country, rest in peace”.


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Comments (17) Closed

I.Butt Jul 13, 2012 05:08pm
He was a great man, may God bless his soul !
RASHID Jul 12, 2012 05:02pm
A RustamEzama has passed away.will be remembered in history
Malik A Jul 13, 2012 05:29pm
RIP....Dara Sahib....a thorough gentleman/soul on & off-screen...humbleness came to him naturally ...
aks Jul 12, 2012 12:30pm
An actor, and a gentleman. A great human being.
common man Jul 12, 2012 12:08pm
In childhood, Mothers always quotes to sons , " Darsingh Banna Hai to Khana Khao.." He was so woven in common family's life in each and every house.
t singh Jul 12, 2012 06:43pm
he was a legend , he was a word in common language. we normaly say in hindi or punjabi " tu khud ko bahot dara singh samjhta hai kya"
Razak Jul 13, 2012 12:40pm
Soft spoken, strong character and a true Indian. RIP Dara Singh Sahab !
akash meena Jul 13, 2012 06:32pm
u were true legend nobody can fill your place. its end of desi kusti
manghirmalani Jul 12, 2012 10:54am
sorry to see him go
Asif Pasha -Noida Jul 12, 2012 06:45am
May your soul rest in Peace !! We Indians are proud of you and you will always remain in our heart and mind !!
CommonMan Jul 12, 2012 07:05am
It is really sad to hear that Dara Singh Ji died. He is a legend. He was a very honest, well respected, soft spoken and a brave person. People like him never die, they always live forever......
vishal Jul 12, 2012 08:31am
End of an era. A true indian and a champion. A gem of a person who was born to win every single fight but at last after playing his best inning in this world now will rest in heaven. Salute to Dara Singh ji. Jai shri ram as always said by him while playing the role of Lord Hanuman.
Muhammed Jul 12, 2012 09:08pm
Love you Dara! Long live in our memories.
anwar hashim Jul 13, 2012 12:12pm
may daraji,s soul rest in peace(ameen)
anwar hashim Jul 13, 2012 12:04pm
May Daraji,s sole rest in peace.
HWG Jul 14, 2012 01:11am
He was truely embedded in the psyche of Indian children, especially in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Almost like fictional/mythical heros such as Bheem, Phantom, and the Superman. No other person can equal that image, ever.
shahid from Pakistan Jul 14, 2012 02:23am
it seems that God has made him for this profession. Great actor Great man dara singh.