The original He-Man of Bollywood, Dharmendra celebrates his birthday today. Known for both action and romance on the screen, the handsome actor had an equally interesting romantic life off the screen.
From changing religion to marry Hema Malini after having 4 children from his first marriage to having a fling with other co-actresses like Anita Raj and Jaya Prada, actresses who were much younger than him, Dharmendra made headlines for multiple things apart from his contribution to the Indian cinema.
Dearest Dharamji. Happy birthday Sir. You are my neighbour & my favourite ❤️— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) December 8, 2022
And you continue to rock. Lots of love & warm wishes.
A loyal friend
Dharmendra is known for his humility and loyalty. In an industry where stiff competition forces people to ditch and cheat on relations, Dharamji remained loyal to friends and never said no to directors and producers who were with him from the start. Be it his first director Arjun Hingorani or other directors like Manmohan Desai, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Ramanand Sagar, or O P Ralhan, Dharamji always showed his eagerness to work with these directors irrespective of the story of the movie.
Never said no to female-centric movies
When even in today’s times there is a pay disparity between Bollywood&rsquo's lead actors and actresses, and more importance is given to the male lead, Dharmendra was one of the few actors during the 60s and 70s who never said no to female-centric movies. Be it Bandini or Surat or Seerat, the Bollywood star readily agreed to do a supporting role.
Die-hard romantic even off screen
Dharmendra played a lover boy on the screen multiple times and had a huge female following during his heydays. Even off the screen, he was known as a die-hard romantic. He and Hema Malini fell in love but the latter initially refused to marry the actor as he was a married man. However, Dharmendra was very persistent in his efforts to woo Hemaji. Reportedly during the shooting of Sholay, Dharamji paid a spot boy to disturb their shot 20 times so that Hema Malini had to hug him 20 times due to retakes.
Praying for dear Dharam ji’s good health on his birthday today❤️ Wish him a long and healthy life filled always with happiness and joy! My prayers will be with him today and every day of our lives🙏HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the love of my life❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/QkHlKaYSWV— Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) December 8, 2022
Big fan of Suraiya
Dharmendra during his younger days was a big fan of the 1940s Bollywood actress Suraiya and watched her movie Dilagi 40 times. His adoration for the Mirza Ghalib actress was so big that he used to walk miles to reach the theater.
Dharmendra and Dimple Kapadia's pairing in Dushman Ka Devta was one of the weirdest. Reportedly, at that time an already married Sunny Deol was dating Rajesh Khanna &rsquo's estranged wife Dimple Kapadia. More than that, there was a kissing scene in this film which was the first and the last one ever enacted by Dharamji on the screen.