In the current times, it has as if almost become a norm that to be an actor, you got to have a toned, muscular physique. It wasn't the case in the initial years of Indian cinema when talent alone was a reason good enough for your ticket to stardom. In that era, Dara Singh emerged as the trendsetter. Dara Singh introduced the concept of fitness to Indian cinema. A professional wrestler-turned-actor, who else ventured into politics in late years of his life, Dara Singh started acting in 1952 and was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India.
We bring to you some lesser-known facts about Dara Singh. Check them out here!
Dara Ji was born in Dharmuchak village in Amritsar, Punjab. Standing 6 ft. 2 in. with a chest measuring 53 inches, his body measured bigger than most Indian wrestlers then.
Being blessed with an amazing physical stature, Dara Ji took up wrestling at a very young age. He competed and (most importantly) defeated various leading wrestlers across the globe, in professional wrestling.
He first took up 'Pehalwani', an Indian art of wrestling before switching to professional wrestling.
He was just 26 when he first became the National Wrestling Champion in the year 1954.
Soon Dara Ji decided to try his hands on acting and in the year 1952, he bagged his first Sangdil. In his initial phase in Bollywood, he worked as a stuntman and eventually in the year 1962 he was offered a lead role in the film King Kong.
In most of his films, Dara Ji was paired opposite Mumtaz. They were paired together in more than 15 films.
He didn't give professional wrestling. In the year 1959, Dara Ji became the Commonwealth Champion by defeating champions like King Kong, George Gordienko, and John Desilva. Singh became the World Champion by defeating America's Lou Thesz in 1968.
By defeating America's Lou Thesz in the year 1968, Dara Singh became the World Champion.
Singh announced his retirement from Wrestling.
His scope of work in entertainment industry included producing, directing, writing & acting in films in Hindi and Punjabi film & television industry.
Dara Singh was the first sportsman ever to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of India.
Bestowed with titles like 'Rustam-e-Hind', 'Ironman of Indian Cinema' & 'The Original Muscle Man of Bollywood', Dara Singh is best known for his role of Hanuman in film Bajrangi (1976) and in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan.
The current generation though remembers and will always remember him as Kareena Kapoor's adorable grandpa in Jab We Met.
Bollywood lost one of its gems in the year 2012, when Dara Ji took his last breath in July 12, 2012. Through this piece of article, we tried giving a tribute to this real 'Sultan of Bollywood'.