Tshering Phintso Denzongpa born 25 February 1948, widely known by his acting name “Danny Denzongpa. Danny had his early schooling in Sikkim, thereafter he completed his schooling from Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital, Uttarakhand in 1964. He nursed an ambition to join the Indian Army and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal. He had qualified for prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune but withdrew admission to join Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Actress Jaya Bhaduri, his classmate at FTII, Pune decided to change his name to a simpler sounding “Danny” as his original name was tough to be pronounced by other students.

During his early film career, Danny used to practice Hindi language. The Urdu came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar‘s Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand‘s Khuda Gawah. He started out with B-grade movies such as B.R. Ishara’s Zaroorat in 1971, and later moved on to Mere Apne and Kala Sona where he played more positive roles. He then went on to play the roles of the villain numerous times. Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord. He got his major break in Gulzar‘s Mere Apne and later in B R Chopra’s Dhund where he played a crippled and frustrated husband. The iconic role of Gabbar Singh from the film Sholay was originally offered to him, but it went to Amjad Khan. He appeared in a character role against Amitabh Bachchan in HUM as “Bakhtawaar” which is critically acclaimed.

He is an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle. He has released Nepalese songs and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs recorded in the 70s but still hit are “Chiso Chiso Hawama” and “Manko kura lai bandhi narakha” Danny, who married Gawa Denzongpa, a Sikkimese princess. He has a son named Rinzing and a daughter named Pema.

Courtesy- People & History


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