Born on December 8, 1935, Dharmendra Kewal Krishan Deol, also going by his moniker Dharmendra, is an Indian actor, producer, and politician best known for his roles in Hindi and a few Punjabi films. Dharmendra, who goes by the moniker "He-Man of Bollywood," is considered by many to be one of the most attractive Indian performers of all time. The Indian government bestowed upon him the Padma Bhushan, the country's third-highest civilian award, in 2012. With a career spanning more than six decades and over 300 films, Dharmendra is regarded as one of the most successful performers in Hindi cinema history.
His father was the headmaster of the local school at Sahnewal, where he was raised, and he attended Government Senior Secondary School in Lalton Kalan, Ludhiana. 1952 saw him complete his matriculation at Phagwara. Punjabi schools were then affiliated with Punjab University, Chandigarh.
As the national winner of the Filmfare magazine's New Talent Award, Dharmendra left Punjab to work in the movie that was promised to him; however, the film was never produced. Later, in 1960, he made his screen debut in Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere by Arjun Hingorani. In 1961, he starred in a supporting role in the movie Boy Friend. From 1960 to 1967, he played the romantic lead in many films.
From 2004 until 2009, Dharmendra represented Bikaner in Rajasthan as a member of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) for the Bharatiya Janata Party. His inflammatory statement during the 2004 election campaign that he should be elected dictator perpetuo in order to teach the "basic etiquette that democracy requires" drew harsh criticism. He was once again heavily criticised for not attending Parliament sessions when the house was in session, opting instead to spend the time filming movies or working the land at his farm.
When Dharmendra was 19 years old in 1954, before he started acting, he was married for the first time to Parkash Kaur. From this marriage, he had two sons, the popular actors Sunny and Bobby Deol, and two daughters, Vijeeta and Ajeeta. Abhay Deol, his nephew, is also an actor.
Following his relocation to Bombay and entry into the film industry, Dharmendra wed Hema Malini. Their union was beset by controversy at the time, with speculation swirling around their supposed conversion to Islam. In the early 1970s, he and Malini co-starred in several films, including Sholay. Ahana and Esha Deol are the couple's two daughters.
Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, which was directed by Sunny Deol, marked the acting debut of Dharmendra's grandson, Karan Deol, the eldest son of Sunny Deol, in 2019. Rajveer Deol, the younger son of Sunny Deol, will make his acting debut in 2023 in the film Dono, which is helmed by Sooraj R. Barjatya's son Avnish R. Barjatya.