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Danny Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa
Danny Denzongpa in 2010
Born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa
(1948-02-25) 25 February 1948 [1]
Gangtok, Sikkim
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Gawa Denzongpa
Children Rinzing Denzongpa,
Pema Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa (born 25 February 1948) is an Indian actor working in Bollywood films though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Tamil and Telugu films as well and is also film director and singer as well. He has acted in around 190 Hindi films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth highest civilian honour.[2] Denzongpa is noted for his villainous and character roles. Danny's film career spans more than 4 decades.He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Acting career 2
  • Singing career 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Honours 5
  • Awards 6
  • As director 7
  • Filmography 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life and education

Danny was born to a Buddhist family in Gangtok, Sikkim[3] (the 22nd state of India since 1975) where he did his schooling from Birla Vidya Mandir , and thereafter completed his college from St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling, in 1964.[4][5] Denzongpa's love of horses and horse riding began at an early age, as his family was into horse breeding.He is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor.

He nursed an ambition to join the Indian Army and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and participated in the Republic Day parade. In an interview to The Times of India newspaper, he said that he had qualified for prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune but withdrew admission to join Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He decided to change his name to a simpler sounding "Danny" as his original name was tough to be pronounced by other students. The name has stuck since.[6]

Acting career

During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Hindi by talking to the ocean.

He started out with B.R. Ishara's Zaroorat in 1971(released in 1972) which was his debut movie. He got his major break in Gulzar's Mere Apne(1971), where he had positive role.He had his first major negative role in B.R.Chopra's 'Dhundh'(1973), where he played the role of a crippled and frustrated husband, which showed his power to emote. Danny, in the 1970s period was increasingly open to do versatile roles but chose to do more positive roles. It is said Danny was the first choice to play the iconic role of Gabbar Singh in the film Sholay. However since he was away on the shoot of Feroz Khan film Dharmatma, eventually Gabbar's role went to Amjad Khan. He played the second lead hero and had more positive roles in commercially successful critically acclaimed films like Chor Machaye Shor, 36 Ghante, Fakira, Sangram(1976), Kalicharan, Kala Sona and Devata(1978).

After his performance in the film Devata (1978) he started getting more significant lengthy roles. He was simultaneously part of big budget movies like Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Paapi, Bandish, The Burning Train and Chunoti in negative roles.

In the early 1980 period, he had thought of quitting films. He said in an interview, when asked why he decided to direct a film, "I remember in 80′s I was so fed up of the films I was doing. Those days every villain was a dacoit and I remember going on the sets where an actor called Tiwari was my henchmen and my den was a cave with lanterns. Next day I went on another set and I saw Tiwari again as my henchman, and the same lanterns. I asked myself what was I doing? I left Mumbai. I did lot of trekking and did not do films for a couple of years. I told NN Sippy about a script that I had in mind. and he asked me to direct. I made Phir Wohi Raat with Rajesh Khanna and my then girlfriend Kim." [7] After the success of his directorial debut, he received offers to act as the hero again in the films like Bulundi and Hum Se Badkar Kaun in 1981, which became successful. He played double role in the film Bulundi. However, most of the subsequent films of Danny between 1981-83 were not successful. Hence Danny started accepting supporting roles, often playing a character quite elder to his real age. He played Kumar Gaurav’s father in law in Love Story(1981) and Mithu Chakrabothy’s father in Boxer(1984). He started increasingly getting offers to play the negative character in Hindi films, post success of films Phir Wahi Raat, Jeeo Aur Jeene Do and Dharm Aur Qanoon. He then went on to play the roles of the villain many times since 1984. Since 1984 and through the 1990s, Danny mainly featured as the lead negative character opposite all the leading actors of those times such as Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol.

His most applauded negative characters are in Dharm Aur Qanoon (1984) as SP Karan, Kanoon Kya Karega (1984) as Raghuvir Singh, Andar Baahar (1984) as Shera, Oonche Log (1985) as Thakur Maan Singh, Aandhi Toofan (1986), Bhagwaan Dada (1986) as Gangwaa, Agneepath (1990) as Kancha Cheena, Hum (1991) as Bakhtawar, Ghatak: Lethal as Kaatya, Krantiveer (1994) as Chatur Singh , Pukar (2000) as Abhrush and Indian as Shankar Singhania. He was pitted against Pran in the film Sanam Bewafa and 1942:A Love Story. His command over the Hindi language came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar's Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand's Khuda Gawah.

At a time, when he was increasingly doing negative lead roles, Rajkumar Santoshi cast him as the positive role in China Gate(1998). In the early 2000s, Danny gave stellar performances in movies such as Asoka and 16 December (2002). Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord.He has also starred in some international projects, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.

Danny in the early 2003 decided to take a break from films as he wanted to do different but strong roles, even if it was a negative character. He appeared in only 10 films between 2003-2009.

He then made a strong comeback as the villain with his role in Enthiran.He made his debut in the Tamil films with Enthiran, co-starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the leads. Denzongpa played the antagonist role of Bohra, a prominent scientist who transforms Chitti (played by Rajinikanth) into an evil robot. He then started playing villain in big budget movies like Jai Ho (2014) co-starring Salman Khan, Bang Bang (2014) co-starring Hrithik Roshan.

He has recently played the role of a coordinator, Feroz Khan in the 2015 hit Baby co-starring Akshay Kumar.

Singing career

He is an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, three stalwarts of Indian music with music. He was first given a chance to sing by Dev Anand in the film Yeh Gulistan Hamara in 1972. Danny sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar - Mera Naam Aao picturised on Jhonny Walker and Jayshree.T. He has released Nepalese songs and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs recorded in the 1970s but still popular are "Chiso Chiso Hawama" ("In the cool air") and "Manko kura lai bandhi narakha..."("Do not keep the words of the heart tied"). He sang duet Suno Suno Kasam Se in Kala Sono with Asha Bhosle and sang a duet Mujhe Dostaon Tum Gale Lagalo with Rafi in 1978 film Naya Daur - both of which were composed by R.D.Burman.

He has sung a Nepali duet with Asha Bhosle, "Aage aage topai ko gola pachhi pachhi machinegun barara" in 1976. R.D.Burman composed the song -Sang Mere Nikle The Sajan from the 1981 film Phir Wohi Raat, which was directed by Danny himself - after getting inspired from melody of the Nepali folk song sung by Danny 'Aage Aage Topaiko Gola'. All of his Nepali songs are hits and people like them even today. "Hiun vanda chiso, Aago vanda taato..." ("Colder than snow, hotter than fire.."), "Naachana hoi maichyan hau nachana"' ("Dance o lovely girl"), "Jhimkai deu pareli manma bajchha mitho murali..." ("Please blink your eyes and sweet sound of flute plays in the heart), "Rato rani phulay ghain sanjama", "Pani Hai Paryo Jhyaure" etc. are some of his few hit numbers. He gained popularity as a singer in the period 1975-1990 especially in places like Nepal, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Assam.

He wrote and acted in the Nepali film Saino which was super hit. His nephew Ugyen Chhopel directed it. He has sung its title song and a duet with Deepa Narayan, wife of Udit Narayan. Later, this film was made in Hindi as Ajnabi as a telefilm for Doordarshan.

Personal life

Danny, who married Gawa Denzongpa, a Sikkimese princess and niece of the last chogyal from her hometown of Gangtok, currently resides in Juhu in Mumbai. He had a relationship with actress Kim Yashpal in 80's whom he had work with his film as a leading actor. Since the 2003, he has become more selective of the roles he plays.In the movies he chooses, he works on his own terms. His brother owns a bouj and beer factory in Melli, Sikkim.


Year From Award Won/Honored
2003 Government of India Padma Shri Honoured


Year From Award Film Won
1979 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Devata No
1985 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Kanoon Kya Karega No
1990 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Agneepath No
1992 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Sanam Bewafa Yes
1992 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Hum No
1994 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Khuda Gawah Yes
1995 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Krantiveer No
1995 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Vijaypath No
1996 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Barsaat No
1997 Filmfare Awards Filmfare Best Villain Award Ghatak No

As director

Year Film Director
1980 Phir Wahi Raat Yes
Unknown Ram Yes


Year Film Role/Notes
2015 Baby Firoz
2014 Bang Bang! Omar Zafar
2014 Jai Ho Home Minister Dashrat Singh
2013 Boss Big Boss (Mentor of Boss-Akshay Kumar)
2010 Enthiran Professor Bohra (Tamil)
2009 Acid Factory Om
2008 Luck Tamang
2008 Karzzzz Kabira
2008 Chamku Baba
2007 Big Brother police commissiner kulkarni
2007 Hattrick David Anna
2007 Frozen Karma
2004 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo Colonel Ashfaque Khan
2004 Shikaar Darshan Damania
2003 Sandhya
2003 Ek Hindustani Special Appearance
2002 Soch Nautiyal
2002 Ab Ke Baras CBI Officer Sikander Baksh
2002 16 December Vir Vijay Singh
2002 Yeh Mohabbat Hai Aman Khan
2001 Moksha Bachelor Simon
2001 Indian Shankar Singhania
2001 Lajja Gajendra
2001 Aśoka Virat
2001 Pukar Abhrush
2001 Officer Pratap Rai/Dushyant Singh
2000 Tune Mera Dil Le Liya
1999 Silsila Hai Pyar Ka Jabhal Khargoshi
1999 Dahek: A Burning Passion Jabbar Bahkshi
1999 Kohram Minister Virbhadra Singh
1998 Zulm O Situm Sikander
1998 Vinashak - Destroyer Jailer Lankeshwar
1998 China Gate Maj. Ranjir Singh Gurung
1997 Udaan Mr. Rana
1997 Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law Advocate Diwan
1997 Himalay Putra Rana
1996 Ghatak: Lethal Katya
1996 Rajkumar
1996 Army Naagraj
1996 Shastra Babu
1996 Army .nagraj
1995 Barsaat (1995 film) ACP Neghi
1995 Sarhad: The Border of Crime
1994 Vijaypath Dilawar Singh
1994 Chauraha Baba Bhatti
1994 Krantiveer Chatursingh
1994 Mohabbat Ki Arzoo Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada
1993 1942: A Love Story
1993 Dhartiputra Major Hisht
1993 Gurudev Khakan
1993 Prateeksha Dinesh Khanna
1993 Sangram Madhu's father
1993 Tahqiqaat Bhanu Pratap
1992 Drohi (Antham - Telugu) J.P. Sethi (Raghav's boss)
1992 Balwaan Bhaiji
1992 Khule-Aam Insp. Uday Singh/Insp. Ranvir Singh Rathod
1992 Khuda Gawah Khuda Baksh
1991 Lakshmanrekha Birju
1991 Vishnu-Devaa Thakur Shamsher Singh/Samppat
1991 Hum Bakhtawar
1991 Bahadur Bahadur (Bengali)
1991 Sanam Bewafa Sher Khan
1991 First Love Letter Thakur Ajit Singh
1991 Yodha Daaga/Justice Dharmesh Agnihotri
1990 Agneepath Kancha Cheena
1990 Pyaar Ke Naam Qurban Prince Yeshwant Singh
1990 Chingariyan
1990 Jagira
1990 Shandaar Dhaga
1990 Shesh Naag
1989 Shehzaade (uncredited) Thakur Roshan Singh
1989 Jung Baaz Mahakal
1989 Kasam Suhaag Ki
1989 Galiyon Ka Badshah Inspector Vijay
1989 Khoj
1989 Saaya
1989 Ustad
1988 Commando Ninja
1988 Shoorveer Shankar
1988 Ek Hi Maqsad Inspector. Deepak
1988 Mardon Wali Baat Raja Sunder Singh
1988 Gunahon Ka Faisla
1988 Janam Janam
1988 Jeete Hain Shaan Se J.P.
1988 Mera Shikar
1988 Paap Ki Duniya Pasha
1988 Yateem Girivar Prasad Mathur
1987 Saino (Nepali Film)
1987 Itihaas
1987 Faqir Badshah
1987 Aag Hi Aag Daulat Singh/Choudhury
1987 Deewana Tere Naam Ka Shambhu
1986 Chambal Ka Badshah Sultan
1986 Bhagwan Dada Shambu Dada
1986 Allah Rakha
1985 Maha Shaktiman aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)
1985 Yudh Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy
1985 Jawaab Seth. Jagmohan
1985 Aandhi Toofan
1985 Aitbaar Inspector Barua
1985 Oonche Log Thakur Maan Singh
1985 Patthar Dil Jung Bahadur
1984 Andar Baahar Shera
1984 Farishta
1984 Boxer Dharma
1984 Jagir Danny
1984 Kanoon Kya Karega
1984 Manzil Manzil Gautam (Pahadi Baba)
1984 Mera Dost Mera Dushman
1984 Pyar Jhukta Nahin
1983 Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye
1983 Lovers
1983 Ganga Meri Maa
1983 Andha Kanoon Akhbar Ali
1982 Raj Mahal
1982 Kachche Heere Arjun
1982 Prahari (Bengali)
1981 Love Story Ram Dogra
1980 Chunaoti
1980 Kali Ghata Kishore
1980 Abdullah
1980 Bandish Kapil Kumar
1980 Bulundi Lobo
1980 The Burning Train
1980 Choron Ki Baraat
1980 Phir Wahi Raat Ashok
1979 Griha Pravesh Danny
1979 Aaj Ki Dhara Danny
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang
1978 Lal Kuthi (Bengali)
1978 Devata Inspector Lawrence
1978 Naya Daur
1977 Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka Vikram (Jamunadas' son)
1977 Abhi To Jee Lein Danny
1977 Chandi Sona
1977 Khel Khilari Ka
1977 Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale
1977 Paapi Abdul
1976 Fakira Munna/Ajay/Toofan
1976 Kalicharan
1976 Laila Majnu Prince Bahksh
1976 Sangram Salim/Altaf
1975 Aakhri Dao Robert
1975 Apne Rang Hazaar
1975 Kala Sona
1975 Ponga Pandit Rocky
1975 Raftaar
1975 Rani Aur Lalpari
1975 Zorro
1974 Chor Machaye Shor
1974 36 Ghante Dilawar Khan
1974 Khote Sikkay Danny
1973 Dhund Thakur Ranjit Singh (crippled husband)
1973 Khoon Khoon remake of Dirty Harry (English)
1972 Milap
1972 Rakhi Aur Hathkadi Raja
1972 Yeh Gulistan Hamara
1971 Mere Apne Sanju
1971 Zaroorat


  1. ^ "Star birthdays in February". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". The Times of India. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Denzongpa, Danny. "Short biography". Celebrity Kick. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Denzongpa, Danny. "(Talk about your background) Salman Khan is the Amitabh Bachchan of the 80s: Danny". Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  6. ^  
  7. ^

External links

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